Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Record Review Week: Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain"

Can psychedelic drugs really make a difference?

One listen to the 10 minute incendiary guitar solo on title cut Maggot Brain by the tragically underrated Eddie Hazel and I feel confident you’ll agree with that statement.
Maggot Brain starts off with an eerie voice (probably George Clinton) stating that "Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time, for y'all have knocked her up”, and then the song is handed over to Hazel for 10+ minutes of technically proficient fuzzed out psychedelic pyrotechnics. George Clinton apparently told Hazel to “play like your mamma just died”. It must have worked; the emotions and sounds this cat squeezes out of his electric six string are simply mind bending.
Keyboard genius Bernie Worrell delivers the goods on Hit It And Quit It, and the rest of the guys sound like they’re having the time of their lives, especially on last song Wars Of Armageddon, a 9:48 jam that sounds like Hendrix backing Santana at the Apollo Theatre on magic mushrooms. When the cuckoo clock sound effects come in at 4:39 into the song you’ll be convinced that some sort of weird voodoo high priests of funkydom have unleashed their masterpiece.

And you’d be right on the money.


Hal Johnson said...

I agree, Uncle E: that solo almost made me cry, and I'm sure the Mexican beer had nothing to do with it.

Uncle E said...

We only had 5, Hal. Or was is 4? You've got more comin'!