Sunday, July 13, 2014

Funkadelic - Red Hot Mama and Comin' Round The Mountain (from the 'Rocky Mountain Shakedown' bootleg)

 Whoever is responsible for this bootleg release did it right, in true P-Funk style. The cover is scatalogical (and drawn in the style of P Funk artist du jour Pedro Bell), liberties are taken with the song titles, and the gatefold cover has higher production values than your standard illicit release.

This double LP captures this group operating at another level; no surprise, as this was recorded in Denver, 1976 on the Mothership Connection tour when the Parliament/ Funkadelic mob was at their commercial peak. While the album is billed as 'Funkadelic', it stays true to how these concerts were performed; 'Parliament' would play the horn driven hits, and within the same set 'Funkadelic' would inject the guitar driven psychedelic insanity into the mix. Of course, many of the musicians overlapped, and George Clinton held court throughout everything, as an inmate leading the asylum of funky insanity.

I chose two tracks here that represent the Funkadelic side of things at moments of pure meltdown. 'Red Hot Mama' was recorded twice officially by P Funk (first by Parliament on 1970's Osmium LP, then by Funkadelic in '74 on Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On) , and it's one of the greatest of all Funkadelic tracks, and a showcase for the guitar genius of Eddie Hazel.

'Comin' Round The Mountain' (the leadoff track from Funkadelic's then current LP Hardcore Jollies) takes a relatively square tune and turns it inside out in a way that shouldn't make sense but somehow it does. While the studio recording of this track is excellent (and grooves DEEP), the live version heard here ups the intensity to a whole other level!!! It's a wonderful thing that this show was captured, and thank you, kind bootleggers, for putting it out on wax. I've only ever seen one copy 'out in the wild' and it happens to be the copy I own (and have owned for over 20 years). It turns up on ebay every once in a while, but be prepared to be patient to find a copy of this rarity.

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