The full title of the only live Funkadelic album is Funkadelic Live: Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan 12th September 1971.
I always think that is a shame. There are other P-Funk live albums but I’ve always much preferred Funkadelic to Parliament because of the rock based guitar of Eddie Hazel and other members of the gang.
Funkadelic Live Meadowbrook – Overall rating 24/30
Set List – 7/10
- Alice in My Fantasies – 6:37 (instrumental version of a song that appears later on Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On)
- Maggot Brain – 14:02 (Maggot Brain)
- I Call My Baby Pussycat – 5:38 (later to appear on America Eats Its Young)
- I Call My Baby Pussycat – 8:08 (later to appear on America Eats Its Young)
- Good Old Music – 4:31 (on the self titled Funkadelic aibum)
- I Got a Thing, You Got a Thing, Everybody Got a Thing – 8:38 (Funkadelic)
- All Your Goodies Are Gone – 15:08 (later to appear on Parliament’s Up On the Down Stroke)
- I’ll Bet You – 5:25 (Funkadelic)
- You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks – 5:28 (Maggot Brain)
- Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow – 3:41 (Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow)
It’s a bit difficult to know what to make of this set list. Ideally I would like to be able to pick from later Funkadelic studio albums to create my ideal set list..
How many essential songs had Funkadelic recorded by this stage? Maggot Brain yes. Many of the others are open to debate and personal taste.
I like their first album but I’m not so keen on Maggot Brain apart from the title track.
If you’re coming to Funkadelic from the hit single or album One Nation Under A Groove, then you’re in for a shock. Early Funkadelic was a very different group and nothing like as smooth.
I’d like to think that there’s much better in the vaults somewhere.
Performance – 8/10
The album roars into life with two rock instrumentals. Maggot Brain with Eddie Hazel excelling on lead guitar is superb.
Then the singers come out with two versions of I Call My Baby Pussycat. The first is fast and funky hard rock. It’s difficult to understand the words and merges into snippets of Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow. The second is slow. Both are full of unsubtle innuendo and not to be played loud by the easily offended.
Personnel problems with a guitarist and drummer leaving immediately before the gig and replaced at short notice suggest that the band is not as tight as they could have been. Wikipedia reports that bassist Billy Bass Nelson stormed off the stage at one time because of his frustration with the drumming.
It all sounds pretty good to me though.
Here is a video of Funkadelic performing I’ve Got a Thing in a studio.
Atmosphere & Authenticity – 9/10
The record company boss recorded this Funkadelic gig without the band’s permission and the soundboard recording was only found in 1996.
It’s very raw and I doubt that it’s had any touching up in the studio.
This really was how Funkadelic sounded in September 1971.
I’m not sure that any album or even a DVD can capture the full Funkadelic live experience because of the sensory overwhelm that must happen.
Overall rating for Funkadelic Live Meadowbrook – 24/30
Because of P-Funk’s influence on funk and later hip-hop, this is an important historical record.
I’m very glad it has been released.
It’s also strangely addictive.
When you first play it, the record sounds noisy and unstructured. As you get more familiar with it and you become more Funkadised, it’s hard not to stop hitting the replay button to put more searing guitar based funk into your soul.
My biggest problem is that it doesn’t have many of the Funkadelic tracks that I want to hear live.
Live Meadowbank vs A Funkadelic Compilation vs The Original Studio Albums?
If you only want one or two Funkadelic albums, what do you do?
I regard the studio album One Nation Under A Groove as a must. In my opinion, it is one of the best albums ever recorded and I love every track and it includes a live version of Maggot Brain that is an absolute killer.
Then you need to decide on where you sit on the difference between Parliament and Funkadelic. I’m very much on the Funkadelic side which tends to rule out the Parliament Earth Tour live album and I haven’t taken (yet) to the P-Funk Allstars Live At The Beverley Theatre album.
The Funkadelic Live Meadowbank album is a possibility. So too is a Westbound compilation of early Funkadelic songs.
With the exception of One Nation, I don’t find any of the Funkadelic albums entirely convincing. Each has some great songs and some filler.
This could be another group that you have to pull your own compilation of downloads together because there isn’t a definitive live album.
What Others Say About Funkadelic Live: Meadowbrook
This is another live album that is not recognised by the critics who put together the best live album lists. Funk isn’t that popular.
Views on Amazon are broadly positive.
Buying Funkadelic Live
These links will help you get to the albums quickly and easily but I recommend that you still search for the best deal.
What Do You Think About Funkadelic Live?
Do you like the album or do you think there is a better P-Funk live album?
Is This One Of The Best Funk Live Albums Ever?
Funkadelic Live Meadowbrook 1971 is nominated in the poll to find out the best live funk album.
What do you think should be at the top of the list?