Essential Sly & the Family Stone [Epic/Legacy]

Essential Sly & the Family Stone [Epic/Legacy]

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by Sly & The Family Stone
     
 

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Multiracial, coed, and serving up a fusion of rock, soul, and psychedelia, Sly & the Family Stone represented the utopian inclusiveness offered up by the counterculture in the late '60s -- and the dark disillusion that was to follow. Both sides are captured on this two-CD collection, tracing Sylvester Stewart's collective through the journey from flower-power funk to…  See more details below

Overview

Multiracial, coed, and serving up a fusion of rock, soul, and psychedelia, Sly & the Family Stone represented the utopian inclusiveness offered up by the counterculture in the late '60s -- and the dark disillusion that was to follow. Both sides are captured on this two-CD collection, tracing Sylvester Stewart's collective through the journey from flower-power funk to deeper-hued, more militant, socially conscious fare. Kicking off with deep album cuts "Underdog" and "I Cannot Make It," this Essential wisely incorporates less-familiar flashes of genius among the anthems. Powered by Larry Graham's chugging bass lines and Rose Stone's brassy horns, classics like "Stand!," "Dance to the Music," and "Everyday People" may have made for ultimate party music, but Sly Stone found ways to work in messages about racism ("Don't Call Me N***er, Whitey") and self-empowerment ("You Can Make It if You Try"). By the early '70s, following the seminal There's a Riot Going On, Stewart's drug problems brought a darker tone to the music and resulted in the classic "Family Affair," plus nods to Black Power ("Thank You for Talkin' to Me Africa") and various societal ills ("Babies Makin' Babies"). Not long after, the increasingly erratic Sly resisted all attempts to resuscitate his career and spiraled into paranoia and poverty. Along with James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone introduced pop fans to the world of hard funk and in the process influenced pop-rock royalty such as Prince and Lenny Kravitz, along with punk-funk rockers such as Living Colour, the Red Hot Chili Peppers -- who covered "If You Want Me To Stay" -- and Fishbone. The reasons for Sly's musical longevity, if not his maddening inability to keep the creative fires burning, are all right here.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
The Essential Sly & the Family Stone does what a double-CD best-of/career overview should do: it packs a lot of career highlights into a two-disc set for listeners who want more than the basic greatest hits, but don't want every last album. Of course, all of those greatest hits are here, including a few from 1970 that didn't make it onto album releases at the time. As you'd expect, the fattest slice comes from Sly & the Family Stone's late-'60s/early-'70s peak: in fact, most of the tracks from the Stand! and There's a Riot Goin' On albums are here. The fun extras come in the not-too-well-known tracks from pre-Stand! albums and Fresh (which is actually amply represented, with six cuts). This doesn't quite deserve the highest rating, as the post-There's a Riot Goin' On material doesn't keep up the momentum of the rest of the set. Small Talk and Sly Stone's 1975 solo effort, High on You, are wisely lightly plucked, though at least the hits from those albums are the three cuts selected. This deserves better annotation than the cursory liner notes, but otherwise it's an excellent summary of a major rock and soul band.
Rolling Stone - Gavin Edwards
[A] masterly collection.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/11/2003
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998686724
catalogNumber:
86867

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Underdog
  2. I Cannot Make It
  3. Dance to the Music
  4. Are You Ready?
  5. Fun
  6. M'Lady
  7. Life
  8. Love City
  9. Stand!
  10. Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey
  11. I Want to Take You Higher
  12. Somebody's Watching You
  13. Sing a Simple Song
  14. Everyday People
  15. You Can Make It If You Try
  16. Hot Fun in the Summertime
  17. Everybody Is a Star
  18. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Disc 2

  1. Family Affair
  2. Luv N' Haight
  3. Poet
  4. (You Caught Me) Smilin'
  5. Runnin' Away
  6. Brave and Strong
  7. Just Like a Baby
  8. Thank You for Talkin' to Me, Africa
  9. In Time
  10. If You Want Me to Stay
  11. Frisky
  12. Skin I'm In
  13. Babies Makin' Babies
  14. If It Were Left Up to Me
  15. Time for Livin'
  16. Loose Booty
  17. I Get High on You

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sly & The Family Stone   Primary Artist
Larry Graham   Bass
Rusty Allen   Bass
Greg Errico   Drums
Jerry Martini   Saxophone
Andy Newmark   Drums
Cynthia Robinson   Trumpet
Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Freddie Stone   Guitar,Vocals
Rose Stone   Keyboards

Technical Credits

George Clinton   Composer
Jerry Goldstein   Executive Producer
Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart   Composer,Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Vic Anesini   Mastering
Fred Lombardi   Sleeve Design
Glenn Stone   Executive Producer
Abe Vélez   Packaging Manager,Package Manager
H. Beane   Composer

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Customer Reviews

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The Essential Sly & The Family Stone [Sony] 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
looks like sony is "FINALLY" doing justice to SLY'S catalog!!! JAMES BROWN CREATED THE FUNK. SLY STONE CREATED THE FUNK BAND. EVERYONE ELSE ARE MERE IMMITATORS. 'NUFF SAID.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that these stars now, should take a look back at some of these old stars and see whats really happening!! The words to these songs have so much meaning to them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is no better voice than SLY STONE, Face it! He is the funkiest, real artist doing it. Also, can you dance? You will now! Only to the cuts here. I spent my life dancing to these & also Sly is so positive. You can make it if you try. Listen, buy & groove forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago