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Living legend
May 25, 2009 6:27 PM   Subscribe

Let's slide over to KCRW for an interview with Sly Stone, who, happily, is continuing his gradual reemergence into the public eye. Then howsabout we rewind to 1974, just a few months after the incredible Fresh was released, for another (albeit odd and somewhat awkward) interview on the Mike Douglas Show. And yeah, Sly Stone, we definitely want you to stay.

Interspersed throughout the KCRW interview you'll hear musical selections "Hot Fun in the Summertime", a very young and very soulful Sylvester Stewart, along with his family gospel group The Stewart Four, performing "Walking in Jesus' Name" (at 7:04), "Everyday People", "Family Affair", the hilarious "Space Cowboy" (Sly YODELS!), the utterly charming "Running Away", winner of the most-unlikely-cover-ever award "Que Sera Sera", and "If You Want Me To Stay". The interview closes with Sly's brilliantly funky syncopated masterpiece "In Time". What a treat.

The CNN article mentioned Stone's daughter, Novena, and her project, Babystone. Not a whole lot out there on the nets yet, but here's a CD Baby page for her release, where you can hear some audio snippets, and a live clip on YouTube. Hmm...
posted by flapjax at midnite (19 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sly Stone, previously and previouslier.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:32 PM on May 25, 2009


i love this small talk now
posted by the aloha at 6:45 PM on May 25, 2009


thank you flapjax! I love KCRW and I love Sly & The Family.
posted by gen at 7:01 PM on May 25, 2009


His greatest achievement may very well have been producing Bobby Freeman's still- powerful, driving 1964 single, "C'mon and Swim." The piece is an exquisitely crafted exercise in tension and release, buildup and explosion. The power and authority of the horn parts have never been equalled, with a booming organ pumping away underneath it. All in a cheesy dance song. But then, what was "Dance to the Music"? Another simple dance song that had more creativity per square inch than almost any other single released that year of "Sgt. Pepper." The Temptations ripped it off wholesale, and extended their chart career by an extra three singles or so.
posted by Faze at 7:08 PM on May 25, 2009


Gah! That version of "If You Want Me To Stay" from the Mike Douglas Show is wicked! That walking-up piano line from the end of the phrase is so wicked. That didn't make the final mix on Fresh, did it?

One of the things I've noticed about Sly's music is that it's simultaneously sweet and funky. Prince does this sometimes, too, but rarely in the same song like Sly does.

I like listening to Sly because my head bobs from the funk, buy my heart breaks from the sweetness. Thanks for sharing this, Flapjax!
posted by elmer benson at 7:08 PM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


That walking-up piano line from the end of the phrase is so wicked. That didn't make the final mix on Fresh, did it?

Yeah, I noticed that straightaway too, elmer, and no, it's not there on the original release. And his extemporaneous vocalizing is sweet too, eh?

I like listening to Sly because my head bobs from the funk, buy my heart breaks from the sweetness.

Exactly! It's a very agreeable, and, as you say, very rare combination.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:16 PM on May 25, 2009


Sly is full of contradiction. He's polished and sloppy, sophisticated and naive, funky and corny, disciplined and stoned-out -- all at once. He's always been an enigma, and the interview, great as it is, sheds little light.
posted by Jode at 7:41 PM on May 25, 2009


I was just coming in here to say the same thing about the walk up on the piano.
posted by emelenjr at 7:47 PM on May 25, 2009


Thank You Falettinme read this post!
posted by Sailormom at 8:03 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I like listening to Sly because my head bobs from the funk, buy my heart breaks from the sweetness."

So true. Just listen to There's a Riot Goin' On.
posted by Flex1970 at 8:29 PM on May 25, 2009


Sly and the Family Stone, on of my favorite artists, great post. He looked a lot more "together" than I would have imagined him in 1974, really nice to see. A little intrigued by the characterization of "Space Cowboy" and "Running Away" as hilarious and/or charming though. That album has such a thick patina of paranoia and drugs layered upon it, some deep troubles in there. (Not that there's anything wrong with that)
posted by jeremias at 8:40 PM on May 25, 2009


Thank you
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:05 PM on May 25, 2009


Spaced Cowboy. I think the explanation for that one is cocaine. "Running Away" is definitely brilliant, though.
posted by raysmj at 9:12 PM on May 25, 2009


Thank you for this post. I don't have time to check out all the links, but I will be doing so over the next few days. Sly cuts an intriguing figure, part visionary (just check out the Motown sound pre- and post- Sly) and part enigmatic recluse with a huge dash of not really giving a shit. 'Fresh' is my favourite album, but I was obsessed enough with 'There's a Riot Goin' On' to have dedicated a whole chapter of a doctoral dissertation to it. I still feel there's a lot more to say. Anyway, all hail Sly.
posted by ob at 1:22 AM on May 26, 2009


Spaced Cowboy. I think the explanation for that one is cocaine.

And PCP, don't forget the PCP...
posted by ob at 1:23 AM on May 26, 2009


Yeah, Fresh was the last great Sly album, although bits of Small Talk are also the shit — "Loose Booty" springs to mind.

Come back strong, man, we need you!
posted by Wolof at 1:39 AM on May 26, 2009


PCP=no turn unstoned. Not pretty, not fun. Just fugged kup. Once, and only once.
posted by Goofyy at 3:15 AM on May 26, 2009


Thanks for this. I love Sly (the cover of "Que Sera Sera" is one of my all-time favourites, used slyly under the end credits of "Heathers"). elmer benson is bang-on about what's so cool about Sly. And Faze is as well, about the tension and release, although I think that's what makes all Sly's music so great, "Thank You (For Letting Me Be Myself)" is all about that tense, tight groove let slip into full on funk at just the right moments and then pulled back in again, it wouldn't be half as awesome if it didn't have that controlled tension to it.
posted by biscotti at 8:41 AM on May 26, 2009


Bobby Freeman : C'mon and SWIM Spotify link : http://open.spotify.com/track/4QVLwVgNxqTp73Gfg6pS56
posted by Dr.Pill at 8:43 AM on May 26, 2009


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