Andre W. from NEW YORK, NY Reviewed on 3/11/2013...
A must have !
Five Star Album, Two Star Sound
J P Ryan | Waltham, Massachusetts United States | 02/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Greatest Hits" (1970) is the only compilation released by Sly & The Family Stone during its tenure with Epic Records (1967 - 76), and it is classic: with emphasis on the group's third ("Life") and fourth ("Stand!") albums, it is made essential by the inclusion of three absolute stone classic non-lp single sides ('Hot Fun In The Summertime', the glorious 'Everybody Is A Star', and the lyrically and musically astonishing five-minute funk classic 'Thank You'). "Greatest Hits" also marked the end of an era for the group, which would begin to fragment, and reveal a far darker vision with its next release, "There's A Riot Goin' On!" (1971). The themes and hallucinatory musical textures (including Sly's pioneering use of drum machines) of "Riot" were more than hinted at on two 1970 singles written and produced for Little Sister, "You're The One (Parts 1 & 2)" and "Somebody's Watching You" b/w "Stanga", both released on Sly's Stone Flower label (via Atlantic), and not licensed by Epic/Sony. Thus, "Greatest Hits" summarizes Sly's original, and magnificent, racially- and gender-integrated group, and his boldly integrationist vision, always lyrically sharp and musically eclectic. Despite every track herein being a joy, Sony has not bothered to remaster this collection since its first release during the early days of the compact disc, and the sound is thin and harsh, as comparison to the out-of-print gold disc of "Stand!" will make painfully obvious. Until the label gets around to upgrading this and subsequent Sly classics, check out the recent 2-disc compilation "Essential", which contains superior transfers of every track on this set. If you want the original albums, get the superb 1995 remasters of Sly's first three: the eclectic 1967 debut "A Whole New Thing," a blueprint for much of what came next, "Dance To The Music" (1968), and "Life" (1968). All three have bonus tracks and all - especially the latter two - remain remarkably fresh, musically inventive and detailed, and mastered from the original master mixes (by Bob Irwin), sonically wiping this drab "Greatest Hits" off the map. Though not as famous as "Stand!" and "Riot!" they are highly recommended. Finally, Sly's two albums for Warner Bros., "Back On The Right Track" (1979) and "Ain't But The One Way" (1983), from the period when he was collaborating with George Clinton, remain underrated if minor gems, and hold up better than his last two albums for Epic. These are now available (again with bonus material) in a limited edition of 5000 from Rhino Handmade under the title "Who In the Funk Do You You Think You Are: The Warner Bros. Recordings" - get it while you can!"
Boom! Boom! Lacka-lacka boom boom!
darragh o'donoghue | 10/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Sly Stone aesthetic is characterised by excess: heady, exuberant, joyous excess. Listening to 'I want to take you higher' or 'Dance to the music' is like listening to a thousand Stax records played simultaneously at the highest volume on the loudest sound system, with scraping Velvets guitar licks, hysterically noisy vocals, sound-voyaging synths, booming drums and, of course, the soul of the funk, that belly-bludgeoning bass. Some might shudder at this 'decadent' over-decorating soul's purity, but Sly can conjure stunningly evocative ballads, such as 'Everybody is a star', in between the raucous, colourful racket. This is a party album, where the words 'Stand!', 'Fun', 'Dance' and 'Summertime' feature prominently, but it is also a political album, inviting the everyday people to groove, advocating tolerance and selflessness in the face of tacit pressure, party poopers of all hues. My only criticism is the sound on the album, sometimes mixed so thinly, it's like listening to a great party taking place next door."
James J. Poe | Harlingen, TX, USA | 09/11/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"An extremely wonderful collection of music from Sly and Family. Unfortunately, the remastering is poor. It's an effort for me to listen and enjoy at the same time. A historically significant funk-rock collection such as this truly deserves a proper remaster. I'm waiting...."
THE BEST Of THE BEST!
Rev KM Williams | dallas, tx United States | 02/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection of Sly and the Family Stone is simply THE BEST CUTS you can put on ONE CD! Sure,there are others like "You got Me Smilin'(again)" "Family Affair" "If you Want me to Stay" but you need more than one CD for that! These are the cuts that turned me on to this History changing music!!!"