10 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Funkadelic’s sound was so gnarly and all-encompassing it initially seemed that the LP form could not sufficiently contain them. Then, for their third album, they delivered the flawless Maggot Brain, a seven-track rock ’n’ roll album of the highest design. This is music that grows from all the great American musical traditions (blues, gospel, folk, psychedelia) yet explodes with burning energy and volume. Here George Clinton managed to stuff all his wild ideas into structures. As anomalous as they are, “Can You Get to That,” “You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks” and “Back In Our Minds” are pop songs — bizarre, druggy, heavy, wonderful pop songs. Maggot Brain has a lot in common with contemporaneous works by Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix, but Funkadelic wasn’t a great black rock band, they were simply a great rock band. The album is celebratory, but crucially, it begins with the title track, nine mournful minutes given over entirely to guitarist Eddie Hazel, who wails at the heavens in a sublime and anguished expression of the human condition.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Funkadelic’s sound was so gnarly and all-encompassing it initially seemed that the LP form could not sufficiently contain them. Then, for their third album, they delivered the flawless Maggot Brain, a seven-track rock ’n’ roll album of the highest design. This is music that grows from all the great American musical traditions (blues, gospel, folk, psychedelia) yet explodes with burning energy and volume. Here George Clinton managed to stuff all his wild ideas into structures. As anomalous as they are, “Can You Get to That,” “You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks” and “Back In Our Minds” are pop songs — bizarre, druggy, heavy, wonderful pop songs. Maggot Brain has a lot in common with contemporaneous works by Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix, but Funkadelic wasn’t a great black rock band, they were simply a great rock band. The album is celebratory, but crucially, it begins with the title track, nine mournful minutes given over entirely to guitarist Eddie Hazel, who wails at the heavens in a sublime and anguished expression of the human condition.

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