P-FUNK ALL-STARS LIVE AT THE BEVERLEY THEATRE IN HOLLYWOOD.

P-FUNK ALL-STARS LIVE AT THE BEVERLEY THEATRE IN HOLLYWOOD.

The early eighties weren’t a good time for George Clinton, Parliament and Funkadelic were no more. He had been forced to dissolve both groups. His use of multiple names had caught up with him. 

Throughout the seventies, and into the eighties, George Clinton had released albums using various names. Sometimes albums were credited to Parliament or Funkadelic. Other times, they were released as George Clinton solo albums. Then there was George Clinton and The P-Funk All-Stars. It was a confusing time for record buyers. However, most of the albums featured many of the same musicians. These musicians were retained by George Clinton and they toured and played on the various George Clinton projects. They had been successful during the seventies.

Both Funkadelic and Parliament had released commercially successful and critically acclaimed albums. Parliament could do no wrong between 1975 and 1979. During that period, they released five albums. The success began in 1975, when Parliament’s four album, Mothership Connection was certified platinum, A year later, and 1976s The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein was certified gold. Then in 1977, Parliament released Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo Syndrome. Just like Mothership Connection, it sold a million and was were certified platinum. However, the success kept on coming. 1978s Motor Booty Affair and Gloryhallastoopid were both certified gold. Sadly, that was the end of this vainglorious run of commercial success. 

When Parliament released Trombipulation in 1980, the album stalled at number sixty-one in the US Billboard 200, but reached number six in the US R&B charts. That was the last Parliament album. However, between 1975 and 1979, they sold over 3.5 million albums. During this period, Funkadelic were also enjoying the most successful period of their career.

Funkadelic’s most successful period came between 1978 and 1979. One Nation Under A Groove which was released in 1978, was certified platinum. A year later, 1979s Uncle Jam Wants You was certified gold. Having sold over 1.5 million albums in two years, Funkadelic’s album sales slumped between 1980 and 1981.

When Connections and Disconnection was released in 1980, it reached 151 in the US Billboard 200, but reached number forty-five in the US R&B charts. The Parliament-Funkadelic empire was beginning to crumble. 

It was already experiencing financial problems. Partly, this was because George Clinton had retained so many musicians.  By then, he had dozens of musicians under contract. Some felt sidelined. Others who had a stake in the Parliament-Funkadelic enterprise watched as the empire crumbled. George Clinton might have been a remarkable musician, but he hadn’t the skill set to manage the Parliament-Funkadelic empire.

Soon, there were clashes. Some musicians left. They couldn’t bear to stand and watch the Parliament-Funkadelic empire crumble. They had a stake in it. So they exited stage left. Incredibly, things were about to get worse. 

With Funkadelic having completed their twelfth album, they took the double album to Warners. They quickly rejected the idea that The Electric Spanking of War Babies would be a double album. Instead, the best tracks were cherry picked and The Electric Spanking of War Babies released in April 1981. It fared slightly better than Connections and Disconnection, when it reached 105 in the US Billboard 200 and number forty in the US R&B charts. This was a far cry from when Funkadelic, like Parliament were being awarded gold and platinum discs. The end was neigh.

After twelve albums from Funkadelic and nine from Parliament,  George Clinton’s enterprises were teetering on the edge. To make matters worse, there was shake-up at their record companies. Musical fashions were changing, and to some, it looked like P-Funk had had its day. So, after the release of The Electric Spanking of War Babies in April 1981, George Clinton began the process of dissolving the Parliament-Funkadelic empire. It was a case of R.I.P, Parliament and Funkadelic.

By 1983, George Clinton had a new band up-and-running. Just like before, George Clinton was using a variation on a theme. Whereas previously, there was George Clinton and The P-Funk All-Stars. they had metamorphosed into the P-Funk All-Stars.

1983 would be a big year for George Clinton’s new band. They released two albums that year. The first came in April 1983, when the P-Funk All-Stars took to the stage at the Beverley Theatre in Hollywood. That’s when they recorded the ten tracks that became P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood. It was recently reissued as a double album by Westbound Records, an imprint of Ace Records. Later in 1983, the P-Funk All-Stars

release their one and only studio album Urban Dancefloor Guerillas. However, before that, George Clinton got his funkateers back together, and they made their way to The Beverley Theatre, in Tinseltown.

Despite everything that had gone before, George Clinton was still able to get some his best musicians to join the P-Funk All-Stars. Given the alleged financial mismanagement and money lost, the P-Funk All-Stars featured an enviable lineup. Its rhythm section featured drummer Dennis Chambers, bassist Rodney “Skeet” Curtis and guitarists George Clinton, Eddie Hazel, Lige Curry, Ron Ford, Gary “Mudbone” Cooper, Robert “Peanut” Johnson and Michael “Clip” Payne. They were joined by keyboardists Bernie Worrell and Jerome Rodgers.The horn section featured Grey Boyer, Bernie Cowan and Greg Thomas, the P Funk Horns. Vocals came courtesy of George Clinton, Lige Curry, Gary “Mudbone” Cooper, Ron Ford, Robert “Peanut” Johnson and Michael “Clip” Payne. Maceo Parker was the M.C. at the Beverley Theatre. He makes his presence felt early on.

