One of the mightiest funk ensembles to ever emerge from the Midwest, the Ohio Players started out as a blues band called the Ohio Untouchables in 1959, and over the course of a decade they evolved into a furiously tight and hard-hitting group who would cut some of the wildest dance hits of the '70s. The Ohio Players were at the peak of their popularity, enjoying the success of albums like Skin Tight, Fire, Honey, and Contradiction, when they took the stage for this 1977 concert, the only live document from the band's greatest era. While this release includes the love ballads "Alone" and "I Want to Be Free," the bulk of Live 1977 is devoted to tough, muscular funk workouts, with the band living up to their reputation as one of the great live acts of the day on tunes like "Love Rollercoaster," "Sweet Sticky Thing," "Skin Tight/Fopp," and an epic 30-minute version of "Fire."
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming