BN.com Gift Guide

There's a Riot Goin' On

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's easy to write off There's a Riot Goin' On as one of two things -- Sly Stone's disgusted social commentary or the beginning of his slow descent into addiction. It's both of these things, of course, but pigeonholing it as either winds up dismissing the album as a whole, since it is so bloody hard to categorize. What's certain is that Riot is unlike any of Sly & the Family Stone's other albums, stripped of the effervescence that flowed through even such politically aware records as Stand! This is idealism soured, as hope is slowly replaced by cynicism, joy by skepticism, enthusiasm by weariness, sex by pornography, thrills by narcotics. Joy isn't entirely ...
See more details below
CD
$6.99
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$7.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (5) from $4.95   
  • New (4) from $4.95   
  • Used (1) from $4.99   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's easy to write off There's a Riot Goin' On as one of two things -- Sly Stone's disgusted social commentary or the beginning of his slow descent into addiction. It's both of these things, of course, but pigeonholing it as either winds up dismissing the album as a whole, since it is so bloody hard to categorize. What's certain is that Riot is unlike any of Sly & the Family Stone's other albums, stripped of the effervescence that flowed through even such politically aware records as Stand! This is idealism soured, as hope is slowly replaced by cynicism, joy by skepticism, enthusiasm by weariness, sex by pornography, thrills by narcotics. Joy isn't entirely gone -- it creeps through the cracks every once and awhile and, more disturbing, Sly revels in his stoned decadence. What makes Riot so remarkable is that it's hard not to get drawn in with him, as you're seduced by the narcotic grooves, seductive vocals slurs, leering electric pianos, and crawling guitars. As the themes surface, it's hard not to nod in agreement, but it's a junkie nod, induced by the comforting coma of the music. And damn if this music isn't funk at its deepest and most impenetrable -- this is dense music, nearly impenetrable, but not from its deep grooves, but its utter weariness. Sly's songwriting remains remarkably sharp, but only when he wants to write -- the foreboding opener "Luv N' Haight," the scarily resigned "Family Affair," the cracked cynical blues "Time," and "You Caught Me Smilin'." Ultimately, the music is the message, and while it's dark music, it's not alienating -- it's seductive despair, and that's the scariest thing about it.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/4/2008
  • Label: Epic
  • UPC: 886972695327
  • Catalog Number: 726953
  • Sales rank: 11,227

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sly & The Family Stone Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Jerry Goldstein Executive Producer
Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart Arranger, Composer, Producer
Joel Selvin Liner Notes
Bob Irwin Reissue Producer
Vic Anesini Mastering
Rob Carter Art Direction
Glenn Stone Executive Producer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sly Stone's Moody Masterwork

    In 1969, Sly & The Family Stone were one of the greatest American bands around. They had just released "Stand!", a fantastically uplifting album that embodied all the positive notions about the Woodstock generation and it goes without saying that they also appeared at Woodstock. Within the next two years, Sly Stone was becoming a conflicted recluse, surrounding himself with drugs and dangerous hanger-ons. He was showing up late for concerts; sometimes he never showed up at all. He had only released a couple of singles during this time, "Everybody Is A Star" and "Thank You (For Lettin' Me Byself Again)". People were itching for new material from Sly Stone. What happened next was totally unexpected. The result was "There's A Riot Goin' On", an album that was so directly opposite what "Stand!" was all about that you'd swear these records were made by two different artists. Recording for this album took a much longer time than usual and Sly brought it so many different musicians that the only way to give them credit was to picture them all on a collage on the back cover sleeve. Sly was also relying heavily on rhythm machines instead of drums. Unlike the hopefulness and exuberance of "Stand!", "Riot" was sad, introspective and compelling. It was one of those albums that people either totally loved or totally disliked. There was no middle ground here. In any case, it still managed to go to Number One when released in 1971. Sly's vocals were mostly incomprehensible and he sounded stoned throughout much of the record. But if there can be such a thing as "an electronic blues album", then this is it. Here, Sly just seems to drift away into his own bluesy world with "Time", "Just Like A Baby" and "Spaced Cowboy". "Family Affair", one of the few songs where you can actually understand Sly, became a huge hit, wormy truths and all. Sly even had the audacity to make "Thank You For Talkin' To Me, Africa", a burgeoning, slower version of his previous hit. And despite its title (in which the title track clocks in at 0:00), this is not an album about physical violence. It's more about the violence of the soul and the heart. Listening to this powerful record, one realizes that the Sixties were truly over. Sly & The Family Stone would continue to record but they would never reach the critical and commercial highs like this again. Sly, who filed for bankruptcy in 1978, has become so reclusive and unpredictable that even major appearances at The Grammy Awards and The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame resulted in what would become sudden walk-aways. For the most part, nothing can dim the moody intensity of this album, forty years old this year, and the long post-Woodstock shadow it casts on the listener.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews