Sly and the Family Stone ” Stand!”

Posted 02 May 2011 in 60s, Albums of 1969, Albums of the 60s, Funk, Soul/R+B

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#362 in the Series) is Sly and the Family Stone, Stand!

Unfortunately, Sly Stone has built one legacy. That legacy being, never showing up, or if he does, showing up very late for his gigs. I’ve heard these stories over and over.  Are they deserved, yeah, and they were not the only instances of bizarre behavior in his days.  Let’s not forget the weird exit at the Grammy’s just a few years ago. He left the stage near the end of a medley of some of his best works; strangely leaving “his” band to finish it off without him.

I used the word unfortunately, why?  That’s because for some time, he was one of the best things going.  That’s what his legacy should be.  If we didn’t have Sly and the Family Stone, then we may have never had a Prince for one.  No one combined soul and funk as well as Sly did.

Stand! Was one of his best albums. It was the one that brought him into the public mainstream. His (their?) first three albums hardly charted.  Not that they were not deserving. Dance to the Music and Life contained some real gems. Just give a listen to the two title tracks on those releases.

Stand had four major hits on the disc. They being, the title track plus, “Everyday People,” ” I Wanna Take You Higher” and “Single a Simple Song.” I guess you could even add “You Can Make it if You Try” to the hit list.

Sly Stone was a great songwriter. He also had the smarts to surround him with great players. The main one you have to mention here is bassist Larry Graham. Graham was the founder of the slap, pop bass style. He’s one of the best.

We must not leave this page without mentioning Sly’s stab against racism. His song “Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey.”  This was during a racially charged era for our country, 1969. It took songs  like this to hopefully make people react to their thoughts. Hopefully it changed some.   Lyrics: Don\’t call me nigger, whitey! /Don\’t call me whitey, nigger! / Don\’t call me nigger, whitey! /Don\’t call me whitey, nigger! / Well I went down across the country, and I heard some voices rang. / They was talkin\’ softly to each other / and not a word could change a thing.

‘Everyday People” was their first number one hit. As an album, Stand! peaked at #13.

It was rated #118 on the Rolling Stone Magazine list of the Top 500 Albums of all time.

—  Larry Carta

Track listing

All songs written, produced and arranged by Sly Stone for Stone Flower Productions.

Side one

  1. “Stand!” – 3:08
  2. “Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey” – 5:58
  3. “I Want to Take You Higher” – 5:22
  4. “Somebody’s Watching You” – 3:20
  5. “Sing a Simple Song” – 3:56

Side two

  1. “Everyday People” – 2:21
  2. “Sex Machine” – 13:45
  3. “You Can Make It If You Try” – 3:37

Personnel

  • Sly Stone: vocals, organ, guitar, piano, harmonica, vocoder, and bass guitar on “You Can Make It If You Try.”
  • Freddie Stone: vocals, guitar
  • Larry Graham: vocals, bass guitar (tracks one through seven)
  • Rose Stone: vocals, piano, keyboard
  • Cynthia Robinson: trumpet, vocal ad-libs, background vocals on “I Want to Take You Higher”
  • Jerry Martini: saxophone, background vocals on “I Want to Take You Higher”
  • Greg Errico: drums, background vocals on “I Want to Take You Higher”

Lists

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Posted by Larry Carta


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