Sly & The Family Stone - Greatest Hits (Vinyl)

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Sly and the Family Stone was an American funk/soul band from San Francisco. Formed in 1966, the group's music synthesized a variety of disparate musical genres to help pioneer the emerging “psychedelic soul” sound.
Its core line-up was led by singer-songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, and included Stone's brother and singer/guitarist Freddie Stone, sister and singer/keyboardist Rose Stone, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, drummer Greg Errico, saxophonist Jerry Martini and bassist Larry Graham. It was the first major American rock group to have a racially integrated, male & female lineup.

Greatest Hits is a compilation album first released on 21 Nov, 1970. Comprising five singles and their B-sides along with one additional single and one album track, it includes all of the singles from the albums Dance To The Music (1968), Life (1968) and Stand! (1969), and all of their charting B-sides. (They were really that good!)
The versions on this compilation are not the single mixes in all cases; some songs appear here in their album lengths and mixes. Mixes sometimes have different timings and differences in vocals and or instrumentation. A fantastic place to start if you are familiar with the works of Sly Stone.


Sly & The Family Stone’s most enduring accomplishment was to enhance their relentless and progressive funkiness, then to distill it down into a format that was more commercially friendly, getting back to the music within the funk construct … and for that aspect alone, Sly will be remembered for all time, as no one has been able to accomplish this aspect with the grace and harmonic texture that he brought to life.

Now, I’m not saying that James Brown wasn’t good, indeed he was, yet James was never able to apply the essence of what Sly was hearing in his head, even though the two were traveling down the same path when it came to social integrity, justice, freedom and empowerment for black Americans at the time, along with an abiding love of the sounds. Though with that in mind, Sly managed to bring white America along for the ride as well, as Sly’s songs were not as deeply steeped in black culture, nor did he embrace the racial divide, not that James Brown was a racial purist, but his music was created for and out of the black experience. Sly on the other hand had been working with multi cultural bands for song long that he was deep into the righteousness of both cultures, and then took a step into the counter culture of the times, tripped out on more acid than I’ve ever dared think about, coming back from those lysergic adventures as a new messiah in robes of many colours, with a voice and instrumentation that have been pounding at the walls of the establishment since those hazy days and nights of the 60’s, weaving his music with a funky swagger and textures that were far reaching in all that they encompassed.

The album Dance To The Music (though sadly “Hot Fun In The Summer Time” was not included on the LP) was one of those records the world needed at the time of its release, a record that was able, if for only a moment, to smooth out the frayed nerves of our collective consciousness at the end of that decade, giving us something to dance to, something to dance to in a new way, where we flew our freak-flags for all they were worth with a smile of emancipation on our faces.

It wasn’t until the release of their Greatest Hit’s album at the end of the year in 1970 that the world recognized Sly & The Family Stone were one of the most dynamic bands of all time, delivering a solid album of instant classics that have never been out of reach for me. That being said, it’s odd to think that the band only stuck it out for seven years and seven albums, though splintering around the edges had begun long before the band split, with the original assemblage not lasting that long to begin with … such a shame.

Sly was sincere about what he was bringing to the world and he made no bones about his love of pop music, yet they were not afraid of experimentation and certainly embraced an element of unpretentiousness, with their idealism never sounding corny.

By: Streetmouse.

A1 I Want To Take You Higher
A2 Everybody Is A Star
A3 Stand!
A4 Life
A5 Fun
A6 You Can Make It If You Try
B1 Dance To The Music
B2 Everyday People
B3 Hot Fun In The Summertime
B4 M'Lady
B5 Sing A Simple Song
B6 Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

• Design [Album] – Teresa Alfieri
• Liner Notes – Morgan Ames
• Photography By – Stephen Paley
• Producer – Sly Stone
• Released by – Sony Music Ireland.