Maggot Brain

funkadelic

Maggot Brain‘ is a song by the band Funkadelic. It appears as the lead track on their 1971 album of the same name. The original recording of the song, over ten minutes long, features little more than a spoken introduction and a much-praised extended guitar solo by Eddie Hazel. Reportedly, ‘Maggot Brain’ was Hazel’s nickname. Other sources say the title is a reference to band leader George Clinton finding his brother’s ‘decomposed dead body, skull cracked, in a Chicago apartment.

According to legend, George Clinton, under the influence of LSD, told Eddie Hazel during the recording session to imagine he had been told his mother was dead, but then learned that it was not true. The result was the 10-minute guitar solo for which Hazel is most fondly remembered by many music critics and fans. Though several other musicians began the track playing, Clinton soon realized the power of Hazel’s solo and faded them out so that the focus would be on Hazel’s guitar. The entire track was recorded in one take. The solo is mostly played in a pentatonic minor scale in the key of E over another guitar track of a simple arpeggio. Hazel’s solo was played through a fuzzbox (distortion pedal) and a Crybaby Wah wah pedal; some sections of the song utilize a delay effect.

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