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Maggot Brain

Funkadelic

1971

Maggot Brain
Album Summary

Maggot Brain is the third studio album by the American funk rock band Funkadelic, released by Westbound Records in July 1971. It was produced by band leader George Clinton and recorded at United Sound Systems in Detroit during late 1970 and early 1971. It was the final album recorded by the original Funkadelic lineup; after its release, original members Tawl Ross (guitar), Billy Nelson (bass), and Tiki Fulwood (drums) left the band for various reasons.The album charted in the R&B Top 20. Today, it is perhaps best known for its 10-minute title track, performed by guitarist Eddie Hazel. Pitchfork named it the 17th best album of the 1970s. In 2020, Rolling Stone ranked Maggot Brain the 136th greatest album of all time in its updated list.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.6

Votes

11608
Genres
Funk
Rock
Psychedelic Rock
Soul

Reviews

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Tue Oct 13 2020
5

Oh, Funkadelic. This is exactly what I wanted to listen to on a Monday morning. This album is absolutely genre-defining. It's almost like George Clinton and his boys were looking at their contemporaries and saying, "Sure you can rock. Sure you got soul. Sure, you're funky? But how far are you willing to go?" And the answer was: not as far as Funkadelic. This albums pushes the boundaries of what was rock/funk/soul/psychadelic music at the time. The opening guitar riff of the album on the title track "Maggot Brain" is a face-melting. 9-minute shred worthy of Hendrix. The guitar tones on this whole album are phenominal. They range from sharply atmosheric to heart-poundinly organic. The tracks are a bit all over the place and thee album lacks cohesion but, even so, manages to work as a whole unit of expression. Much of that is due to George Clinton's peculiar lyrical contribution which, in keeping with the psycadelic/funk ethos, are sparse but pointed most of the time, highlighting culture, race, drug-addled nihilism, and sheer, pleasure-seeking, self-serving abandon.

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Tue Jul 20 2021
5

This is my second PFunk album in less than a week and man-oh-man. The title track alone merits its five stars, I mean, who sends a guitarist into a session and tells them to play like their mother just died? Very deep funk album that doesn't show the funky side that they will become, but this is my style.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
5

Perfect for those of us who enjoy hallucinogenic journeys and pussy.

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Tue Jul 20 2021
5

Guitar goes whéeeeerreeaaaarrrgh

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Thu Feb 11 2021
3

When it comes to the two-sided coin that is Parliament-Funkadelic, it appears that my preference falls heavily on the Parliament side. This was a 7 track rock album (don't let the band name fool you) clocking in at around 37 minutes of runtime. The album is bookended by two 10-minute songs, the first being one long guitar solo with minimal instrumental backing, and the last being mostly an instrumental, frenetic jam filled with tons of off-putting sound effects, including cows mooing and loud, juicy farts. Seriously. That leaves 5 tracks spanning a mere 17 minutes as the meat of the album. One of those songs has a strange metallic instrument warbling the entire song, which kind of ruins it. The remaining 4 songs were good and groovy, but this is easily the most bipolar album I've listened to so far. How do you rate an album made of only 1 star and 4 star songs? My personal enjoyment: 3/5 Did it belong on this list: 5/5

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Wow! I'm blown away. This album was released a month before I was, and it kicks some serious ass. It's unmistakenly a funk album but it rocks out way more than most rock and metal albums ever did. I knew nothing of this album, had heard none of it, and now I'm a bit in love. Fantastic stuff, and that title track... oh my.

