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Sly & The Family Stone - The Collection [Limited Remastered Deluxe Edition Box Set] (2007)

17-09-2014, 12:13
Soul | Funk | R&B | Disco | Discography | FLAC / APE

Sly & The Family Stone - The Collection [Limited Remastered Deluxe Edition Box Set] (2007)

Artist: Sly & The Family Stone
Title Of Album: The Collection
Year Of Release: 2007
Label: Sony / BMG Music
Genre: Funk, Soul, R&B, Disco
Total Time: 6:27:53
Format: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks +.cue, log-file)
Quality: CBR 320 kbps / Lossless
Total Size: 932 mb / 2.21 gb

First, a sigh of exasperated relief--exasperation because it's taken a needlessly long time to get Sly and the Family Stone's catalog remastered and properly reissued. From the band's 1967 debut, A Whole New Thing through their 1974 swan song, Small Talk, the shifting band indulged everything from the long horn lines, fast rhythms, and quickly unmistakable urgent delivery of "Turn Me Loose," with its rapid, jerking funk rhythms and quick, sharp horn blasts, to the chilled groove, string backing, and slinky guitar on "Say You Will."

In between there's an embarrassment of riches: The 1968 one-two punch of Dance to the Music's title track and "Higher" introduces a gleaming exuberance; everyone wants to get higher and dance, but slowly the tune titles and funky whimsy of tunes like "Chicken," "Love City," "Fun," and the sheer musical cheer of "Harmony," show that Sly's bridge from hard-hitting funk riffage to more rock, more pop got mixed up with significantly new commercial heights (and larger narcotic appetites) and, simultaneously, more instability and simmering fury. By 1969, Sly's newness was transformed, with Stand!'s "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey" snarl and droning organ and wah-wah guitar aplenty. The full-on blast of harmonica, fuzz guitars, and horns that opens "I Want to Take You Higher" just cemented the claim: Music would unite and fight and kick and get you high. The mega-hit "Everyday People" almost seems an anomaly in this company, a breezy harmony vocal backing, simple piano framing, reaching horn lines, and a churchy chorus. It's the biggest hit here, a true pop gem. Then there's "Sing a Simple Song" and its scouring, wordless shouts, a heavy beat backed by multiple voices half-atop each other, horn riffs jetting across guitar riffs, and an abrupt, scrambling end. It's a tight and tough embrace, an open door. It's 1969.

Then a dystopian haze turns full-force for There's a Riot Goin' On. By 1971, Sly had his Hollywood mansion and legions of droppers-by laying down parts of Riot. The result is entrancing, backed often by an austere, early drum machine and featuring dope-glazed vocals, paranoid shadows and, of course, a stewing funk groove. Horns are here, thinned out so they jab harder, and the keyboards gleam and shimmer and icily coat the beats, which sound in today's parlance simply lo-fi. And the beats, they've slowed menacingly, with voices dropping in, dropping out. Drugs were flowing freely by this point, complicating Sly's sound, inadvertently making an album that matches its maker's psyche-in-time indelibly. Once 1973's Fresh emerges, the austere, haunted glaze happens beneath slow-stewing grooves, as on the seemingly frivolous "Frisky," where the drums and keys and horns are enmeshed tightly, showing barely any sonic separation. The great bassist Larry Graham had left the Family by now, replaced by Rusty Allen, whose bass pops up as framing, while the vocals go lean and languid, turning to moans and melismatic blurs as the groove stirs. "If You Want Me to Stay" is a highlight, and the album is deeply funky even while reaching across the divide toward pop (rather than the '60s albums bridges to psychedelic rock, which proved itself pragmatically limited for the more intensely rebellious public as the Vietnam War and Watergate sent long social shadows).

As for Small Talk, it's the least ambitious, most settled session. The sounds are gorgeous in the new remastered form, making a new case for Small as a worthy bookend on your Sly shelf. Yes, he burned brighter and hotter and more furiously. It's still the same nervy mix, dramatic and intense. --Andrew Bartlett

Review by Thom Jurek
Sly & the Family Stone: The Collection contains the seven albums the group released on Epic Records between 1968 and 1974 (which were recorded between 1967 and 1971). Sony BMG has simply packaged these discs -- A Whole New Thing, Dance to the Music, Life, Stand, There's a Riot Goin' On, Fresh, and Small Talk -- all of which have been completely remastered and contain bonus material and liner essays, all in a slipcase box. They've all been released separately in digipack, so there isn't anything additional to be had. In fact, it doesn't contain two key sides the band cut between the release of Stand in 1969, and There's A Riot Goin' On in 1971: the absence of Hot Fun In The Summertime and Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin). One has to get the Greatest Hits or the Essesntial Sly & The Family Stone for those--or purchase them from an online music store. The price point isn't really different either, and given the wildly varying quality of some of these sides, buying the box is for a very specific kind of fan or collector.


