BetteBack June 2, 1977: “Live At Last”

Montclair Tribune
Live LPs by top groups
By Mike Del Rey
Pop Music Critic

June 2, 1977


If your f a v o r i t e performer isn’t in town the next best thing would b« to check your local record stores for their live LPs. One of them is bound to be one of your favorite performers. In the last couple of weeks alone a handful of live albums have been popping up in all sorts of stores.

On one hand you have Arista’s “Barry Manilow Live,” recorded live at the Uris Theater in New York last December. Manilow and Ron Dante have produced one of the best and listenable live albums to date. The music contained is all of Manilow’s hits including his commercial themes.

On the other hand you have the very controversial recording of the Beatles Live at The Hollywood Bowl. On the back cover producer George Martin apologizes for the album not sounding as good as the concert. But who cares. It’s the Beatles. Well the Beatles cared, cared so much they went to court to try to stop the production of “Live At The Hollywood Bowl.” But if you see it at your record store you probably know what the outcome was.

Then you have something divine, f u n k i e and a comeback concert.

Let’s take something divine first, that being the Divine Ms. M (Bette Midler “Live At Last”), regarded for years as a truly classical performer. Bette Midler demonstrates her great wit and the flair for the sexy satire.

Throughout the album her humor mixed with a very powerful voice sends weird things down your spine.

“Live At Last” was recorded live at The Cleveland Music Hall in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s on Atlantic Records.

Next in line of the live albums is the “P-Funk Tour of Parliament” recorded live at The O a k l a n d Coliseum and the Los Angeles Forum in January. It’s the only live album recorded this year and released this year. PFunking out for Casablanca Records, Parliament offer nothing but heavy funk.

Instead of giving you a definition of P-Funk that would probably be wrong, I recommend you listen to Parliament Live.

And finally one of the biggest comeback shows in rock history, “At Last The Bee Gees Live,” recorded live at their comeback performance in December at the Forum.

Released by Polydor Records “At Last The Bee Gees Live” is one of.the finest live albums I’ve ever heard. Almost every song is a smash hit. But then, the Bee Gees have had so many.

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