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Sat May 27 2023
5

10 Albums You Actually Need To Hear Before You Die Chapter 3: Who says a funk band can’t play rock? - Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain” I’ve just sat down after dropping the needle on my original, 1971 pressing of Maggot Brain. My stereo system is configured to employ Brian Eno’s 3 channel “ambient speaker system” as diagramed on the back cover of Ambient 4: On Land. Without going into too much technical detail (you can find the diagram online), you wire a third speaker to the positive connections of your left and right speaker outputs, creating a speaker that primarily plays the music that’s panned to the far right and left sides of the stereo field of your records. You place that speaker behind you, forming a triangle with your left and right speakers in front of you and, voila!, “ambient speaker system”. Or, maybe more accurately, “poor man’s surround sound.” Whatever term you want to assign it, the effect is impressive. Eddie Hazel’s guitar on the title track is enveloping, swirling around in front and behind me. His guitar sounds as though it was dipped in lysergic acid before he picked it up to play, much like the man’s brain was when he recorded this solo…or so the legend goes. If Maggot Brain was the only track on this release, that alone would be justification for a five star review. It is truly one of the greatest guitar solos ever committed to tape and, as a whole, this record cements Hazel’s legacy as one of the greatest to ever pick up the instrument. When most people think of Funkadelic, they think of Parliament-Funkadelic, they think of Mothership Connection or We Want The Funk or Flash Light and the massive success George Clinton and company had in the late 70’s. I know I did before hearing this record 20+ years ago, but don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love those records and that era of P-Funk, too. What the average music consumer doesn’t know is that Funkadelic is one the greatest rock bands to ever grace a stage: A blistering, heavy psychedelic rock band. As if that wasn’t enough, they also happen to be one the funkiest bands to ever exist on planet Earth. Now that you’ve heard this record, you’re part of the club…Feels good, doesn’t it? Go and explore the Funkadelic catalog: Standing On the Verge of Getting It On, Cosmic Slop, Hardcore Jollies, Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow, Let’s Take it to the Stage, One Nation Under a Groove…this band is so damn good. After hearing a few albums, you’ll undoubtedly slap yourself in the forehead and ask “Why hasn’t anyone told me how fucking great Funkadelic are? Why don’t more people talk about this? Where have these records been all my life? What else have I been missing out on?” This record is a life changer without a doubt, so before I go, there’s just one thing I wanna know… Can you get to that?

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Tue Apr 06 2021
2

Honestly kind of a let down. It was ok, but not great and based on the name I expected it to groove more. The lower rating reflects my failed expectations for this album

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Wed May 05 2021
5

Now we're talking! MOTHER EARTH IS PREGNANT FOR THE THIRD TIME AND YALL DONE KNOCKED HER UP! I call this Progressive Funk and it kicks ass. This is a 9/10 album and it is so close to a full 10. Maggot Brain (the song) is a masterpiece that never gets old and the next few songs are super radio friendly. I love the bass singer in "can you get to that" - he just makes it. Where the album falls flat is back in our minds (short, forgettable filler) and Wars of Armageddon. I love wierd shit, but this song is just grating. Fart sounds, yelling, cuckoo clocks... would it have been so hard to reprise maggot brain as a closer? That would have kept it classy. So close to greatness - I end this album at Super Stupid. The bonus tracks are great, though i don't count them in this review.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

The magic that is the year 1971. I wonder if it's a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point--I just expect 1971 albums to be amazing so I make them so in my mind? Nope. Can't be that. I was slain from the opening track, with that psychedelic, apocalyptic guitar. I've rarely heard anything so soothing and hypnotic. Eddie Hazel, where did you learn to play like that? The rest of the album is pretty great, the other high point being "Super Stupid", but nothing compares to the epic opening track. It's like it opened a door to another realm. Dude's playing his guitar as if his mother had just died, just as instructed.

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Sat Feb 06 2021
4

I love this album. Perfect funk. Wars of Armageddon was a weird one. Experimental but I appreciate it. Fart noises haha power to the pussy

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Sun Jan 31 2021
2

Ok as background music, nothing mindblowing.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
2

Assume this is gonna be funk & soul? Hopefully, could be good. Wow ok not wheat I was expecting. First track is mad electric guitar skillzzzz a la Clapton, second track is a like a mad country-ish soul vibe. Overall is very electric guitar heavy, kinda Hendrix-esque. It's all good, prob a 2.5, never massively been my kinda genre. Maybe 2 cos just not that arsed about it.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

I literally listen to this album at least once a week

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Thu Jun 24 2021
5

Sabbath followed by this album is by far the best back-to-back yet. Another absolute classic. "Maggot Brain" is probably my favorite guitar solo of all time. So damn good.

