To celebrate, here are music players with 4 decades of his disciples!
A music critic once said Soul should be divided into Before Sly and After Sly. In truth, all modern music since 1970 has been influenced by his group.
Here's a music player of The Family Stone's greatest works, followed by 4 music players* of 500 artists from all over the spectrum. All are in chronological order.
*These are Spotify players. Join up for free here.
The Music: 1965-2013
Sly Stone produced the first records of upcoming garage and psychedelic bands in San Francisco, before joining his peers with the spectacular success of his group, Sly & The Family Stone.
The two architects of Funk are James Brown and Sly Stone. While they shared a tight propulsive rhythm, they were different in every other way.
-James kept a tight groove with Jazz touches, centered on rhythm and horns. Sly brought a freewheeling looseness that included wild Rock and avant Jazz.
-James was perfect process, sharp suits, and lock precision. Sly was power afro, brash bohemia, and happy chaos.
-James was backed by soul brothers. The Family Stone was male and female, maple and peach.
-James had national hits but was strongest within the circuit of black radio and clubs. Sly had international success while playing big festivals, including his legendary triumph at Woodstock.
-James was about the community. Sly was about a family of humanity.
Most Funk bands that followed assimilated James' tight groove with Sly's flair and philosophy.
The Family Stone has two phases: STAND and RIOT. All the music from 1967 leading into 1969's STAND album is sunny, fast, optimistic, inclusive. From 1971's THERE'S A RIOT GOIN' ON onward, the sound turns bluesy, staggered, critical, insular.
They are the two first and most essential Funk albums ever made.
★ Special spotlight should shine on Larry Graham. His invention of 'pluck-n-thump' bass-playing transformed modern music.
First heard on "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" (1970), it turned funky Soul into The Funk, and influenced Yes, Fela, Jaco Pastorius, Bootsy Collins, Gang Of Four, Bill Laswell, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour, Primus, Antibalas, the "Seinfeld" theme song, and scores more.
Sly & The Family Stone opened up a world of possibilities that everyone explored.
Whenever you enjoy thump-ass bass, drum machines, vocoders and pitch shifters, funkadelic guitar, stabbing brass, strutting dance, political soul, empowerment anthems, and diversity bands...
say "Thank You" to The Family Stone!
Listen to the following acts and enjoy their influence in rhythm, sounds, philosophy, and fashion.
Stevie Wonder; Betty Davis, David Bowie, Parliament
Hear the unlimited Playlist here.)
Tony Joe White, James Brown, James Gang, Yes, Funkadelic, Chicago, Traffic, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, Rita Lee, Deep Purple, Miles Davis, Betty Davis, Frank Zappa, War, Roxy Music, Fat Albert, KC & The Sunshine Band, Mother's Finest, Steely Dan!
Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Magazine, Gang of Four, Zapp, Material, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club, Prince, INXS, Trouble Funk, fireHOSE, Sly & Robbie, R.E.M., Tackhead, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Lenny Kravitz!
Lenny Kravitz, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Meshell Ndegeocello
Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Family Stand, Jane's Addiction, Living Colour, Arrested Development, Primal Scream, Joi, Primus, D'Angelo, Mercury Rev, Dag, Meshell Ndegeocello, Los Lobos, Fatboy Slim, OutKast, Ozomatli, Macy Gray, Beck!
Nikka Costa, Fatboy Slim, Alice Smith, Cody ChesnuTT
Nikka Costa, Gorillaz, Barry Adamson, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Gnarls Barkley, The Budos Band, Rhythm King & Her Friends, John Legend, The Roots, Susan Tedeschi, Jill Scott, Jurassic 5, Alice Smith, Cody ChesnuTT, Galactic, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings!
One big circle going round and round!"