Maggot Brain

Maggot Brain
Maggot Brain
Studio album by Funkadelic
Released July 1971
Recorded 1970–1971
Genre Funk, psychedelic rock, funk rock
Length 36:56
Label Westbound
Producer George Clinton
Funkadelic chronology
Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow
Maggot Brain
America Eats Its Young

Maggot Brain is the third studio album by the American funk band Funkadelic, released in 1971 on Westbound Records. The album incorporates musical elements of psychedelia, rock, gospel, and soul music, with significant variation between each track. Pitchfork Media named it the seventeenth best album of the 1970s.[1] In 2003, the album was ranked number 486 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[2]



Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
PopMatters (favorable)[3]
Blender 4/5 stars[4]
Tiny Mix Tapes 4.5/5 stars[5]
Allmusic 5/5 stars[6]
Spin (10/10)[7]
Pitchfork Media (9.4/10)[8]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars 2004[9]
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[10]
Robert Christgau (B+)[11]
Rolling Stone (mixed) 1971[12]
Wiki letter w.svg This table needs to be expanded using prose. See the guideline for more information.

Track listing

  1. "Maggot Brain" (George Clinton, Eddie Hazel) – 10:20
  2. "Can You Get to That" (Clinton, Ernie Harris) – 2:50 (released as a single-Westbound 185)
  3. "Hit It And Quit It" (Clinton, Billy Bass Nelson, Garry Shider) – 3:50 (released as a single-Westbound 198)
  4. "You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks" (Clinton, Judie Jones, Bernie Worrell) – 3:36 (released as a single-Westbound 175)
  5. "Super Stupid" (Clinton, Hazel, Nelson, Tawl Ross) – 3:57
  6. "Back in Our Minds" (Fuzzy Haskins) – 2:38
  7. "Wars of Armageddon" (Clinton, Tiki Fulwood, Ross, Worrell) – 9:42
Bonus tracks

2005 Re-release bonus tracks

  1. "Whole Lot of BS" (Clinton, Worrell) - 2:11
  2. "I Miss My Baby" U.S. Music with Funkadelic (Haskins) - 5:02
  3. "Maggot Brain" (alternate mix, recorded in 1971) (Clinton, Hazel) - 9:35


"Maggot Brain"

See main article at Maggot Brain (song)

"Can You Get to That"

This song is a departure from the groove-oriented Funkadelic sound and is more of a traditional lyric-based acoustic rock piece. It begins with a descending acoustic guitar line which is joined by piano, bass and drums which support a cast of singers. It is a rewrite of a song by The Parliaments titled, "What You Been Growin'" and is heavily influenced by gospel music stylistically.

Where the Parliaments version was a break-up song, the singer of the Funkadelic version begins with the line 'I once had a life, or rather, life had me' (a possible reference to The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", which begins with the lines, "I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me?"): rather than a bitter reminiscence about a woman, it becomes an account of the singer's revelation that living on principles of co-operation, sincerity and the principles of karma ('When you base your life on credit and your loving days are done / Checks you sign with love and kisses later come back signed 'Insufficient Funds' ' - interestingly, this line seems to echo part of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech) mark him out from the un-enlightened crowd and exalted his life.

This song has recently been heavily sampled in 2010 song "Rill, Rill" by Sleigh Bells.[13]

"Hit It and Quit It"

The song feature Bernie Worrell's vocals and organ-playing, as well as an extended Eddie Hazel solo at the end.

"You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks"

Some claim that this song is, lyrically and musically, a sequel to "Hit It And Quit It" (the previous song). It is a very class-conscious song, with the singer pleading for unity among the poor because without doing so, equality could not be achieved.

The song's refrain is very similar to an old folk rhyme that was first published in Thomas W. Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes (Wise or Otherwise) (1922):

If you and your folks love me and my folks
Like me and my folks love you and your folks
If there ever was folks
That ever ever was poor.


If you an' yo' folks likes me an' my folks,
Lak me an' my folks likes you an' yo' folks;
You's never seed folks since folks 'as been folks,
Like you an' yo' folks lak me an' my folks.

Negro Folk Rhymes

"Super Stupid"

The title of this song refers to a drug addict who buys the wrong drug accidentally. He is also referred to as having a "maggot brain". The verse of the song uses similar combination of rap singing over drum rhythm plus occasional guitar chords as is heard on "Crosstown Traffic" by Jimi Hendrix.

The supergroup Audioslave has done several live covers of this song, the studio version was released on their 2005 single Be Yourself. The song was also covered by Tackhead on their album Strange Things.

"Back in Our Minds"

This song seems to be about the singer and someone else (possibly different races, former lovers or friends) having reconciled and are now "brothers."

  • Lead Vocals: George Clinton, Tawl Ross
  • Trombone: McKinley Jackson
  • Bongos: Eddie "Bongo" Brown
  • Jaw Harp: James W. Jackson

"Wars of Armageddon"

The music is a bizarre mix of music and special effects-type sounds, and intelligent, though unusual and abstract, lyrics.

This song is socially conscious, as the singer demands immediate freedom from oppression, as well as "power to the people" (and many more demands, many nonsensical, see above).

Whole Lot of BS

This song is a bonus track on the album, originally released as a non-album B-side to the single "Hit It and Quit It".

I Miss My Baby

This song is another bonus track, originally released as the B-side to an early take of "Baby I Owe You Something Good", which was later reworked for the Let's Take It to the Stage LP. The single was credited to U.S. Music with Funkadelic, as Garry Shider's group US was featured on the recording with Funkadelic playing most of the music.

Chart history

Billboard Music Charts (North America) - album

  • 1971 Pop Albums No. 108
  • 1971 Black Albums No. 14
  • 1990 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums No. 92



  1. ^ Staff. Top 100 Albums of the 1970s. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-12-28.
  2. ^ Staff. RS500: 486) Maggot Brain. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-12-28.
  3. ^ Taylor, Yuval. Funk's Death Trip: Maggot Brain. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-12-28.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. Review: Maggot Brain. Blender. Retrieved on 2009-12-28.
  5. ^ Pelican, The. Review: Maggot Brain. Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved on 2009-12-28.
  6. ^ Raggett, Ned. Review: Maggot Brain. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-12-28.
  7. ^ Marks, Craig. "Review: Maggot Brain". Spin: October 10, 1995.
  8. ^ Leone, Dominique. Review: Maggot Brain. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-12-28.
  9. ^ Hoard, Christian. "Review: Maggot Brain". Rolling Stone: 316–317. November 2, 2004.
  10. ^ Med57. Review: Maggot Brain. Sputnikmusic. Retrieved on 2009-12-28.
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Maggot Brain". The Village Voice: 1971.
  12. ^ Aletti, Vince. Review: Maggot Brain. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-12-28.
  13. ^ "[1]"


  • Dean Rudland (2005). Maggot Brain. Westbound Records Inc.. 

External links

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  • maggot — (n.) late 15c., probably an unexplained variant of M.E. maðek, from O.E. maða maggot, grub, from P.Gmc. *mathon (Cf. O.N. maðkr, O.S. matho, M.Du., Du. made, O.H.G. mado, Ger. Made, Goth. maþa maggot ). Figurative use whim, fancy, crotchet is… …   Etymology dictionary

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