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Maggot Brain

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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.


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 group's success, especially in the late '70s when the interplay between bands moved the...
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