Sly & the Family Stone's Extended Family
by Barry Walters | July 29, 2013
In their sound, presentation and spirit, Sly & the Family Stone were simply one of the most revolutionary acts of popular music. Bringing together rock and soul, black and white, male and female and countless other facets of the human condition, this intrinsically integrated San Francisco ensemble personified late '60s idealism. And when their shared dream started dissipating in the early '70s, Sly Stone and his bandmates embodied that cultural transition from rebellion to riot.
With a box set, Higher!, due on August 27, we've put together a playlist that celebrates the largely uplifting grooves of this hugely influential band. Combining their psychedelic contemporaries with the many acts they inspired, this set starts out in the late '60s with a focus on similar performers who crossed color, gender and genre lines, and spreads onward from there. Whenever possible, we've included the post-Family work of members Sly, Freddie and Rose Stone, as well as Cynthia Robinson, Larry Graham, Greg Errico and Jerry Martini. Black rock, psychedelic funk, free-spirited soul -- it's all here, ready to take you higher.