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Maggot Brain

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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.

Customer Reviews

Truly the anthem of my youth

During my late high school and early college years in and around Akron Ohio at 1:00 AM, on any given Saturday night of partying, no matter where we were, in the car, at a drive-in, in a pool hall or in someones basement everything would stop and we would dial in 97.9, if it wasn't already on, which it usually always was, and we would get into that collective funk that only Maggot Brain could bring on. And if it didn't come on then the station was barraged with calls until it did. I've combed through dusty stacks of vinyl and racks of used cds looking for and subsequently wearing out any copy of this rare gem I could find. I wonder how long it will take me to wear this one out;-)...give it a spin and let the funk touch your soul like no sound from today can.

Brought it all together

I used to work overnight at Cleveland Hopkins airport and when this song came on at 1:00 work just stopped. We used to take the radio outside and crank it and when Maggotbrain echoed across the field, off buildings, and back to us it was like the whole world was just floating and we were all taken to that little space most personal inside us where we each knew for ourselves what could be and what might have been, all at the same time. Pretty much one of the most beautiful, lilting, graceful, powerful, haunting, and amazing instrumentals I have ever heard.

Now this...

is what it's all about right here. This is the perfect amalgam of funk and rock. Seriously, all rock should sound like this—loose but tight, soulful and earthy... It's like Jimi Hendrix sitting down with Sly Stone and saying, "I had an idea for something new. Check this out..." There is no compare to the gut-wrenching Eddie Hazel solo on "Maggot Brain." If listening to this song doesn't move you—as in, shedding a tear, swaying your hind end back and forth, or thinking of somebody that you've lost, then you must be dead or a Conservative. (Yeah, I said it.) From the jangly folkiness of "Can You Get to That" to the twisted, psychedelic freak out of "Wars of Armageddon," this is essential listening. (By the way, I propose that "You and Your Folks..." be the "Barack Obama for President" campaign song in '08. How 'bout it y'all?)

Biography

Formed: 1968

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '10s

Though they often took a back seat to their sister group Parliament, Funkadelic furthered the notions of black rock begun by Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, blending elements of '60s psychedelia and blues plus the deep groove of soul and funk. The band pursued album statements of social/political commentary while Parliament stayed in the funk singles format, but Funkadelic nevertheless paralleled the more commercial...
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