October 19th, 2013
I’m still learning. It never ends. I’ve been collecting early CD pressings for some 12 years, but I’m still finding discs I never knew existed. Exhibit A: A West German pressing of Funkadelic Maggot Brain. Mind you, I was aware of the 1971 funk creation; I had just never owned a copy and certainly had never seen a West German CD pressing. When I spotted the plain spine with white lettering on black in a CD store, I figured this could be an early release. Sure enough, the disc states “Made in West Germany”, as do the inserts.
Maggot Brain is a well-known example of shock-value early ’70s funk created by George Clinton (vocals), Eddie Hazel (lead guitar), Bernie Worrell (keyboard), and others. The title track, also the opener, sets the emotion from the get-go, and this 7-track album commands your attention from start to finish. That’s if you can get past the album cover. Seriously, I advise anyone who has the opportunity to buy Maggot Brain to get past the cover and pop in the CD, record, whatever.
The West German CD of Maggot Brain was released on the Westbound Records label, another first for me. The catalog number is CDSEW 002. The only date appearing on the CD and inserts is the original release date for the album of 1971. The CD was pressed by Sonopress, and the following information appears in the mirror band on the disc: “SONOPRESS C-7334 /CDSEW 002 A”. Relative to the fancy early West German Polygram pressings that have captivated the attention of us early CD collectors (and sellers, too), the Maggot Brain CD is stark in appearance — just plain black text with no color coating.
In case there was any doubt as to the faithfulness of this CD in capturing the complete album content (sometimes an issue in the early days of the CD), there is a large, bold statement on the back insert that reads “ORIGINAL ALBUM ON CD”. The back insert shows a London address for Westbound Records. This suggests that the West German CD of Maggot Brain was originally released in the U.K. or possibly all of Europe.
From what I can tell, this CD of Maggot Brain is quite rare. Though I have been at this for a long time and my collection is large, this CD serves as a reminder to keep getting out to the bins. Keep hunting!
Shown below is the cover, back insert, spine label, and West German pressing of Maggot Brain.
The cover for the West German pressing of Funkadelic Maggot Brain (Westbound Records, catalog number CDSEW 002). This is the same cover artwork used for the original 1971 LP.
The back insert for the West German pressing of Funkadelic Maggot Brain (Westbound Records, catalog number CDSEW 002). As noted at the top, the content on this CD matches that of the original album release. A barcode appears in the top right corner, and “Made in West Germany” is printed in the bottom left corner. The only date appearing on this insert is the original album release date of 1971.
The spine label for the West German pressing of Funkadelic Maggot Brain (Westbound Records, catalog number CDSEW 002).
The West German pressing of Funkadelic Maggot Brain (Westbound Records, catalog number CDSEW 002). The disc was pressed by Sonopress and has “Made in West Germany” printed at 3 o’clock. The only date appearing on the CD is the original album release date of 1971. The matrix code is “SONOPRESS C-7334 /CDSEW 002 A”.