Hazel, Eddie - Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs [Electric Blue Vinyl] - New LP
"If your circle of friends includes any guitar players, take this little test. Ask them if they are familiar with Eddie Hazel's Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs. Chances are their eyes will widen, followed by an exclamation something like 'I thought I was the only one who knew about that record!' Indeed, knowledge of this relatively obscure album is something of a secret handshake among axe men, because the guitar work on it is flat-out incredible. But then, you had to be a bad mutha to be in a band with George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell and the rest of the Parliament/Funkadelic mothership, and that's where a 17 year-old Eddie Hazel found himself in 1967, as the new guitar player in the Parliaments. Over the next ten years, Hazel would become an instrumental mainstay in PFunk, most notably on Fender Strat showcases like 'Maggot Brain' and 'Dollar Bill,' which he co-wrote. By the time he recorded this album in 1977, however, Hazel was out of the band, beset by personal problems that led to his premature demise in 1992 and which also explain at least in part why this album never reached commercial lift-off. All of the aforementioned PFunk notables are here, along with the Brides of Funkenstein on vocals, but this is Eddie's show, as he lets loose with one coruscating, psychedelic funk lead after another over a mixture of George Clinton-penned originals and covers of 'California Dreamin'' and 'I Want You (She's So Heavy).' And now you can get Game in an electric blue vinyl edition!"
Side Two, with the Beatles' cover and "What is It?" where the Hendrix influence felt throughout this is fused with funk, the cut really helping reinforce something already exhibited in the previous decade, a young man (he might have started with Clinton 10 years earlier, but he was still only 27) who clearly learned plenty from Hendrix, but also a musician who had his own guitar thang going. This album allowed him to show more of himself and seems an extension of this early work with Funkadelic. -- winch
"The album starts with the most soulful version of 'California Dreamin'' you've ever heard. Hazel totally makes the song his own by slowing it down and adding an even more pronounced sense of longing; then there are the wicked molten guitar leads that are alone worth the price of admission. 'Frantic Moment' and 'So Goes the Story' are little more than jams with some Brides of Funkenstein vocals added (and of course, great guitar), but the epic cover of the Beatles' 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' is just fantastic. 'Physical Love' and 'What About It?' are solid instrumentals that just let Hazel strut his stuff (Physical Love' also gives some spotlight to Bernie Worrell) before the reprise of 'California Dreamin'' closes the set. Again, what this album lacks in substance it makes up for in performance, and there just isn't enough material that really features Hazel's guitar playing up-front like this. Eddie Hazel was an undeniable guitar genius, but his troubled lifestyle led to a dearth of material that really showed his strengths. Thankfully, this lost classic is available again, putting some spotlight back on a pioneering and under-recognized guitar great."
1. California Dreamin’
2. Frantic Moment
3. So Goes the Story
1. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
2. Physical Love
3. What About It?
4. California Dreamin’ (Reprise)