FUNKADELIC — Maggot Brain

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FUNKADELIC - Maggot Brain cover
4.21 | 14 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1971


A1 Maggot Brain 10:10
A2 Can You Get To That 2:45
A3 Hit It And Quit It 3:44
A4 You And Your Folks, Me And My Folks 3:29
B1 Super Stupid 3:53
B2 Back In Our Minds 2:35
B3 Wars Of Armageddon 9:28

Total Time: 36:56


Lead Guitar: Eddie Hazel
Rhythm Guitar: Tawl Ross
Keyboards: Bernie Worrell
Bass: Billy Bass Nelson
Drums: Tiki Fulwood
Vocals: Parliament (George Clinton, Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas, Ray Davis), Garry Shider, Bernie Worrell, Tawl Ross, Eddie Hazel, Billy Bass Nelson

About this release

Westbound Records – WB 2007 (US)

Thanks to EZ Money, snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Funkadelic tighten their songwriting and deliver a knock-out album.

Clinton and the team grab a handful of genres and put them through the Funkadelic grinder, coming up with a bubbling set of songs that work on just about every level, from lyrics to performance and composition. Of their first three, it's the most satisfying listen from start to finish.

The title track is an Eddie Hazel strip-show of the soul, as after George Clinton's spoken introduction, Hazel's guitar seems to bleed into the scale with its fuzz and wah spilling notes everywhere. It's a demanding listen and after hearing it, the oft-repeated story about its composition becomes believable.

Following this stellar opening is 'Can You Get to That' where the band go a little pop-funk-gospel (and it is often the vocals that evoke the gospel feel and the rhythm section that evokes the funk on Funkadelic albums.) It, along with the next two songs, were singles and show the skill and care paid to the songwriting on 'Maggot Brain,' not just at a musical level but thematically, as the three make up something of a trilogy. 'Hit it and Quit it' showcases the organ work of Worrell and the monster-funk of 'You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks' is next, with all it's 'yeah yeahs' and pleas for unity and peace, it's got a hippy vibe but with the bottom heavy, nasty funk, it definitely doesn't sound like typical flower-power fare.

'Super-Stupid' (a little unconvincingly covered by Audioslave many years later) brings Hendrix comparisons to mind, as Hazel supplies a great riff, solo and vocal. 'Back in Our Minds' is next, which is a fairly goofy song really. The album comes to an end with 'Wars of Armageddon' an almost muddled jam that is layered with sound effects ranging from 'effective soundscape' to 'distracting.' It's a not a bad piece, and works as a counterpart to the spacious title track, though I don't often listen to it all the way through.

Fans of rock and funk will love the blend here, and if you're not convinced by Hazel's guitar, the high quality of the songwriting on the bulk of the album should make up for it. Four stars.

After two bizarre experimental psychedelic blues rock records on which professional production values took a back seat to spontaneous creativity, George Clinton and crew buckle down on “Maggot Brain” and go for that big heavy rock sound that was growing in popularity, but barely give an inch when it comes to their trademark bizarre and eclectic musical vision. This is probably the heaviest most rockin Funkadelic album as after this one they will be headed towards ‘the one’ and a long career as P-funksters. Critics often point out the influence of Hendrix and Sly Stone on early Funkadelic, but you can also hear the bluesier art rock crowd such as Deep Purple, Frank Zappa and latter day Beatles, as well as early 70s theatrical rockers like David Bowie and Clinton’s art-punk gig mates, Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop. There is quite a smorgasbord of influences on here, but once combined, it all carries the trademark sound of Clinton and his creative vocal arrangements, psychedelic guitar guru Eddie Hazel and multi-keyboardist prog-rock classico supremo Bernie Worrell.

This is one of those early 70s albums that has aged very well, creative without being pretentious, this album is about reality, not fantasy. George Clinton’s biting humor and social insights have given this very witty album infinite shelf life. This one is highly recommended for fans of early 70s artsy heavy rock from David Bowie to Jimi Hendrix.

Members reviews

Funkadelic's third album opens with Maggot Brain, perhaps the greatest improvisation the band ever recorded. Wisely, George Clinton opted to mostly mute the rest of the band's performance on this (you can just about hear them in the background) in order to shine a spotlight on Eddie Hazel's glorious guitar solo, which surely ranks as one of the best ever.

The album follows this up with some short-form songs, finely crafted funk gems which show that the songwriting side of the band has finally caught up to the improvisation side - the best one probably being the menacing and confrontational You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks. The concluding long composition Wars of Armageddon is a wild freakout replete with demented samples and vocal snippets to create an audial cartoon of a demented world. Overall, the album is the culmination of all of George Clinton's musical development to this point, and I certainly have sympathy for the view that Funkadelic's albums after this at best only managed to equal this one - never exceed it.
The Truth
"Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time..."

Obviously the main attraction of this album is the legendary title track which is an eargasmic and absolutely trippy guitar solo that pierces every sense in your body even some you didn't know existed. The title track is a music masterpiece that perhaps doesn't get quite all the praise it deserves but it gets alot.

And this can sometimes distract the listener from the rest of the amazing album that Funkadelic put out. Every other track is just a tad bit under par with the opener but they are all still very good. Perhaps there is too much humor in the rest and that's surprising after the heart wrenching title track.

Nonetheless, the rest of the album is pure funky goodness which I love to pieces, just not as much as the opener. War Of Armageddon is very good!

Ratings only

  • Unitron
  • Decao
  • JimmyJazz
  • Fant0mas
  • Ponker
  • Rokukai
  • kostasprog
  • Tychovski
  • zorn1
  • Sean Trane

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