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Wed May 05 2021
5

Yo! this was a great fucking album! I've never heard of this band, but while this is a late review, thoroughly enjoyed this album! I mean, man, just the first track alone, though long, was fucking insanely amazing with it's guitar, that it set a high bar, but the album delivered. I snap bought this album, and will suggest this to anyone that needs something to listen to.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

Loved it. Thought the long jams were fun to get lost in and the shorter tunes equally great! Officially converted to not being happy with the rating system as it's way to restrictive. Another album I wish I could give 4.5 to...but I can't. Seeing as I went up last time, I'll do the same here.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

The guitarist is so clearly inspired by Hendrix, Super Stupid is essentially him doing an impression of Jimi. Not as accomplished as Jimi on the guitar, but who is? I really liked this album. It was way more interesting and varied than I'd anticipated, so much so I feel I need a second listen to get my head around it properly. The self indulgent moments go both ways for me (guess that'll be the drugs). Sometimes it meanders into weirdness eg Wars of Armageddon, but some of the improv is great eg title track. No doubt these guys are legendary and influential and have been sampled by almost everyone in hip hop. But it's also a sick album. 9/10

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

Holy Schneikies, that is some truly mind-melting guitar work!! I had been introduced to the guitar solo on the title track by a brilliant guitar teacher, and it still sends me on a journey every time I hear it. The whole album is a beautiful, jarring, dark journey into the abyss and somehow lets us escape. Barely. What a masterpiece.

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Mon Nov 29 2021
5

This album is dripping with vibe. They slap, the bang. There’s funk, there’s hendrix, there’s jamming, theirs weird trancelike whiny guitar. Every song moves me on a particular way which is what a 5 needs to do. I worry the mysterious heroin addict Jesus like guitar player has taken over the story of this album. I get what the Armageddon song is doing with all the sound effects, but it’s a little annoying, just okay the jam, the farts brought be back. Here’s to farts and heroin Jesus. 5.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

A year after Hendrix's death, this album brims with his influence. A combination of funk, acid rock, experimental music, and psychedelia, Maggot Brain is both accessible and transgressive in a way that only George Clinton can be. The musicianship on this album is unimpeachable.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
5

Awesome, and really surprised me how awesome. Hints of influence on or by an eclectic range of artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Radiohead, Lenny Kravitz, Slash, Avalanches, Royal Blood, Jamie T, and many more. I absolutely loved it, with my favourites being ... actually, all 7 tracks on the original album! An extra star for being so unexpectedly wonderful makes it my first 6 🌟 album!

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

This'd be a five star album for the title track alone, but the rest of the album slaps for sure. "Can You Get To That" is so strong Sleigh Bells can slap a vocal track over the top of a sample from it and produce a banger. "Hit It and Quit It" is just funk brilliance. And "Wars of Armageddon" is a brain melter of a closing track. I can definitely see that the album as a whole might be too weird for some people, but I've long thought the title track is a veritable Voight-Kampff test. If you can listen to the track "Maggot Brain" and not get the feels, then someone in a trench coat needs to come retire you. And I felt like that before finding out the backstory to the track, which only heightens its emotional impact! Fave track - "Maggot Brain", for sure, but "Hit It and Quit It" gets an honourable earwormy mention!

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Tue Feb 08 2022
5

Why I don't have a copy of this on vinyl is a mystery. I compare this album to a short acid trip, you definitely get taken on a journey and it is a delightful, sprawling cacophony of funk and psychedelia. Maggot Brain is another of those albums that I had never heard completely until relatively recently. It was always played at friends houses, winding down after a long night out or tracks from it made it onto mix tapes and compilations. Essential listening if only for that fact that it is pretty genre defying and doesn't easily fit into a neat category. It feels way longer than it's 36 minutes because George Clinton, Eddie Hazel and the gang fit so much music in there. I got to the end, surprised only a short amount of time had passed so I gave it a few more listens just to be sure I hadn't floated into another dimension.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

Everybody is rightfully enamored over the guitar solo on the title track (the best ever post Hendrix), but it must be mentioned how Eddie Hazel absolutely rips it again on Hit It and Quit It and then again on Super Stupid. Just an incredibly talented group of musicians, amazing production and a timeless sound all packaged together perfectly by Dr. Fukenstein, the only physician who could pull off such a creation. More power to the pussy! More pussy to the people!

