Anthology, an expansive collection of the best, most well-known work from Sly and the Family Stone, is now available in MP3 format from Amazon now for only $5.00 as part of their monthly $5 MP3 Album Deals.
Sly and The Family Stone remains an R&B ensemble who not only bridged together multi-racial unity within their lineup – being one of the first, if not the first, bands to sport black and white members (a practice that bands like War and Santana would also later utilize) – but also attempted to do that same bridging with their audience. The band acted as sort of the link between Motown, which brang classic R&B/pop to Caucasian audiences on an innocent assembly line and what was going on over at Stax Records, which was decidedly more African-American its approach and its output. Sly and the Family Stone changed their flavors and their styles often. They kept it light, they kept it heavy, they kept it relevant and irrelevant. They played it high, they played it low, they played it political, apolitical, and ultimately, they became a party band and a radical one as well.
They were led by the eccentric genius Sly Stone, who was the nerve center of the band and had a knack for songwriting in the kind of manner that befit his contemporaries like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, but also did it outside of his own boxes, creating a body of work that is still considered to be some of the best R&B/Funk/Rock/Pop music ever recorded. With a hot brass section comprised of men and women, bridged tight, cool loose rhythm sections, and the funky, snaky keyboards and vocals from mainly Sly, the catalog of their work speaks for itself. Anthology pretty much corrals most of the classics: “Hot Fun in the Summertime”; the proud admissions of “Everyday People”; the funk urgency of “I Want To Take You Higher”; the look inside yourself to lift yourself “Stand”; the communal “Everybody is a Star” and the slightly stoned sonic soakers like “Family Affair” and “If You Want Me To Stay” among plenty others, keep the groove pumping, the mind thinking, the feet tappin’ and the energy happenin’.
Like no other band before or since, except maybe for Earth, Wind and Fire (who sort of picked up the mantle of Sly’s power and messages when the band started to cool down in the mid 1970s), Sly and the Family Stone is one part groovy, two parts funky and thought-provoking, and every part fucking memorable.
Browse all 100 albums on sale this month for only $5 each.
1. Dance To The Music
5. Sing A Simple Song
6. Everyday People
8. I Want To Take You Higher
9. Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey
10. You Can Make It If You Try
11. Hot Fun In The Summertime
12. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
13. Everybody Is A Star
14. Family Affair
15. Runnin’ Away
16. (You Caught Me) Smilin’
17. Thank You For Talkin’ To Me Africa
18. Babies Makin’ Babies
19. If You Want Me To Stay
20. Que Sera, Sera
Note – when you purchase MP3s through Amazon, it stores your purchases to Amazon’s Cloud Drive; from there you can stream the music right from their online player. Also, if you have a Kindle Fire, your MP3 purchases will automatically be available for you to stream on your device. All your purchases are backed up and available for you to download at any time. You can download the files to your computer to load to an MP3 device and to your iTunes account if you have one. If you’d like to gift these MP3 purchases, you can – just click the “Give album or song as gift” button on the right on the product page. From there you enter the recipient’s email address and then select either specific songs to gift or the entire album.
Actually – they are one of the first. I believe Booker T and the MGs have them beaten in that respect.
Comment by Eric Fisher — March 1, 2013 @ 5:36 pm