Customer Reviews: Maggot Brain
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4.7 out of 5 stars66
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on March 1, 2008
Musicologists love to debate where Jimi Hendrix may have ventured had he not tragically died in 1970. It is true the master was going to work with Miles Davis, and that would have been monumental. It is worth exploring the possibilities of a foray into the newly developing funk scene as well, and nobody came closer to carrying on the Hendrix legacy than Funkadelic's guitar wizard Eddie Hazel, a true contemporary of Hendrix and Jeff Beck. Unfortunately, he has not enjoyed the mass appreciation of other guitar gods, and that's a crime.
"Maggot Brain" opens with the title track, a simple rhythm guitar backing Hazel in a ten minute opus that belongs in the rock god pantheon. George Clinton wisely lets Hazel shine, knowing genius when he hears it. If "Maggot Brain" isn't enough, Hazel soars throughout, welding funk with metal and making it work. It makes you wanna boogie and play air guitar at the same time, which would look really stupid, but that just proves how well the two styles of hard rock and funk can work together.
As with great jazz musicians like Wes Montgomery, John Coltrane and Charlie Christian, to name a few, it's a shame more young black musicians aren't interested in making real music, preferring instead to rap over minimalist backgrounds and completely ignore their musical ancestry that invented blues, rock and roll, and jazz. "Maggot Brain" belongs in every collection.
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on July 22, 2008
I don't know what drugs Clinton and co. were on when they recorded this classic. I probably don't want to. The first two were pretty weird as well, but this one makes 'em look tame. Here, you get a lot of the acid funk-rock stuff the group was doing in their early days, only what they did was took that formula and improved on it. The winding, stoned jams that took up most of the first record are better, so are the loud, crazy freakouts that took up much of the second one. And the short tracks rule as usual.
First up, there's "Maggot Brain," with Eddie Hazel playing a guitar solo worthy of Hendrix. It's amazing how much emotion he pulls out of it, and the huge variety of feelings he expresses just with is guitar. It's wonderful stuff, but part of me thinks I like the bonus full band mix more, just because you get a cool marimba part with that one. Either way, it's one of the top five (if not top three) tunes that ever came out of the P-Funk camp. "Can You Get to That?" rules, too. It's totally different from the emotional odyssey that was "Maggot Brain" - it's a down-home folk song with a great melody and awesome baritone vocals, and it actually manages to almost be as good as "Maggot Brain." Not quite, but close. Then you get a couple sweet acid-soul songs, with Bernie showing off his weird organ stuff: "Hit it and Quit it" and "You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks." Totally cool tunes, both of 'em. Then it's back to the rock, with the uber-heavy "Super Stupid," with another one of Eddie's Hendrixian solos. It's yet another highlight - everyone gets a chance to rock out, and they don't waste it. I'm a bit disappointed by "Back in Our Minds," though. It's okay, but isn't particularly interesting. It's made up for by "Wars of Armageddon," though. That's the best freakout ever to come from Funkadelic. A ten minute celebration of all things sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. Most people don't like it, but I think it's quite cool.
Bonus tracks! You've got the alternate mix of "Maggot Brain," "I Miss My Baby" (cool song!), and "Singing a New Song" (eh.) Worth a purchase! I don't know what to call this one. It rocks harder than most "funk" albums, and has more groove and bottom than most "rock" albums. Funkadelic was always cool, but the early stuff is insanely creative.
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on June 13, 2008
Funkadelic-Maggot Brain *****

Funkadelic's Maggot Brain is one of the most rewarding albums in my entire musical library, and I have a very big and vast library. Rewarding in the since that I have taken more away from this album than just about any other. As a musician any Parliament or Funkadelic, or any funk album in general is going to test your skill and this is no exception. Being a guitar player, hearing Eddie Hazel play is a lesson every time, and upon each listen my mind is blown. The title track, 'Wars Of Armageddon' and 'Super Stupid' are among some of the very best guitar playing I have ever heard. The rest of the group as well from the signature bass to the great percussion this great.

As a musical fan this is a rewarding album on that front as well. Songs like the elegant title track still give me chills. And what is great about anything with George Clinton is that like his hero Sly Stone all his funk is fun but contains and important social message. 'Can You Get To That' is loose and a great comment of the economy. But aside from the funk 'Super Stupid' is just one example of how Funkadelic was versatile, this is one of the very first heavy metal tracks recorded. With one listen to that track and you'll be able to see where Lenny Kravitz got his funk.

