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Funkadelic – Maggot Brain

138,00 lei

Label: Westbound Records – HIQLP 020
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue,
Country: UK
Released: Oct 30, 2020
Genre: Rock, Funk / Soul
Style: P.Funk, Psychedelic Rock

Out of stock

Funkadelic’s self-titled debut LP (1970) and the same year’s Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow proved that Clinton and company were adept at penning hook-laden soul nuggets, “wayback yonder funk,” gully blues-rock, sinister gospeldelia, and freak-flag-flying jams. By the time they entered Detroit’s United Sound Systems in late 1970 to record their third full-length, Maggot Brain, they’d honed their myriad styles to a raw-nerved peak. For a group rumored to record while zonked out of their minds, Funkadelic really held it together on Maggot Brain. They may not have been as tight as James Brown’s backing band the J.B.’s, but Clinton, Nelson, keyboardist Bernie Worrell, guitarists Eddie Hazel and Tawl Ross, and drummer Tiki Fulwood had cohered into a fearsome unit.

Perhaps the most distinctive thing about Maggot Brain is its incomparable bookends: The opener “Maggot Brain” and closer “Wars of Armageddon” are the most evocative expressions of birth and annihilation ever put on record. In the former, Funkadelic plunges into the dank throes of an existential quandary, as Clinton intones, “Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time/For y’all have knocked her up/I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe/I was not offended/For I knew I had to rise above it all/Or drown in my own shit.” Clinton really knew how to rivet attention and prep you for the journey of a lifetime.

The mythos surrounding this 10-minute epic is extraordinary. Clinton claimed that he and Hazel were tripping hard, and then the bandleader told his guitarist to play like his mother had died. Realizing that Eddie had executed a world-historical solo, Clinton decided to excise most of the other players’ contributions from the track and then “Echoplexed everything back on itself four or five times,” as he noted in Brothas. “I could see the guitar notes stretch out like a silver web.” (An alternate take with all the instruments intact appears as a bonus track on a 2005 CD reissue of Maggot Brain, and in retrospect, you can’t argue with Clinton’s decision. The keyboards, bass, and drums are fine, but they impinge enough on Hazel’s wizardry to be distracting.)

This solo—with its solarized, distraught wails, smooth dive bombs, and shattered-crystal grace notes—occupies the loftiest perch in the guitar-hero pantheon. How can something so mournful fill you with so much life? It was perverse of Clinton to place such an elegiac show-stopper at the beginning, but in the early ’70s, perversity was the man’s lifeblood. Conventional wisdom in those days involved starting albums with the most instantly appealing song; instead, Clinton opened with amplified and warped chewing sounds and a lysergic monologue about planetary impregnation and cranial infestation. Out of such grotesque imagery, Clinton and Hazel alchemized heavenly beauty.

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