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I once had a life, or rather, life had me
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
George Clinton on the opening to "Maggot Brain"
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Maggot Brain is the third studio album by Funkadelic, released in 1971. It is listed at #479 in Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The album is best remembered for the Title Track, which has an epic guitar solo, still praised to this day. Hazel would perform a live version of this song, available on the bonus EP of One Nation Under a Groove (1978).


Tracklist:

Side One

  1. "Maggot Brain" (10:20)
  2. "Can You Get to That?" (2:50)
  3. "Hit It and Quit It" (3:50)
  4. "You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks" (3:36)

Side Two

  1. "Super Stupid" (3:57)
  2. "Back in Our Minds" (2:38)
  3. "Wars of Armageddon" (9:42)

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Personnel:

  • George Clinton: vocals, band leader
  • Eddie Hazel: lead guitar
  • Tawl Ross: rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Bernie Worrell: keyboards, vocals
  • Billy Bass Nelson: bass
  • Tiki Fulwood: drums
  • Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas, Ray Davis, Garry Shider, and Hot Buttered Soul: other vocals

You and Your Tropes, Me and My Tropes:

  • Alliterative Title: "Super Stupid."
  • Cover Drop: Done during the intro of "Maggot Brain".
    "For I knew I had to rise above it all, or drown in my own shit."
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Super Stupid" is about a "maggot brained" drug addict buying the wrong stuff accidentally.
  • Epic Rocking: The 10:20 "Maggot Brain" and 9:42 "Wars of Armageddon". Legend has it that Eddie Hazel was asked to play his guitar during "Maggot Brain" as if someone told him his mother had died and later found out that she was okay.
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  • Gospel Choirs Are Just Better: Many songs make use of large choirs singing along in a fashion reminscent of Gospel Music.
  • Improv: The epic guitar solo by Eddie Hazel during "Maggot Brain" was recorded in one take.
  • Instrumental: Apart from Clinton's intro most of "Maggot Brain" is Eddie Hazel's guitar solo.
  • In the Style of...: "Maggot Brain" imitates Jimi Hendrix somewhat.
  • Last Note Nightmare: The crashing effects of "Wars of Armageddon".
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "Wars of Armageddon" would be an example were it not for "Maggot Brain" being both, A, longer (10:20 vs 9:42), and B, the first track on the album.
  • Protest Song: "You And Your Folks, Me and My Folks" is plea for unity among the poor. "Wars Of Armageddon" calls for freedom from oppression, power to the people and more absurd things.
  • Questioning Title?: "Can You Get To That?"
  • Shout-Out: "Can You Get To That?" has been sampled in "Rill, Rill" (2010) by Sleigh Bells.
  • Singer Name Drop: "Maggot Brain" was the nickname of Eddie Hazel.
  • Skull for a Head: The front cover of the record shows a woman's head rising from the dirt ground like a maggot. The back cover shows the same scene, but now the head is a skull.
  • Spoken Word in Music: George Clinton's introduction to "Maggot Brain".
  • Stock Sound Effects: During "Wars of Armageddon" we hear a baby crying, an alarm going off, a cuckoo clock, a streetcar bell, a cow mooing, jungle monkey sounds, screeching cats and an explosion going off.
  • Title Track: "Maggot Brain"
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: "You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks":
    The rich got a big piece of this and that
    The poor got a big piece of roaches and rats
    Can you get to that
    Tell me where it's at.
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