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Stand!

Sly and the Family Stone

1969

Sly Stone was a bad mofo, and this is his best album with the Family Stone.  There are a lot of highlights to be found here, particularly the funkalicious and affirming opening track, along with the frenzied "I Want to Take You Higher", and arguably the best song on the album, the classic "Everday People".  There's also a few hidden gems as well, like "Somebody's Watching You" and the highly danceable"Sing A Simple Song".  This album has a raw edginess about it that really makes it stand out.  It's kind of like the less trippy, 60s version of Funkadelic's classic "Maggot Brain" or at least I hear it that way.  They sound like not so distant cousins...hence, they are both badass.

8.3

There's a Riot Goin' On

Sly and the Family Stone

1971

This is the darker, druggier version of "Stand!", but not necessarily in a good or compelling way.  It's definitely more subdued, but as a result it tends to drag down the overall feel of the album.  "Just Like A Baby" and "Family Affair" are fantastic, but outside of that the album just kind of meanders along, with a few African-themed instrumental numbers, and a general downdrodden vibe.  It's only compelling half the time at best...the other half is pretty forgettable to these ears.

7.5

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