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Mon Dec 18 2023
5

Great from beginning to end.

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

Well: found out about the website by chance, the link came from heise.de https://www.heise.de/news/Web-Tipps-Aktiven-Tag-ein-Album-9574751.html AND WELL, registered and accessed the 1st album, how can it be that it is exactly this one "Maggot Brain by Funkadelic", heard this since 1978 (at the age of 17). Well, I'm not superstitious and assume it's a coincidence! The next few days will refute or confirm one or two assumptions, or whatever and thank YOU for this amazing offer

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

I have to be honest - funk isn't my thing; I don't know why, it just isn't. That said, Maggot Brain's gritty blues production quality and experimentalism won me over from the start. Listening to it makes me feel the same way that watching Evil Dead 2 makes me feel - just a dirty good time. With Eddie Hazel tearing off lead guitar riffs, it's almost like The Mothers with a message, and I'm actually now wondering if Zappa didn't try to replicate the Funkadelic sound with Napoleon Murphy Brock as Clinton and himself as Hazel. Really great album - a wonderful surprise.

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Fri Dec 15 2023
4

Another day, Another weird album. Maggot Brain was really weird and probably the weirdest album i have looked at so far, especially with that last song (Yes, i know I say this is the weirdest album i have looked at with a lot of these albums but I'm being serious this time) However, It was still a fun listen. It was really funky and had some good usage of all of their instruments. It's a weird but really good album. Best Song: Hit It And Quit It Worst Song: Can You Get To That

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Wed Dec 20 2023
4

Man... I love old school funk. So much soul and pushing so many boundaries. Honestly, I could do without Maggot Brain. It sounded to me like 9 minutes of an introduction. I kept waiting for the song to start, but everything afterward was excellent. Highlight was the mixed meter on Hit It and Quit It. So groovy and good.

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Sun Dec 17 2023
3

16.12.23 Parliaments big brothers band

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Wed Dec 20 2023
3

Cover art is on another level! Thealbum is not as funky only as you would be expect. Some Hendrix's vibes goin on here and there

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Sat Feb 27 2021
2

forgettable funk album. no offensive but won't listen again

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Mon May 10 2021
5

Absolutely fantastic. A perfectly made album, great tracks and rhythms and just ya 10/10. Epitome of funkadelic

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

One of the best I've heard so far.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

hoooooly shit. mind blowing all around.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Forgot about this gem - should set a reminder to listen to it with the winter solstice or some other oft-forgotten day of import.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

This is a masterclass in every possible aspect. Individual songs take masters of their craft and push them to their best. You and your folks, me and my folks features a stunning bass, and wars of armageddon’s drum leaves you gasping for breath. It feels modern and up to date even now. Benchmark for a perfect album. Discounting additional bonus tracks as just that, bonuses (read: still very good tracks).

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Un disco mágico. Funk de verdad, nada de funky

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Sun Jun 20 2021
5

Crazy guitar solo followed by some funky classics. Some songs don't quite stick the landing, but otherwise it's great. 9

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Sat Feb 06 2021
5

Yes please. I can get down with this funk. Loved that guitar intro, made me feel like I was tripping in the desert

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Fri Feb 12 2021
5

Senza regole, pura follia. Maggot Brain devastante.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

DAMN, these songs have some THiCC groove.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
5

Amazing guitar riffs. Great album

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Sat Jul 03 2021
5

Top notch Psychedelic funk, glad I discovered this here!