As the P-Funk All-Stars take to the stage at The Beverley Theatre, it seems the audience haven’t lost their appetite for George Clinton and Co, They holler, chant and scream as the P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood, Ecouraging them is M.C. Maceo Parker. As he hollers, the audience chant and clap their hands during P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up), Accompanying them is just a lone piano. The party is well and truly started. 

After that, the P-Funk All-Stars are introduced to the audience. Again, it’s just the piano and M.C. Maceo Parker. It doesn’t matter, the audience are worked into a frenzy. Still, Maceo Parker continues to work the audience. He introduces the band during Do That Stuff. One of the biggest cheers goes when Eddie Hazel’s name is announced. Then when the introductions have been made, the P-Funk All-Stars launch into an uber P-funky groove. It’s a case of the boys are back in town. Before long, they’re rolling back the years. When the vocalists step up, Maceo Parker continues the introductions. However, by then, everyone is revelling in P-Funk royalty as they cut loose on this nine minute epic. With the audience in the palm of their hands, the P-Funk All-Stars unleash a classic.

That’s Cosmic Sloop. By then, Maceo Parker is still working the crowd. He hypes them up, and when he introduces George Clinton, the audience nearly lift the roof off. George unleashes a blistering guitar solo. Even when the vocal enters, Maceo is hyping the crowd up. Not that they need it. With the P-Funk All-Stars strutting their stuff, and George and Eddie Hazel going toe-to-toe it’s a case of sit back and enjoy the show.

From there the P-Funk All-Stars unleash an eight minute medley of Let’s Take It To The Stage, Mothership Connection (Star Child) and I Call My Baby Pussycat. All their years playing live shine through, with the P-Funk All-Stars’ rhythm and horn section at the heart of the sound and success. So are the banks of keyboards. Then there’s the vocal. It’s a mixture of power and passion. Other times, it’s a funky vamp. Regardless of which, the P-Funk All-Stars are strutting their way through the set, and decide to drop in another classic. 

Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker) lasts twelve minutes, and allows the P-Funk All-Stars to stretch their legs. Blistering guitars and stabs of horns combine, while the funky rhythm section drive the arrangement along. The rabble rousing vocal hypes the audience up, while punchy harmonies are added. By then, George Clinton’s new band are reinventing a P-Funk classic, and storming through it, winning friends and influencing people. They continue to do so, as they mix soul and P-Funk,

The way they do this is by dropping in a near thirteen minutre version of (Not Just) Knee Deep. This George Clinton and Phillip Wynne penned song allows the P-Funk All-Stars to show their soulful side. The P-Funk All-Stars don’t turn their back on their funky side. Both sides can be heard. There’s even a diversion via jazz and rock. It’s a musical masterclass from the P-Funk All-Stars that closes disc one of P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood, They pickup where they left off on disc two.

With twenty-one albums of Funkadelic and Parliament albums to choose from, the P-Funk All-Stars are spoiled for choice. They open disc two of P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood with Maggot Brian, This George Clinton and Eddie Hazel composition last sixteen minutes. George narrates the song, before the All-Stars take their turn to shine. What follows is akin to musical theatre. That’s until, the All-Stars kick loose. This includes a scorching, searing guitar solos. It’s the best on P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood, It comes courtesy of Eddie Hazel, who shows why he was one of the best funk guitarists of the seventies and early eighties. He’s plays his part in the best track on P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood, 

That’s despite following Maggot Brian with One Nation Under A Groove. This anthemic track about togetherness features  the P-Funk All-Stars marching along, fusing funk and soul seamlessly. Everyone plays their part in the sound and success of One Nation Under A Groove. It comes a close second to Maggot Brian. The question is how do the P-Funk All-Stars top the two preceding tracks?

George Clinton’s secret weapon is a ten minute version of Atomic Dog. It sees the P-Funk All-Stars decide to slow things down. Then they unleash their unique brand of P-Funk. Above the arrangement sits a vampish vocal. It’s accompanied by harmonies. Again, the rhythm section play a leading role, providing the P-Funky heartbeat. Meanwhile, the audience are in raptures at the P-Funk All-Stars in full flow. Sadly, the show is nearly over.

Closing P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood is an explosive version of Flash Light. It lasts just five minutes. By then, the audience have been worked into a frenzy by the audience. It’s a two way process. The P-Funk All-Stars cut loose, combining cartoon vocals with what’s like a joyous chant. It’s an unlikely combination, but accompanied by what’s an express train of an arrangement proves the perfect way to close P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood.

After the recording of P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood in April 1983, those who had attended the concert awaited the release of the live album. So did those that hadn’t been fortunate enough to get a ticket. They had a long wait. 

Seven years passed before P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood was released in 1990. By then, music had changed. Some remembered Parliament and Funkadelic’s glory days fondly. Others remembered just their greatest hits. However, for many people, P-Funk was a footnote in musical history. So when P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood was belatedly released, it failed to find an audience. Since then, very few people have heard P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood. That changed recently.

P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood was recently reissued by Westbound Records, an imprint of Ace Records. The reissue of this live double album is to be welcomed. It’s a reminder, if any was needed of how good George Clinton and Co. were. Live they were legendary, and often, played three hour shows. That was the case with Parliament, Funkadelic and the P-Funk All-Stars, whose live album P-Funk All-Stars Live At The Beverley Theatre In Hollywood makes a welcome return twenty-five years after its initial release.

P-FUNK ALL-STARS LIVE AT THE BEVERLEY THEATRE IN HOLLYWOOD.

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