"All Parliament/Funkadelic fanatics (and plenty of general funk and rock fans) should be sufficiently worshipful of Eddie Hazel to desperately crave this disc. Eddie's jaw-dropping magnum opus, Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain," ensured his status as one of the most stupendous guitarists in music history. He was also the key creative force behind Funkadelic's heaviest albums, *Maggot Brain* and *Standing on the Verge of Getting It On*. Sadly, addiction and the long arm of the law made Eddie's output tragically limited. Thanks to this Rhino release, Eddie's army of worshippers can now finally obtain most of his revelatory solo work.
The first seven tracks here represent Eddie's only official solo album, from 1977, and a reproduction of the reassuringly funkdafied album artwork is included (the outfit Eddie wore to the photo shoot was a little embarrassing, you gotta admit). This album was a rather curious affair. Just a few years after his greatest creative achievements, Eddie was overshadowed as a songwriter on his own album by the P. Funk bigwigs. The musical tracks feel like leftovers from the Parliament albums of the 1975-77 period, with Eddie simply adding continuous guitar solos, sometimes awkwardly, on top of existing funk jams. One exception is "What About It" in which Eddie has a sly guitar duel with his protégé Mike Hampton, who had pretty much replaced him as P. Funk's resident axe god.
The final four tracks here are add-ons from a 1975 jam session, but they are much more interesting and give a better indication of Eddie's true unkut guitar genius. The two standouts, both more than ten minutes long, are the steamrolling funk rock jam "Lompoc Boogie" and the darkly moody ballad "From the Bottom of My Soul." These tracks are worthy of joining "Maggot Brain" in Eddie's pantheon of guitar godhood. (Note that the four jam tracks make up the now irrelevant EP *Jams From the Heart* and also appear on the compilation *Rest in P* in alternate versions with different titles. This new Rhino package plus *Rest in P* now comprise all of Eddie's known solo recordings.) [~doomsdayer520~]"
Guitar monster's only solo record.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 04/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Eddie Hazel's only solo album has been out of print for too long, and is briefly available direct from Rhino's Handmade line (or was when I wrote this-- www.rhinohandmade.com). Hazel is of course the legendary guitarist from the first few Funkadelic albums, and is one of the most overlooked guitarists out there. The album really is a feature for Hazel's guitar plyaing, and many Funkadelic members show up to help out with this one (including Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins and Tiki Fulwood, with both Collins and George Clinton contributing songs). Appended to the end of this release is a jam session from 1975 with Buddy Miles on drums originally released as "Jams from the Heart".
If you're familiar with Hazel (and with "Maggotbrain"), then you know what to expect-- his playing is fiery, powerful, and inventive. Musically, the record moves through the sort of funk modes similar to what Funkadelic did, although all the songs here are quite loose to allow a heavy emphasis on guitar soloing--Hazel soaks in different tones, always with his wah-wah close to his heart. There's not much in the way of vocals on this one, but they're not really important. Check out the monster playing from Hazel throughout certainly, but especially on "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"-- words can't describe.
Odds are, if you know to look for this, you know what you're getting yourself into-- if you don't and you're a fan of P-Funk or you just love great guitar playing, this is a fantastic album. Definitely worth checking out, its just a shame it hasn't gotten wider distribution."
THE classic funk rock guitar album
D. Rapport | seattle, wa United States | 03/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So....interested in Eddie Hazel? Well this is his hard-to-find, out-of-print classic: Game, Dames, and Guitar Thangs. I was lucky enough to find a used, marginal condition vinyl copy a couple of years ago for $40. Then Rhino Handmade came out with a limited edition CD verison (5,000 copies total) and I bought one on the spot for about $25. Now the record or CD currently can go for over $100 on ebay so if you ever find this gem for less...PURCHASE IT IMMEDIATELY!!!! This album is a true gem and features some of the best post-Hendrix guitar work you'll ever hear, along with some great ensemble playing courtesy of Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, and the Brides of Funkenstein. Really a wonderful, quirky, and joyous album and a must-have for a Funkadelic fan or any fan of psychedielic, funk rock guitar. Why this album has never seen the light of day is a complete mystery and a travesty. Truely the best "solo" funkadelic project and outbests many of the funkadelic albums themselves."
A must have!!!!
Jmip | NYC, USA | 12/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this LP back in 1979 for 99 cents! yes, 99 cents! needless to say, it's one of the best purchases of my LIFE!!!!! I have long been a parliment/funkadelic fan, and when i found out that Eddie Hazel (one of my guitar heroes) had a solo LP, I RAN to purchase it! Something I have never regretted! Hazel is in total control as he performs masterfully! If you are a maggot brain fan, you'll find something here, if you are a super stupid fan, you'll find something here, if you are a red hot mama or other jammin' hazel tunes, you'll find something here. Eddie Hazel is easily one of the finest guitar players that ever played the instrument, yet he is another great unknown! Well here he takes the PFunk line up and just JAMS! California Dreamin' is the funkiest most soulful versions of the song EVER done!( I am not afraid to make that statement) Frantic moment is a treat for the ear. If you remember Bootsy's rubberband and their first release "stretchin out in a rubberband" then you know "physical love." well this time Hazel allows his guitar to carry the tune and WELL!!
Overall, this a masterpiece by a guitar player that left us too quickly! Personally, i'd purchase the LP/CD just for the version of California Dreamin', but there is SO much here! Check it out! IF you are a funkadelic/parliment fan, or if you just like something funky, soulful and guitarladen you'll like to have this in you collection!"