Maggot Brain review by Funkadelic

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  • Released: Oct 31, 1971
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (19 votes)
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain

Sound — 9
This album is brilliant. A blend of soul, gospel, rock, psychedelia and R&B underlined with Hendirx-esque guitar playing from one of the greatest and most criminally under-recognised guitarists, Eddie Hazel. The standout track is the title track, a ten minute long improvised guitar solo played over four repeated arpeggiated chords, with the simple prompt from producer George Clinton that Eddie should "play as if he had just heard that his mother had died, then as if he had found out that she was in fact still alive". The rest of the album is also pretty kickass, with multi-part gospel style backing vocal harmonies from the vocalists of George Clinton's closely linked project, Parliament, over funky keyboard and guitar riffs for the first seven tracks, which were the tracks on the original LP. My copy is a re-issue which contains three bonus tracks; 'Whole lot of BS' which is the funky gibberish typical of the rest of the album, 'I Miss my Baby' a Motown-esque pop-song, which isn't all that great, and another version of 'Maggot Brain' with the whole band audible, rather than just the two guitars.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics aren't what this album is about, really. They fit the music really well, but if you're looking for great poetry, you're looking in the wrong place. I'm going to give them a decent rating because they do their job, not because they're brilliant literature or anything.

Overall Impression — 9
My favourite songs on the album are 'Maggot Brain', 'Can You Get To That', 'Hit It And Quit It', 'You And Your Folks' and 'Super Stupid', and I realise that I have listed half the album there! It's a very, very good album, with many styles all perfectly integrated into a whole which is not quite like anything else. Even metal fans should hear something they like on 'Super Stupid' (which is worth checking out if you wanna know where Tom Morello get his style of riffage from), and metal hadn't really been invented back then. I would recommend this to anyone who likes rock but would like to expand their range of musical tastes a bit. RHCP fans should probably check this out as Flea and John both really rate this band (Flea once said that Eddie Hazel was "right up there with Hendrix"), and as I said before fans of RATM and Audioslave should appreciate some of the riffs. If this album was lost or stolen I'd complain a lot and then buy it again, and then probably buy another copy just as backup. It's that good. I'm not giving it 10 out of 10 though, 'cause nothing's perfect, is it? Still, buy it, buy it, buy it, buy it.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Maggot Brain has got to be one of the best songs of all time. Pure masterpiece.
    Ataxia wrote: Maggot Brain has got to be one of the best songs of all time. Pure masterpiece.
    Phill-Rock wrote: maggot brain is one of the best songs of all time.
    Corection: One of the best INSTRUMENTALS of all time. No lyrics . But yeah, its amazing. When i listen to it, i feel as if my soul is being torn to peices.which is a good thing xD
    Maggot Brain is unbelievably deep, even for a simple instrumental, Eddie managed to put a score of immense proportions together. It is, in my opinion, one of the most moving solos I have heard. Congrats Eddie, you are one of the best.