Song of the Day – 29/06/12

Funkadelic – Maggot Brain

The story goes like this. George Clinton, tripping off his tits on LSD (as he was prone to do), gave guitarist Eddie Hazel the instruction to play as if he had just discovered his own mother had died but then found out it wasn’t true. The idea being that the first half of the song conveys sorrow and anger and regret and whatever other emotions one wishes to associate with the death of a loved one; while the second half is designed to wash over the listener like palpable relief. 

“Maggot Brain” was intended to be recorded with a full band but when Clinton got back to the studio and heard Hazel’s guitar take, he didn’t want much else going on in the song that would take attention away from Hazel’s performance, such was its power. So what’s left is the simple arpeggio that runs throughout the track and every so often, the ghosts of a drumtrack that once played – besides that, the whole song is just Eddie Hazel’s guitar heroics.

Bob Russell

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