(Various Artists) – “Listen to the Voices: Sly Stone in the Studio 1965-1970” (2010)

January 5, 2011 at 2:04 am (Music, Reviews & Articles, Sly Stone)

A 5-star review from May 25, 2010 by Lois Wilson in Record Collector magazine. This compilation is an excellent collection of some early Sly & the Family Stone demos, plus various Stone Flower productions by Sly and other odds & ends. A must for any serious Sly lover…

In 1965, where this 25-tracker picks up the story, Sly Stone was a key player at Autumn, the San Franciscan label run by DJs Tom “Big Daddy” Donahue and Bob Mitchell. Sly & The Family Stone, with whom Sly would revolutionise funk, weren’t conceived yet – it’s a year from their live debut on 15 December 1966 at Winchester Cathedral in Redwood City, and two years before they release A Whole New Thing, their debut long-player. The ideas utilised in the band are incubating as we find Stone in the studio with The Beau Brummels, recording practise runs for future Family Stone gems.

The Brummels’ previously unissued “Underdog,” recorded at Golden State Recorders in October 1965 and featuring Sly on guitar, is a glorious garage yelp, capturing the group in a raw, expressive state. It’s very exciting and the song will provide The Family Stone’s debut single 18 months later. Stone also cuts a version of a song called “Are You Sure” with them; also previously unreleased, that will later metamorph into The Family Stone’s “Life of Fortune & Fame,” Read the rest of this entry »

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