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Tue May 25 2021
5

A masterpiece of epic proportion.

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Tue May 18 2021
5

That FUNK. And those FART sounda. But no joke that shit was good as fuck. I dunno how many times I played it front to back.

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Tue May 11 2021
5

My understanding is that this is an essential psychedelic funk album - I concur.

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Thu May 27 2021
5

That mind melting opening track is really something magnificent... The whole thing is just awesome. Some real heavy bluesy guitar riffs, mixed in with pure mad cap funk.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
5

Loved it. Absolutely my thing

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

Sooo good! Love this album. Early funk at its finest.

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Sun Aug 22 2021
5

Weird and wild and funky as hell. The title track has some of the coolest guitar work I’ve ever heard, and really the guitar shines throughout the whole album. Catchy, funny, funky lyrics add layers to the stellar music.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
5

P-Funk 4 LYFE. I love almost every song on this album

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Mon Sep 06 2021
5

Holy hell this was a great album. Amazing opener with a 9 minute blues/funk guitar solo. Whole album has a strong groove through it, Super Stupid is a highlight. Back in our Minds has some interesting percussion leading it. I think it was up and down, loved some songs, others were just ok. None were bad though. Added a few songs to the playlist, definitely would go back to his album.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

If this album had nothing but the title track it would be legendary. Speaking of which Funkadrlic would seem to be the most unlikely of sources for one of rocks great guitar epics, but there you have it. And the rest of the album while nothing like the title track is still worthy of many many listens. Easily 5 🌟

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

I listened to this in two sittings. On the first sitting I hated the maggot brain solo, but enjoyed the other stuff. But on the second sitting, I loved the alternate mix of maggot brain. Perhaps I just needed some warm up before the solo 😂

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Thu Oct 21 2021
5

Great album by a great band. Funky, groovy, and psychedelic. The opener and title track is an incredible piece of music, setting the tone for the rest of the album. Beforehand, I worried that this and maybe one or two other songs would dominate the record, the rest being mediocre fillers, but I have to say all songs were of top quality. If I would have to point out any issue, I'd say they could have left out some of the silliness; better leave that sort of thing to Zappa.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
5

I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
5

Iconic funk album which slays exactly the way it intends to slay. The incredible raw feeling and emotion in the title track alone does it for me, with some nice grooves afterward to come down to.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

What a delightfully mad bastard George Clinton is. I love this album mainly because I don't understand any of it. And it's actually listenable which can't be said of a lot of Parliament/Funkadelic's output.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

love a bit of maggot brain. its got everything, john squire-esque solos, hendrix like tracks, soul train style soul, sleaze, keyboard led prog style tracks and super low barry white bass singing. this is the funk album that all the others should be compared to.

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

Extremely good, very funky. First time I've ever thought random fart noises were funny. Laugh-out loud bits and hypnotic jams. Great start!

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

I had never heard of this previously, but damn this is cool. Easy 5, no question.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
5

Wow! That was fun! Most of it seemed more like rock than funk, though, which surprised me. A great piece of work regardless.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

Have on vinyl, guitar opener is killer. Great all the way through.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
5

The album with that fantastic solo of Eddy Hazel

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

Loved this. Not listened to it all the way through before but knew a few of the tunes. Found it hard going at first but it takes you on a real journey. A proper album that needs to be experienced from start to finish to make sense.

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

Had Super Stupid on a couple of my playlists but not heard the full album before now. Sounds great for 1971 and holds up today. Definitely a rock album with funk influences rather than a full on blend.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

Unique amazing energy. A ton of fun and great vibes. Go read about the intro guitar solo.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Harder than some of the “hard” artists of the day. And huge inspiration for albums even today.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

Brilliant. It was new to me and I loved it.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
5

Transcendental psychedelic madness in the best way.

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Sat Mar 05 2022
5

oh hell yeah, I was wondering when I would get this album fuckin love Maggot Brain - 10/10 one of my favorite intros to an album, “Or drown in my own shieet” followed by like the coolest 10 minute guitar solo

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