Disc 1 : A Whole New Thing
01 Underdog
02 If This Room Could Talk
03 Run, Run, Run
04 Turn Me Loose
05 Let Me Hear It From You
06 Advice
07 I Cannot Make It
08 Trip To Your Heart
09 I Hate To Love Her
10 Bad Risk
11 That Kind Of Person
12 Dog
13 Underdog (Mono Single Version) (Bonus Track)
14 Let Me Hear It From You (Mono Single Version) (Bonus Track)
15 Only One Way Out Of This Mess (Bonus Track)
16 What Would I Do (Bonus Track)
17 You Better Help Yourself (Instrumental) (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)

Disc 2 : Dance To The Music
01 Dance To The Music
02 Higher
03 I Ain't Got Nobody (For Real)
04 Dance To The Medley (Music Is Alive-Dance In-Music Lover)
05 Ride The Rhythm
06 Colour Me True
07 Are You Ready
08 Don't Burn Baby
09 I'll Never Fall In Love Again
10 Dance To The Music (Mono Single Version) (Bonus Track)
11 Higher (Mono Single Version) (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)
12 Soul Clappin' (Bonus Track)
13 We Love All (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)
14 I Can't Turn You Loose (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)
15 Never Do Your Woman Wrong (Instrumental) (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)

Disc 3 : Life
01 Dynamite!
02 Chicken
03 Plastic Jim
04 Fun
05 Into My Own Thing
06 Harmony
07 Life
08 Love City
09 I'm An Animal
10 M'Lady
11 Jane Is A Groupee
12 Dynamite! (Mono Single Version) (Bonus Track)
13 Seven More Days (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)
14 Pressure (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)
15 Sorry (Instrumental) (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)

Disc 4 : Stand!
01 Stand!
02 Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey
03 I Want To Take You Higher
04 Somebody's Watching You
05 Sing A Simple Song
06 Everyday People
07 Sex Machine
08 You Can Make It If You Try
09 Stand! (Mono Single Version) (Bonus Track)
10 I Want To Take You Higher (Mono Single Version) (Bonus Track)
11 You Can Make It If You Try (Mono Single Version) (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)
12 Soul Clappin' II (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)
13 My Brain (Zig-Zag) (Instrumental) (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)

Disc 5 : There's A Riot Goin' On
01 Luv 'N' Haight
02 Just Like A Baby
03 Poet
04 Family Affair
05 Africa Talks To You ‘The Asphalt Jungle’
06 There's A Riot Goin' On
07 Brave and Strong
08 (You Caught Me) Smilin'
09 Time
10 Spaced Cowboy
11 Runnin' Away
12 Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa
13 Runnin' Away (Mono Single Version) (Bonus Track)
14 My Gorilla Is My Butler (Instrumental) (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)
15 Do You Know What (Mono Instrumental) (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)
16 That's Pretty Clean (Mono Instrumental) (Previously Unissued Bonus Track)

Disc 6 : Fresh
01 In Time
2 If You Want Me To Stay
03 Let Me Have It All
04 Frisky
05 Thankful N' Thoughtful
06 Skin I'm In
07 I Don't Know (Satisfaction)
08 Keep On Dancin'
09 Que, Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)
10 If It Were Left Up To Me
11 Babies Makin' Babies
12 Let Me Have It All (Alternate Mix) (Previously Unreleased Bonus Track)
13 Frisky (Alternate Mix) (Previously Unreleased Bonus Track)
14 Skin I'm In (Alternate Mix) (Previously Unreleased Bonus Track)
15 Keep On Dancin' (Alternate Mix) (Previously Unreleased Bonus Track)
16 Babies Makin' Babies (Alternate Version) (Previously Unreleased Bonus Track)

Disc 7 : Small Talk
01 Small Talk
02 Say You Will
03 Mother Beautiful
04 Time For Livin'
05 Can't Strain My Brain
06 Loose Booty
07 Holdin' On
08 Wishful Thinkin'
09 Better Thee Than Me
10 Livin' While I'm Livin'
11 This Is Love
12 Crossword Puzzle (Early Version) (Previously Unreleased Bonus Track)
13 Time For Livin' (Alternate Version) (Previously Unreleased Bonus Track)
14 Loose Booty (Alternate Version) (Previously Unreleased Bonus Track)
15 Positive (Instrumental) (Previously Unreleased Bonus Track)


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