Monday, 13 June 2011

Sly & The Family Stone - Stand!

This is honestly one of the most defining albums in Rock music history. Just from my first listen, two/three years ago, I managed to see the link between the genres. It uses the base of Soul music and blends it with Funk and Rock, it creates this perfect psychedelic blend. I'm a huge Sly & The Family Stone fan and this album is among my all time, top, top favourites in music.

The title track kicks it off, short and snappy, Soul like vocals which are repeated throughout the entire album, great lyrics. 'Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey', has this amazing Wah Wah Funk guitar for the entire song, with a major Funk buildup in the centre, horns reaching higher as it progresses. The lyrics again are a focus, relating to racial conflict.

'I Want To Take You Higher' is one of the uplifting dance type tracks, Soul and Funk take control in the blend here, a gritty bass riff leads the song with the James Brown like brass. This is one of the more involved song on the album, with many of the members singing a particular line, it works.

'Somebody's Watching You' is totally different to the remainder of the album, it follows a basic structure, with many instruments being used, specifically the use of an Organ stands out here. It's a nice cool track, with a few guitar solo's thrown in.

'Sing a Simple Song', this is one, if not my favorite track from the album. It's incredibly funky, the bass makes your body move, Soul brass again keep the whole track in movement, the harmonic vocals are outstanding.

'Everyday People', my other favorite track, is one filled with dated and at the time relevant lyrics based on racism. The chorus changing each time, but keeping the same structure, with a tiny little reference to Scooby Doo, which is noticeable. One of the lyrics in this song has been noted as one of the best lyrical lines to come from the 60's, "Different strokes, for different folks".

'Sex Machine' is a 13 minute jam. The bass riff stays steady, whilst an organ riff keeps everything intact. Everything plays it's part in this song, the wah wah guitar is continuous and is played over a very simple riff. Percussion hits in, as does a thunderous electric guitar to great effect.

'You Can Make It If You Try', ends the album on a happy note, it's very strong musically, much alike the other tracks. The brass work here is really outstanding, the organ drone from Sex Machine has been lifted onto this track. 

This album has been one of my favorites for a very long time, it has it's place in music history, not just for combining two elements of the time within Funk and Soul, but it managed to bring forward the movement of Hip-Hop.