DFW Music News

For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: P-Funk Tears the Roof Off the Convention Center in '76

There's no need imagining the scene -- a show videotaped in Houston, at the Summit, on Halloween '76 gives you some idea of the spectacle George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, the late Gary Shider and the rest of the Mothership Connection took on the road that fall. I've seen myriad iterations of Parliament-Funkadelic over the years, but never this one -- the legendary, lavish supergroovalisticprosifunkstication orgy born the moment the band signed to Casablanca (home to KISS and Donna Summer) and hit the road in a spaceship. (In other words, a far cry from the set-up that showed up at the Granada in '06.)

This offering is an estimable addition to the collection -- a soundboard keepsake from the Dallas Convention Center from November 5, 1976. You'll notice, though, there are myriad other selections from which to choose, as much of that tour (the P Funk Earth Tour) was recorded; in addition to the Houston DVD there's the recorded-in-L.A. Parliament Live comp that features a similar track listing -- most of the hits from the Clinton collectives to that point. But truth told, the Dallas recording sounds even better than the Official Release -- the crowd was louder in L.A. (perhaps it had more time to learn the chants), but the bottom that dropped out of the Casablanca two-fer remains at the Convention Center. In a word: essential. In two: get funked.