Nothing said it better than the title of Sly & The Family Stone's 1967 debut album. They were, indeed, A Whole New Thing! Over his first six groundbreaking Epic LPs, Sly Stone - a maverick studio genius who heard things nobody else did - turned the worlds of Soul, R&B, funk and psychedelia completely upside-down with his breathtakingly innovative band, the Family Stone. Pop music was shaken to its very core by this racially-mixed aggregation of men and women whose lyrics, deftly laced with political and social commentary, were woven through groovy rhythms and infectious melodies that made standing still virtually impossible. Even their clothes were mind-bendingly cool!
According to legend, Slys disillusionment with progress in the Civil Rights movement, coupled with personal problems, led to a two-year delay before Riot appeared in 1971. Whats evident in the grooves is that the Family Stones sound got darker and even funkier. Family Affair, was a monstrous chart item, but even with the extra studio time, some of the tracks are skeletal, almost unfinished-sounding. Slys hugely successful non-album single Thank You (Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) is turned on its ear here as the hypnotic Thank You for Talkin to Me Africa.
"This highly anticipated studio follow-up to Sly and the Family Stone's 1969 blast of hope, Stand!, was the grim, exact opposite: implosive, numbing, darkly self-referential. Sly Stone's voice is an exhausted grumble; the funk in "Family Affair," "Runnin' Away" and especially the closing downward spiral, "Thank You for Talkin' to Me Africa," is spare and bleak, fiercely compelling in its anguish over the unfulfilled promises of civil rights and hippie counterculture. "It is Muzak with its finger on the trigger," wrote critic Greil Marcus in Mystery Train. Take that as a recommendation." - www.rollingstone.com
High-Definition Vinyl LP
1. Luv 'n' Haight
2. Just Like a Baby
4. Family Affair
5. Africa Talks to You The Asphalt Jungle
6. Theres a Riot Goin On
7. Brave & Strong
8. (You Caught Me) Smilin
10. Spaced Cowboy
11. Runnin Away
12. Thank You for Talkin to Me Africa