Friday, October 9, 2009

Playlist: Bow down to Sly & the Family Stone!

Forty years ago, around this time, “Hot Fun in the Summertime” was climbing towards No. 2 on the Top 40. Coming off a triumphant performance at Woodstock, Sly & the Family Stone was now one of the hottest acts in rock ’n’ roll.

Their LP “Stand!,” released in the spring of ’69, would soon be certified gold. And in December, Sly would write a new chapter in Funk by dropping a 45 called “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).”

Alas, 1969 was also the year Sly Stone and band moved to Los Angeles, and Sly took his notorious detour into hard drugs and flaky behavior. Sly would continue to make some great music... and it’s the songs I celebrate with this list of covers.

Click the titles below to stream the music on my Vox blog.

1. “Hot Fun in the Summertime” – The Manhattan Transfer (with Chaka Khan)

2. “Family Affair” – Chuck Brown

3. “If You Want Me to Stay” – Jamie Davis

(Mr. Davis used to sing with the Count Basie Orchestra.)

4. “In Time” – Soldier String Quartet
(Led by experimentalist Dave Soldier, this group included jazz violinist Regina Carter.)

5. “Babies Makin’ Babies” – Thornwood
(Never heard of Thornwood, right? They’re a local band in Rochester, N.Y. The badass singer is Gregory “G-Rob” Robinson.)

6. “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” – Maceo & All the King’s Men

7. “Somebody’s Watching You” – Al Jarreau

8. “Everybody Is a Star” – Fishbone

(Guest vocalists: Gwen Stefani, George Clinton and Rick James.)


odocoileus said...

I heard an interview with Sly this year on KCRW w/ Chris Douridas.

Low key, interesting details about Sly's early years.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Much thanks!

centerstageband8 said...

I'll try to see. I know I can get very good ideas. Thanks for the link!
Rochester Wedding Music.

DRE said...

I have always been intrigued by Sly. Amazing musical mind that paved the way for the Funk as we know it. Absolutely destroyed by drugs. In such a spectacular way....

neptune said...

omg, how did you find this stuff? That all strings version of In Time is amazing!

bklyn6 said...

DO I bow down to S&tFS! Their music never, ever leaves my mp3 player. Love them!

There's a Legacy Podcast about them. Lots of stuff I never knew, like I didn't know Sly was in a doo-wop group. And I'd never heard "Trip to Your Heart" until I listened to the podcast, but I recognized it immediately as the intro to LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out."

I even have a clip of the group performing on the Midnight Special.

Speaking of covers, I've got a CD of covers called "Different Strokes by Different Folks." But, I have to check out your playlist of covers.

And I love the J5's cover of "Stand!" (They covered "Everybody is a Star" too.)


Anyway, THANKS for this awesome post, UBM!

Hey! What's weird is just a few minutes ago, before I visited here, I had a Sly Stone flashback. For a fleeting moment I recalled his wedding at Madison Square Garden. Don't know why. :-)