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The Essential Sly & The Family Stone Limited Edition, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The most comprehensive Sly & the Family Stone collection ever assembled! Funk as we know it basically began here: Dance to the Music; Fun; M'Lady; Life; Stand; I Want to Take You Higher; Sing a Simple Song; Everyday People; You Can Make It If You Try; Hot Fun in the Summertime; Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin); Everybody Is a Star , and more.

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Long before Michael Jackson and Prince became superstars by fusing rhythmic soul with rock's sense of scale and ambition, a former Northern California deejay and producer named Sylvester Stewart took the vaunted musical utopianism of the '60s and forged it into the cross-cultural, ass-shaking, genre-bending groove monster that was Sly and the Family Stone. James Brown may have invented funk, but S&TFS masterfully tooled and supercharged it into mass-acceptance. No mere greatest hits collection--though they're all here in digitally remastered glory--this 35-track, double-disc anthology delves deeper into the handful of seminal albums the band produced before its leaders' long, troubling slide into drug abuse and oblivion. Given the chronological development, there's a sense here that Stewart/Stone's problems paralleled the increasingly militant and hard-edged stance his band took on albums like the uncompromising classics There's a Riot Going On and Family Affair. Propelled by Larry Graham's locomotive bass lines and accented by rousing horns, Sly and company swooped from the heights of 1969's hit-laden "Stand" towards a darker and more unsettling decade ahead. Few bands have soared higher--or fallen as far. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 11, 2003)
  • Ltd Rmst ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: March 11, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • ASIN: B00006NSH7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,099 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Sly & The Family Stone Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There are at least four things that make this far and away the best Sly & the Family Stone collection yet:

1) Unless you've hunted them down on various hard-to-find compilations, this is the first time you'll hear true stereo mixes of "Hot Fun In The Summertime", "Thank You" and "Everybody Is A Star". (The improvement in sound is a small miracle)

2) Unless you happen to have a copy of the MasterSound gold CD version of 'Stand!', this is the first time you'll hear those tracks on CD like they were meant to be heard, with punchy and crystal clear sound. (Only the 13-minute "Sex Machine" jam is omitted from that great album.)

3) Unless you have the UK import version of 'There's A Riot Goin' On', this is the first time you'll have most of that album in proper sound.

4) Unless you bought the ... Japanese import, this is the first time you'll have anything from 'Small Talk' on CD.

Now let's hope all the original albums will be released in remastered form with plenty of bonus tracks! (In the meantime, don't buy any of those substandard old CDs)
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Format: Audio CD
There is a war goin on out there, between the good the bad and the pabulum. You can hear the battles seeping out of tv's and blaring out car windows. The war is for the soul of America- every time some lil' anorexic gal buys a Britney album an elf dies of advanced encyphalititis... Not mice elf though... This is your best defense against empty-ass bland as hell, dead-people music.
Thirty five tracks of remastered Sly and the Fam????? Damn brother, where do I sign??!! Yes, yes, yes- this lil collection is exactly as badass as they say. In a world a broken promises- this is one that will not let you down!
Where do I start? The badass opener (Underdog) that builds on the little kid's tune, `Frere Jacques,' making a funky world out of it? Sing a Simple Song, Stand!, Everyday People, Everybody is a Star, Love City, Life, Somebody's Watching You (a favorite mellow track of mine), Are you Ready, Fun...
And that's just the first CD. The price on this is reasonable considering the quality, all the more if you can find a reliable used seller.... Nice packaging, blah blah blah- get it for the tunes or just don't get it. These songs deserve to be played. ALL THIRTY-FREAKIN-FIVE OF THEM!!!!!!!!
Minor key beef- the track selection... Too much of their poppiesr shizzah and not enough deep-fried frunked out kinky funk madness. Well, I wasn't polled when they put this together so I can't really complain there. I would have had more of their oddball material- the absence of "I'm Gonna Trip through Your heart," (sampled by LL for Momma said knock you out) rankles a tad. As does the lack of `Remember Who You Are,' from Back on the right track... Aww hell though, there's so much killer cream from the cookie cutters on this that nothing can diminish the 5 star rating.
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Format: Audio CD
Sly and the Family Stone certainly is one of the most underrated bands of all time. So pervasive was their influence that when I discovered their music as a 19 year old in 1989 I thought it was no big deal, saying something like, "That's just the sound of soul in the 70s." As my music tastes broadened even further and I started listening to music from the early 60s I realized that there was music before Sly and the Family Stone and then there was music after Sly and the Family Stone. In other words, everything that came after the Family Stone contained a bit of them in it. Consequently, without this perspective you do not bring the respect that you should to the music. If you have ever seen those cheesy early 60s American Bandstand videos of lifeless dancers (you know the ones with the white girls with their ironed hair, go-go boots, and pastel short skirts)and thought to yourself, "oh god I am so glad that people loosened up", then you have Sly and the Family Stone to thank for modern dance music.

This collection highlights just what a brilliant and complicated music these performers made. First, Sly combined wonderful composition with unparalleled arrangement (or orchestration, really) that had an underlying philosophy that expressed hedonism and sexiness. Confused? Don't be, that is the genius of the band as they fuse all of these elements so seamlessly that upon first listen the music sounds as easy as rain falling. Then put your ears to the test and your realize the music is hyper-dense with sounds: great horns from Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini, the best rhythm section ever in Larry Graham (who invented funk bass) and Greg Errico, wonderful skankin' guitar from Freddie Stone, and lastly beautiful organs and vocals by Rosie Stone and Sly himself.
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Format: Audio CD
A release I've been eagerly anticipating for a long time has been this new compilation of Sly And The Family Stone's best from 1967 to 1974. 35 tracks on two CD's this collection is an excellent introduction for new fans of this innovative and highly influential band's work. One of my biggest complaints about the previously available Sly CD's(minus the Gold "Stand" CD)was the sound quality and packaging, which were poor to say the least. Sonically this music has never sounded better and is readily apparent on the especially on the "Stand" and "There's A Riot Goin'On" tracks, most of each album is represented on this set(minus "Sex Machine" from "Stand" and "Spaced Cowboy" and "Africa Talks To You" from "Riot"). Also for the first time the previous mono only singles "Hot Fun In The Summertime", "Thank You(Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)", and "Everybody Is A Star" are in true stereo on a Sly compilation. The first track(Hot Fun) has been released on a couple of different Sony Legacy compilations and "Everybody Is A Star" turned up on a rare Legacy promo CD. While this package isn't entirely comprehensive, it hits the major highlights and hopefully will finally clear the way for remastered and repackaged versions of Sly's Epic albums from 1969 through 1975, and the much talked about and delayed box set. I can hardly wait. Until then, this comes highly recommended.
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