For me Funkadelic was always a favorite over it's counter part Parliament, while I love them both, Funkadelic always was more free with their musical endeavors, where Parliament was pigeon holed with one genre, and Maggot Brain is the best example of this, even more so than One Nation Under a Groove. Maggot Brain is a rewarding album on so many levels that I feel no musical collection is complete without it, which I feel okay saying because this has something that would fill a whole in any genre's collection.
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on January 7, 2008
This album is the best investment i ever made. I'm a 16 and i play guitar and the solo on maggot brain puts every guitarist i've ever heard to shame,i t moves me to tears every time and eddie hazel has got nowhere near the recognition it deserves. I can't believe more people haven't heard this. And its not just the title track, EVERY song on here gets 5 stars from me. This band puts the supposed heaviest band ever, black sabbath, to shame on super stupid. its super heavy and on top of that you can dance to it and eddie hazel plays another classic solo. enough from me you should get it now, it criminal to not recognize this album for the masterpiece it is.
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on March 24, 2011
This cd should be bought for Super Stupid alone! That is one of the greatest ROCK songs EVER! Led Zeppelin & every other band that was considered "heavy" back then could've learned something from that track. As a people, blacks come up with these art forms & the rest of the world takes them & runs with them. I can't knock them because it's quality stuff. It would just be nice if people would acknowledge the true innovators & owners of all of this.
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on June 19, 2016
This review is for the UK Westbound 180 Gram Colored Vinyl pressing described here: Maggot Brain (180 Gram Colored Vinyl)

An impressive package. The original artwork reprinted with a gorgeous cream-marble colored vinyl.

And it sounds great. I've had bad luck with other colored vinyls in the past, and I used to think that they were all inherently more noisy than their normal black counterparts. This one plays nice and clean all the way through.

Looking for Maggot Brain on vinyl and don't want to pay a ton? This is a great one to choose.
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on October 21, 2009
Why this album and this band are so overlooked is beyond me. Funkadelic were the forefathers of the funk metal genre, and their influence is heard on bands like Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden/Audioslave, and so many more. To think that this music was made in the early 70's is astonishing. These guys were far ahead of their time.

The title track is an acid-fueled guitar solo that brings to mind the most inspired Hendrix solos put on tape. A slow minor key dirge with some incredible guitar soloing by Eddie Hazel, it is a feast for the ears.

The next track, Can You Get To That, is a soul-influenced psychedelic number with everyone taking turns singing. Quite a happy little tune. The next two songs really showcase the metallic side of the band, with Hit It & Quit It built around a jerky heavy riff, and Super Stupid sounding like the best of Cream and Stevie Wonder.

You and Your Folks, Me & My Folks increase the funk side of the album, but still retains that metallic edge throughout the album. Back In Our Minds is just a goofy number, showing that the band can be silly when they want to.

The last track, Wars Of Armageddon, show the band at their most expiremental, a sound collage of percussion and strange sounds. Very interesting stuff.

All in all, this is a great album and a foreshadow of the funk metal genre. I love it.
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on September 14, 2012
I'm going to dissent from popular opinion and say the song "Maggot Brain" isn't this album's highlight. For anyone who doesn't know, it's essentially a 10-minute guitar solo played over relaxed guitar arpeggios. There's some nice playing by Eddie Hazel, who's especially good at manipulating distortion to generate these amazing growling guitar tones. However, it's all rather long, sleepy, and sparse in musical ideas, especially for an opening track. The closing song, "Wars of Armageddon" is another massive 10 minute track, a somewhat repetitive funk jam made interesting by crazy sound effects.

To me, what's really fantastic about this album is the five tracks in the middle. The two best are "Can You Get To That" and "You And Your Folks". "Can You Get To That" is a soul song featuring a majestically laid-back guitar intro and gorgeously harmonized vocals. "You And Your Folks" has an absolutely demonic groove built on phased drums, keyboards, and catchy "yeah yeah yeah" chants. "Hit It And Quit It" and "Super Stupid" are both great straight-forward rock songs, and "Back In Our Minds" is minor track but delightfully weird.

These five songs, spanning about 17 minutes, are certainly the torso of a five-star album. Even the first and last tracks are interesting songs and by no means bad. It's just that to me, they make it feel like Funkadelic got revved up 10 minutes late and started winding down 10 minutes early.
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on July 22, 2013
I love this album. I remember the first time I heard it, in high school. My friend had an older brother who was away at college in NYC and he had turned her onto it. This album blew my little suburban mind. I think this is the first P-funk album to buy IF you aren't looking for something to dance to.

Side note: I believe this is a remastered edition, but the volume is still pretty low. On the first gen CDs you really had to crank it up. This one is a bit louder, but I still have to turn it up about 10% compared to other music. Not complaining, just making an observation. It's probably just as well that they left it that way instead of adding more compression and changing the way it sounds.
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on December 24, 2015
One of the best albums of all time. If you like funk/rock/soul and enjoy the enlightenment of psychedelics, I' check this out. Rolling stone put it on the list of 500 greatest albums of ALL TIME and it also is ranked as the 17th best album of the 70's as well as on the list of 1001 albums you MUST HEAR BEFORE YOU DIE! Super Stupid is amazing.
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