My rules are simple. Write about 7 albums that have meant something to me over the years. An album each day for the next 7 days. I wanted to stay away from the icons like Dylan, The Beatles, Nirvana, and Bruno-era Bruce Willis because that’s too easy. I’m gonna do my best to keep it chronological by album, not my exposure to that album — though that could be an interesting list, too. So, with all that said, my first selection is Funkadelic’s 1971 blues masterpiece, Maggot Brain.
Yeah, I said blues. Just because it’s filtered through lysergic acid diethylamide and Marshall stacks doesn’t make it any less blues. There are times when I think it’s one of the saddest albums ever made. Eddie Hazel’s title track is the sound of the world ending and so brilliant on so many levels. Legend has it that George Clinton told Eddie to play as if he found out his mother just died. Well, that strategy worked. The whole album works. The swampy sex funk, the proto-punk/metal, the doo wop flourishes that sound like mutant gospel, the sonic chaos of “Wars Of Armageddon,” they’re all branches off a sturdy blues trunk. I think Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On and Cosmic Slop sound better, America Eats Its Young is the most ambitious thing they did (prior to touring with a fully-functioning Mothership), but Maggot Brain has the deepest roots. Bonus points for one of the most striking album covers of all-time. Go maggot brain …..
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain – 1971 [Amazon]