For the ten minutes and eighteen seconds that constitute this track, Eddie Hazel attacks, commands, and distorts one's emotions in a way only few artists can claim to do. Throughout the rest of his recording career, going through his solo album Games, Dames, & Guitar Things (which I recommend if you can get a copy from Rhino), he would contribute uniformly excellent guitar leads, alternately dazzling in their technical ability and emotionally taxing, yet in the end it all comes down to "Maggot Brain." Few artists have been so defined by one book, or one painting, or one movie, let alone one ten-minute electric guitar solo. It is his ultimate triumph and, considering his later output, his tragedy.
While Hazel is still defined mostly as the instrumental powerhouse behind "Maggot Brain" (and to a lesser extent, as a primary songwriter in the early days of Parliament and Funkadelic), this has unfortunately led fans of Hazel, including myself, to ignore his many other accomplishments as a guitarist and recording artist. Hazel is a clear factor on Funkadelic's first three albums Funkadelic, Free Your Mind... and Maggot Brain, and along with his solo work and collaborations with other artists in the P-Funk aegis, he has recorded a body of work that is at least as large as, say, Hendrix's. With this in mind, I wanted to provide any curious Hazel fans with a list of what to check out next, after "Maggot Brain." Here are five of my choices.
Eddie Hazel, "Lampoc Boogie," Jams From the Heart EP
Axiom Funk, "Pray My Soul," Funkcronomicon
Funkadelic, "Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts," Standing On the Verge of Getting It On
Funkadelic, "Miss Lucifer's Love," America Eats Its Young
Parliament, "I Call My Baby Pussycat," Osmium