Sly And The Family Stone

Prince Relation:




Poplife Pick:

"Stand!" (1969)


Official Website

Additional Notes:

Sly Stone, beside James Brown, has been the most important force in defining funk. His lyrics spoke about racial tolerance, a theme which is also present in Prince's work ("Uptown" (1980), "Paisley Park" (1985)).

Prince is particularly influenced by ex-Family bassist Larry Graham who is currently a member of the NPG lineup.

Poplife Pick: "Stand!" (1969)

The music of Sly & the Family Stone was truly pioneering from Sly's thick baritone to the group's interracial image. Moreover, their sound defied all boundaries, sometimes faring better on the pop charts. The first single from this album was a prime example. The universally appealing "Everyday People, " with an adamant plea from Sly Stone, speaks of the similarities among all people. For four consecutive weeks, it was number one on the Billboard pop charts, and number one on the Billboard R&B charts for two consecutive weeks. The title track brings a social message, which was timely considering the turmoil the nation was experiencing. It slipped in at 28 on R&B charts. No secret to many, Sly Stone literally meant "I Want to Take You Higher." Often found to be inebriated from various substances, Sly wails away on this turbulent piece. It peaked at 24 on the Billboard R&B charts, resurfacing more than a year later peak at 38 in 1970. "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey" is an instrumental expression of frustration while "You Can Make It if You Try" is an encouraging message to the masses. Most of the aforementioned songs are psychedelic jams. -- Craig Lytle, All Music Guide