Wednesday, 4 June 2014

REWIND: Funkadelic - 'Maggot Brain'

Funkadelic was originally formed by the legendary George Clinton in 1964, as the unnamed backing band for his doo-wop group The Parliaments. The outfit originally consisted of musicians Frankie Boyce, Richard Boyce, and Langston Booth plus the five members of the Parliaments on vocals. After Boyce, Boyce, and Booth enlisted in the Army in 1966, Clinton recruited bassist Billy Bass Nelson and guitarist Eddie Hazel in 1967, as well as guitarist Tawl Ross and drummer Tiki Fulwood. The band name Funkadelic was coined by Nelson after a dispute with Revilot, the record company that owned the name "The Parliaments". However, in 1970 Clinton decided to relaunch his former doo-wop group as Parliament, a more vocal-based sister act to Funkadelic.

Often regarded as one of the greatest guitar performances of all time, the 11 minute, 
despair-epitomising title track from 1971's 'Maggot Brain' was apparently given its name after George Clinton discovered his brother's "decomposed dead body, skull cracked, in a Chicago apartment." Legend has it that, under the influence of LSD, Clinton told guitarist Eddie Hazel during the recording session to imagine he had been told his mother was dead. Although several other musicians began the track playing, Clinton soon realized how powerful Hazel's solo was and faded them out so that the focus would be on the guitar...

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