Eddie Hazel - Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs

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 worshipers 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 protege 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.)
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