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Sly's unmistakeable sound,
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This review is from: Listen To The Voices: Sly Stone In The Studio: 1965-70 (Audio CD)
As a huge fan of Sly Stone, I was delighted to get my ears around this new compilation, which on listen proved to have Sly's unmistakeable stamp all over it. This compilation, extensively researched by Alec Palao and with detailed liner notes, interviews and pictures shows Sly's diversity and versatility, yet the style is predominantly funky soul. Material ranges from collaborations: the Rolling Stones-a-like Beau Brummels; tracks Sly made with his good friend Billy Preston; to stable acts, Sly's sister Vet's group aptly named Little Sister and Joe Hicks who was signed to Sly's Stone Flower label; brother Freddie's pre Family Stone band, Freddie & The Stone Souls who prompted Sly to suggest Freddie bring the best of that band with the best musicians Sly knew to form the Family Stone; to demos and early versions of songs that would later appear on Family Stone albums.
Stand-outs for me are "Dance A La Musique" by the "French Fries" (not confirmed but quite obviously the Family Stone), a fuzzy cover of "Dance To The Music" with a French twist for fun, it shows how great a good piece of fuzzy, psychedelic soul can be; the Family Stone's early version of Otis Redding's "I Can't Turn You Loose", for me even better than the versions they later did; plus earlier versions of other Family Stone tracks, particularly "I Ain't Got Nobody (For Real) and "Take My Advice", this compilation is a fascinating insight into the forging of the Family Stone itself, and the way Sly's stamp on his production work was so unmistakably his sound, you can pick him out easily even when he's in the background playing one of the instruments. So with that in mind, this is perhaps more interesting to those who know Sly's material well and I would encourage people to check out key Sly albums first, particularly Dance To The Music, Stand, There's A Riot Goin' On, Fresh and Small Talk. If however you already know and like his music, I'm sure you will find this as big a delight as I did.