Pitchfork has shared its list of what it considers the 200 Best Songs of the 1970s, with Sly & The Family Stone’s “Family Affair,” from the album There’s A Riot Goin’ On, at #55. Pitchfork writes:
Sly composed most of Riot on his own, including “Family Affair,” a stripped-down track with a drum machine and light electric keys. Vocally, Sly opts for a grumbling, conversational cadence that adds a certain intimacy. The result is a song that feels like a personal conversation about life’s ups and downs.
Read more at Pitchfork.
Life is too complex to cover with one song. There’s too much strife, too much anger, too many complex questions and issues. But sometimes some songs fit situations so perfectly.
Sly & The Family Stone have many great songs and albums. … Consider the setting for the early several albums. From 1967 to 1973, you had the rise and fall of flower power, the increasing anger over Vietnam, racial and religious conflicts were skyrocketing, and the political scene was polarizing and chaotic. Does any of that situation sound relevant to today?
Please understand that I’m not suggesting that any song, any music group, any particular album will be the balm to cure any societal ailment. But Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People” is such a great song. And it seems to apply as much now as it did in 1968.
Read more at the St. Cloud Times.
Just in time for Sly’s birthday, Rolling Stone has compiled a list of what it considers to be 20 essential songs by Sly & The Family Stone. Do you agree? Read the full list.
Funkadelic and Boston production duo Soul Clap enjoy a casual Corvette cruise and confront the horrors of unmitigated oil consumption in the surreal live-action/claymation clip for “In Da Kar.”
Recorded during the pair’s 2013 sessions — and featuring a rare appearance from Sly Stone on keys — “In Da Kar” boasts a slick, smooth, understated groove while George Clinton’s voice crackly voice roughens up the edges. It’s an undeniable driving song, and the video fittingly opens with the Soul Clap guys, decked out in flamboyant Seventies-style outfits, pulling up to a gas station in slow motion to refill the tank of their black Corvette.
Read more at Rolling Stone.
Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People” was covered on the inaugural episode of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” by Mavis Staples and the show’s house band. Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, members of Beirut, Buddy Guy, Ben Folds, Aloe Blacc, Derek Trucks, and others were alongside Staples during the cover performance.
Read more and check out the video at Pitchfork.
“Oh my god, it’s Sly!”
That’s what one audience member exclaimed Sunday, Aug. 23 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank when music icon Sly Stone made an ultra-rare appearance on a concert stage, with no less than the Family Stone, which features several original members of Sly & The Family Stone.
Stone popped up on stage to play keyboards on the band’s hit, “If You Want Me to Stay.”
“It was quite a surprise, a pleasant surprise and it was cool,” said Family Stone member Greg Errico after the show. “I couldn’t see people’s faces in the audience but everybody told me there was a lot of crying going on — it was emotional.”
Read more at the Asbury Park Press.
Photo credit: Count Basie Theatre
The White House joined Spotify today, creating daytime and evening playlists featuring some of President Obama’s favorite summer songs. On the daytime playlist — Sly & The Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime.” Enjoy the full “Day” playlist, featuring Sly & The Family Stone, below!
The President’s Summer Playlist: Day
- Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – The Temptations
- Live It Up – Isley Brothers
- Memories Live – Talib Kweli & Hi Tek
- Tombstone Blues – Bob Dylan
- So Much Trouble in the World – Bob Marley
- Paradise – Coldplay
- Tengo Un Trato (Remix) – Mala Rodriguez
- Wang Dang Doodle – Howlin Wolf
- Another Star – Stevie Wonder
- Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly & the Family Stone
- Boozophilia – Low Cut Connie
- Wherever Is Your Heart – Brandi Carlile
- Good Day – Nappy Roots
- Green Light – John Legend
- Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones
- Rock Steady – Aretha Franklin
- Down Down the Deep River – Okkervil River
- Pusher Love Girl – Justin Timberlake
- Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
- La Salsa La Traigo Yo – Sonora Carruseles
The Sly and the Family Stone: Live at the Fillmore East — October 4th & 5th, 1968 box set has been receiving great reviews in the press since its release last month.
“One doozy of a box… pure groove… vintage audiophiles will just about bow down before the quality of these tapes.” – The Boston Globe
“A portrait of a large funk and soul band on fire.” – Los Angeles Times
“A long belated affirmation of the Family Stone’s ceremonious soul charge.” – Lexington Herald Leader
“The first thing you hear is pure energy: the nuclear reaction of musical power that Sly and his Family Stone generated onstage.” – Stereophile
“These discs are a showcase of [Sly’s] genius.” – The Root
Back in 1967, when funky trumpeter Cynthia Robinson joined forces with musical visionary Sly Stone, most “girls” in band units wore pretty dresses and harmonized in the background. “I never thought for one second I’d be able to play with a real band,” Robinson recalls via telephone from her home in the Bay Area. “When I was in high school, I went through a lot of bad treatment and was called a lot of names by boys, because I wanted to play. Sly was different.”
Forty-seven later, Cynthia Robinson, who still tours the world playing with the Family Stone, remembers her back in the day life on the road with the musicians she calls, the greatest band in the world.”
Read more at Ebony.
Enter for a chance to win a Sly & The Family Stone – Live At The Fillmore East October 4th & 5th 1968 CD, black vinyl and poster, plus 7 studio albums!
In the fall of 1968, Sly and the Family Stone was a confident band worried about its future. Pressured by Epic Records earlier that year to record “Dance to the Music,” a commercial second album, the band pushed back in September with “Life,” which was truer to its freewheeling roots.
To promote the album, Sly and the Family Stone were booked into New York’s Fillmore East on Oct. 4-5. … The band was eager to show Epic that its feel-good, jam-session treatments of gospel-tinged funk-rock originals could whip up any audience. Judging by Sly & The Family Stone – Live At The Fillmore East October 4th & 5th 1968 (Sony Legacy), a four-CD set due July 17, they succeeded.
Read more at The Wall Street Journal.