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I'm Back! Family & Friends

3.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1. Dance To The Music feat. Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
2. Everyday People feat. Ann Wilson (Heart)
3. Family Affair
4. Stand! feat. Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) & Ernie Watts
5. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) feat. Johnny Winter
6. (I Want To Take You) Higher feat. Jeff Beck
7. Hot Fun In The Summertime feat. Bootsy Collins
8. Dance To The Music (Extended Mix)
9. Plain Jane
10. His Eye Is On The Sparrow
11. Get Away

BONUS MIXES [CD ONLY]
12. Dance To The Music (Club Mix)
13. Family Affair (Dubstep Mix)
14. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Electro Club Mix)

Review

The first new album by legendary funk master Sly Stone since 1982 features brand new versions of Sly s biggest hits with some help from rock n roll royalty!

Features brand new renditions of the all-time classics Dance To the Music, Everyday People, Family Affair, Thank You (Falentinme Be Mice Elf Agin) and much more PLUS 3 previously unreleased tracks!

Includes a host of well-known guests such as Ray Manzarek (The Doors), Bootsy Collins, Ann Wilson (Heart), Jeff Beck, Carmine Appice and others!


It s been more than 2 decades since the frontman for the groundbreaking R&B/Soul outfit Sly & The Family Stone has released a full album of new recordings. In that time, Sly Stone has become one of music s most elusive recluses, making live appearances on rare occasions at select events, including the 2006 Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, and all the while his legend has grown and grown. In recent years, Stone - the writer of some of the most timeless and influential gems in music history such as Dance To the Music, Everyday People and Family Affair - has wrestled with demons both personal and professional, but never allowed the inspirational flame to die out completely. Now, Sly returns with brand new versions of classic songs from the Stone family repertoire, aided by Jeff Beck, Ray Manzarek, and a few other everyday people who also happen to be immensely talented superstars and great admirers of one Sly Stone!


All tracks written by Sly Stone, except His Eye Is On The Sparrow Trad. (Arr. Sly Stone) and Get Away by Sly Stone & Ruby Tuesday Jones.

All tracks published by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing, except Plain Jane Copyright Control, His Eye Is On The Sparrow Public Domain & Get Away published by Phighn Prynt Publishing --Official Press Release
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 16, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cleopatra
  • ASIN: B0057JWWFU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,230 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott B. Saul on August 17, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This seems like this is just a ploy to exploit money out of old music. Taking [what sounds like] very processed/altered vocals (Sly is an old man now, it is hard to believe he has the same vocal range for 40+ years ago) and recreating classic, iconic songs? Additionally, the recent news about him, still an addict, he's physically very damaged, and living out of a car make it seem quite implausible that these vocals are genuine. The guy cannot talk, is totally fried and yet he sings like he did from 1969?!

In theory, it seems interesting to utilize Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter and Ann Wilson but in reality their proweness brings nothing to these songs. Sly & the Family Stone were not a jam band where the rethinking of instrumental solos gives a new dimension to the songs. Rather, they were a funk band, one of the best and certainly pioneering funk bands. They were a sum of their parts and not a band of individuals (how was Sly's solo career?).

The problem with this work is that although these re-working are very interesting and worthy of listening to...for curiosity, the originals are incompareably superior. If I want to listen to the song "Stand", I'm going, every single time, to the original.

The most interesting songs here are Johnny Winter's contribution to "Thank You" since his raw sound is quite recognizeable...and the guitar tones [for some reason] does bring an interesting angle to the tune and Bootsy Collins' always welcome assistance on "Hot FUn in the Summertime" (when it comes to funk, Bootsy can always bring a little something special). Taking The Door's Ray Manzarek's spacy, trippy organ and applying it to "Dance to the Music" is so bizarre and inconsistent to the vibe of that song that it can only be characterized as a totally sucky rendition.

Other than anybody deserving to try to make a living, what is the point of this record?
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The foundation of this collection, billed on the back of the CD cover as Sly's "First Full album of new recordings in more than 2 decades!", is a series of tracks which are known in the industry as "sound-alikes." For those who aren't familiar with the term, a sound-alike is a re-recording of a hit song, designed to imitate the original as closely as possible. The purpose of a sound-alike is to create a recording which can pass as the original recording of a popular song for new uses. These new recordings allow licensees to bypass the expensive licensing fees which the owners of hit recordings demand and are typically used in commercials or for background music in television or motion pictures. Normally, the original artist would not participate in a sound-alike, but in this case Sly did come in and re-record his vocal tracks.

Suffice to say that what you will hear on this recording is not a newly re-energized Sylvester Stewart going back into the studio to try to reinterpret his classic funk masterpieces with a modern twist. Rather, it is Sly in a vocal booth overdubbing his vocals to a track with session musicians and vocalists who sat down and learned to play the arrangements from the original recording note for note in an attempt to make recordings which could pass for the originals to untrained ears.

To try to add some creative merit to this collection, the producers took the sound-alike recordings (presumably created for licensing purposes just as much or more than for this CD release) and hired a number of well known musicians (including Ann Wilson, Johnny Winter, Bootsy Collins, etc.) to record overdubs which could be billed as special guest appearances on this "new" album by Sly.
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Why do i like this cd? in two words: THE MIXES. Yes, "Dance to the Music" was featured at least 3x's on here, but, at least two of the mixes of it were refreshing to hear.

I really enjoyed the collaboration of Bootsy Collins & Sly on "Hot Fun in the Summertime". It gives a little more spice to a song that was already very cool to begin with (I could play this back to back with "Stoned Soul Picnic" by Roy Ayers all day). A definite good vibe, for sure.

The collaboration with Ray Manzarek could've been better. It wasn't bad, but..it just sounded like Ray jamming over a Family Stone track. No big difference from the original, which, mmm, well, yeah, i was looking for a little more of a style mix (i guess that's the phrase i'm looking for). It was nothing that knocked my socks off.

So, Sly, welcome back to the world, man, and I'm looking forward to some cool, new material soon..
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Format: Audio CD
I'm surprised at how vintage these new songs sound. It's amazing that Sly even managed to cut this album and it sounds pretty good. And yes, his voice sounds aged, because he is. He sounds clearest in the mix on 'Family Affair'. Long-time lovers of these songs will find the new versions instantly familiar and notable for their subtle accents and twists. This approach surprised me but I think it's just the right way to have done it. Sly's music was so groundbreaking and well-executed that reinventing it isn't necessary. Great job, Sly!
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Format: Audio CD
This exceptionally gifted artist brought so much joy into countless lives. He has fallen on such hard times and is living from hand to mouth out of a van. How can the reviewers be so heartless and nastily cruel and judgmental? We should all be thankful that he made the effort and I listened to the samples and couldn't see much to complain about. It was a cd from the heart and that is what counts. Plus the vocals and musical accompaniment were fine. Best of luck to rock legend superstar Sly Stone.
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