(2003) The Essential Sly & The Family Stone

Sly & The Family Stone

... read moreThe Essential Sly & the Family Stone does what a double-CD best-of/career overview should do: it packs a lot of career highlights into a two-disc set for listeners who want more than the basic greatest hits, but don't want every last album. Of course, all of those greatest hits are here, including a...

02:04′:41″ 35 Songs

Disk 1

1
Underdog (Album Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
3:58
2
I Cannot Make It
Sly & The Family Stone
3:19
3
Dance To The Music
Sly & The Family Stone
2:59
4
Are You Ready? (Album Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
2:49
5
Fun (Album Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
2:22
6
M'lady (Album Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
2:45
7
Life (Album Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
3:00
8
Love City (Album Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
2:43
9
Stand!
Sly & The Family Stone
3:08
10
Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey (Album Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
5:59
11
I Want To Take You Higher
Sly & The Family Stone
5:23
12
Somebody's Watching You (Album Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
3:20
13
Sing A Simple Song
Sly & The Family Stone
3:56
14
Everyday People
Sly & The Family Stone
2:22
15
You Can Make It If You Try
Sly & The Family Stone
3:38
16
Hot Fun In The Summertime
Sly & The Family Stone
2:37
17
Everybody Is A Star (Single Master)
Sly & The Family Stone
3:00
18
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Single Master)
Sly & The Family Stone
4:47

Disk 2

1
Family Affair (Single Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
3:05
2
Luv N' Haight (Single Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
4:01
3
Poet
Sly & The Family Stone
3:01
4
(You Caught Me) Smilin' (Single Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
2:53
5
Runnin' Away (Single Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
2:56
6
Brave & Strong (Single Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
3:30
7
Just Like A Baby
Sly & The Family Stone
5:12
8
Thank You For Talkin' To Me, Africa
Sly & The Family Stone
7:15
9
In Time
Sly & The Family Stone
5:47
10
If You Want Me To Stay
Sly & The Family Stone
3:00
11
Frisky
Sly & The Family Stone
3:11
12
Skin I'm In
Sly & The Family Stone
2:54
13
Babies Makin' Babies
Sly & The Family Stone
3:38
14
If It Were Left Up To Me (Single Master)
Sly & The Family Stone
1:58
15
Time For Livin' (Album Version)
Sly & The Family Stone
3:15
16
Loose Booty
Sly & The Family Stone
3:46
17
I Get High On You
Sly & The Family Stone
3:14
Released 01 January 2003, This compilation ℗ 2003 Sony Music Entertainment

Review

The Essential Sly & the Family Stone does what a double-CD best-of/career overview should do: it packs a lot of career highlights into a two-disc set for listeners who want more than the basic greatest hits, but don't want every last album. Of course, all of those greatest hits are here, including a few from 1970 that didn't make it onto album releases at the time. As you'd expect, the fattest slice comes from Sly & the Family Stone's late-'60s/early-'70s peak: in fact, most of the tracks from the Stand! and There's a Riot Goin' On albums are here. The fun extras come in the not-too-well-known tracks from pre-Stand! albums and Fresh (which is actually amply represented, with six cuts). This doesn't quite deserve the highest rating, as the post-There's a Riot Goin' On material doesn't keep up the momentum of the rest of the set. Small Talk and Sly Stone's 1975 solo effort, High on You, are wisely lightly plucked, though at least the hits from those albums are the three cuts selected. This deserves better annotation than the cursory liner notes, but otherwise it's an excellent summary of a major rock and soul band. ~ Richie Unterberger