An essential collection but don't forget Sly at Woodstock
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 11/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What I remember is watching Sly and the Family Stone perform, not only the fantastic set they played at Woodstock but also on, of all things, "The Dick Cavett Show." Consequently, there is an interesting tradeoff here. Technically "I Want to Take You Higher" and "Dance to the Music" sound clearer and cleaning than they do on the "Woodstock" album, but they just do not capture the fire of the live performance. But that objection is something you can make for anysong on "Anthology." As good as "Stand!", "Everyday People," and "Hot Fun in the Summertime" sound on this hits collection, they sounded better performed live. This is not always the case in the world of music, but it is certainly true about the Family Stone, especially with Sly's wicked sense of humor (e.g., the subtitle of "Thank You," to wit, "(Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" and who else would offer up his own cover of Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera"?). "Anthology" does indeed offer up eight more tracks than the "Greatest Hits" collection, but rather than celebrating the increased in quantity I want to applaud the addition of the one song that most needed to be included in a Sly Stone retrospective, which would be Track #9 (You know they will never let me reprint the title down here in the review). This song was not a hit but it was certainly an important song because I am here to tell you that when that song came out at the end of the Sixties we all looked at the title at the record store, knowing our parents would never let us buy that album once that saw that word. But even without listening to that song it had an impact, because the title alone makes a point. It also reflected a new consciousness that equality could mean name calling in both directions. Race relations was not exactly a new topic to Stone, as he proved on "Everyday People" and "Stand"; it was just that sometimes the rhetoric got obscurred by the funk. So, anyhow, listen to this album and then be sure to go back and check out the Family Stone living large at Woodstock. Then just let the two blend in perfect peace and harmony in your mind."
Why I Get Chagrined With A Lotta Pop Music....
yygsgsdrassil | Crossroads America | 06/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"....I hear those tunes two years after they first came on the scene and they sound as if they were productions of falsely pumped up egos who end up bragging to you that they have supremely suckered you outta your money. AND your valuable time. What chutzpah. That's another reason why I have been currently been into the Public Domain ol' style 78s and unknown roots and blues here lately....but that's another story.I put on this anthology (the 'Essentials' also is kick'ss, but it duddn't have that glammo Richard Avedon photog on its cover) and skip those "Wanna Take You Higher..." years and go directly to "Thank You Falettin'..." (with its often sampled and imitated gut-tar lines) and play those tunes from Sly's Muddy-Waters-Tom (Supa)-Flye-Larry-Graham-Last-Days-Rusty-Allen-Initiation years. Why? They not only are supremely funky, each tune is pretty unique. Runnin' Away (rumored to have Miles Davis on horn) sounds very different from Babies Makin' Babies and that sounds very different from Family Affair. One of my favorite redux is that version of Que Sera, Sera, in which Sly goes into a baptist deacon frenzy on the refrains handed to him by Rose in soulful Doris Day mode. That's a masterpiece. And you can still feel what Sly and his gang put into it. Passion. And mebbe a lil narcotics. But, nevertheless their music is never boring or plastic. Even if you're so inclined to begin this CD at track #1...UnLike many of the aforementioned current day pop tune CDs. "Don't let the plastic get(bring)you down...."? How appropriate."
Excellent Anthology of Sly's Peak Period
Ibochild | Los Angeles, CA USA | 09/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sly & the Family Stone defined late 60s/early 70s pop. So many of their songs are classics of the period including "Hot Fun in the Summertime," "Everyday People," "Stand!" and "Family Affair." Also included are some lesser known gems like their version of "Qué Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) (which was featured in the cult classic film, "Heathers") and "You Caught Me Smilin'."My only criticism of the collection is that it doesn't include "Time for Livin'" and the early disco hit, "Loose Booty," both from the group's "Small Talk" album. In a perfect world, it would have also included "Remember Who You Are," the best track from the group's Warner Brothers period and "Crazay," Sly's rocking duet with ex-Time member Jesse Johnson. However, with so many great songs on this CD, it would simply be nitpicking to give it anything less than five stars."
Great Music period
email@example.com | usa | 08/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"if there ever was a Artist who got a greatest Hits Package right then it is Sly Stone. together with the Family stone, Sly Stone created a unique and incredible styling of R&B, Pop, Gospel and a vibe that would forever change the landscape of of sound then and now. as a Songwriter Sly Stone understood crafting a song that not only spoke of the time, but also the future. the band blended so many funk grooves and yet could break it all down so smoothly. "Hot fun in the summertime" is one of those songs that you can't even put into a category because so much is going on there.Sly is a Ground-Breaking Trail-blazer. the music on here will speak to that time period to now and beyond."