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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Review: Parliament - The Mothership Connection Live 1976 (DVD)


Parliament – The Mothership Connection Live 1976
2008, Shout! Factory


George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins and the rest of P-Funk were at the height of their musical prowess in 1976. In the era of Mothership Connection and The Clones Of Dr. Funkestein, P-Funk were a genre all their own. On Halloween night, 1976, Parliament rolled into the Houston Summit and proceeded to pull off a legendary performance. This particular concert video has been out of print for a long time, although bootlegs have abounded over the years. It features fourteen songs packed into one hour of the most outrageous Funk you've ever heard. Shout! Factory offers up the re-release of The Mothership Connection Live 1976 just in time for the holidays!

Let's be honest, if you have a bootleg of this show then you might not want to lay down money for the DVD, but at a list price of $14.98, how can you not? The video and audio quality here are better than anything you'll find on a bootleg, although the lack of bonus materials is disappointing. The highlight here is the raw power of Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off That Sucker), but several great tracks abound. Cosmic Slop and Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On are virtuosic performances. Mothership Connection (Star Child) is worth the price of admission on its own, and Dr. Funkenstein is like stepping into a time machine where all is right with the world and always will be. P-Funk closes out the set with Night Of The Thumpasorus Peoples and Funkin' For Fun, just to make sure you didn't miss the point.

There are some bands whose shows are fun -- you save the ticket stub in a box of memories and 20 years down the road you know you were there and that's about it. Then there are bands like Parliament, where 20 years on you can still remember the set list and the dude how spilled beer down your back and the lyrics of the song at the exact moment the lead singer's sweat dripped on you as you crashed the stage. While videos rarely capture this kind of live energy, P-Funk is not your every day band. If you saw Clinton, et. al. in the mid-1970's then you want this DVD as a keepsake. It will take you back and then some. If you're a fan of P-Funk and never had a chance to see them live, or only saw them in the past five years or so, then you need to check The Mothership Connection Live 1976. It's magic on stage. For real.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Parliament at http://www.georgeclinton.com/. You can purchase The Mothership Connection Live 1976 at Amazon.com.

1 comment:

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