Funk,  Giveaway

On the Sly – an Ickmusic Giveaway

Sly and the Family Stone
Photo credit: SBMG Archives

“Black, white, Puerto Rican everybody just a freakin,’ good times were rollin…” – Prince “Uptown”

Prince sang these lyrics on his 1980 album, ‘Dirty Mind.’ He practiced what he preached with his backing band from the very beginning. Surrounding himself with black folks, white folks, male, female. But it was nothing new. More than a dozen years earlier in San Francisco, Sylvester Stewart, aka Sly Stone, had assembled a band of much the same makeup. In 1967, Sly put together the now legendary Family Stone: Fred Stewart (guitar, vocals), Larry Graham, Jr. (bass, vocals), Greg Errico (drums), Jerry Martini (saxophone), and Rosie Stone (piano), and Cynthia Robinson (trumpet).

Their mixture of funky, psychedelic, rock & soul shook up the Bay Area, at a time when bands like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead were doing some serious mind blowing of their own. Oh, to be a young person living in Haight-Ashbury in the late 60’s. Loord have mercy… Kaboom! goes the brain.

Sly and the Family Stone were signed to CBS’s Epic Records in 1967 by one Clive Davis. Between ’67 and ’74, they released seven groundbreaking albums which would go on to influence countless numbers of performers down the road, including our boy Prince. In fact, if you think about it, what band has been more influential overall on Prince? Larry Graham, after all, is the reason Prince won’t curse anymore, and the reason he changed “Sexuality” to “Spirituality”. Yep, Larry’s the one that turned Prince on to life as a Jehovah’s Witness. No birthday for you!

So Sly’s breakthrough album was 1969’s ‘Stand’, which included such funkalicious staples as “I Wanna Take You Higher”, “Sing a Simple Song”, and “Everyday People.” As the idealism and flower power of the 60’s ended, Sly pretty much lost himself in addictions to drugs, particularly cocaine and PCP. The man reportedly used to carry around a violin case full of drugs everywhere he went.

Sly pretty much dropped off the map as the seventies came to a close, and has struggled with addiction ever since. He popped up to help The Time’s Jesse Johnson on Jesse’s second album, ‘Shockadelica’, singing on “Crazay” in 1986. Since then, he was pretty quiet until 2006’s Grammy Awards, when he popped up on stage looking about 10 different types of cuckoo. I think he’s stil making an effort to clean up and get back on stage. I think I heard he showed up at a Vegas gig recently? There’s a great place to kick your addicitions…

So all seven of these albums (listed below) were reissued by Epic/Legacy in early April. I got my hands on ‘Stand!’, and for some reason, I’m going to give it away to one of you fine folks. This reissue has five bonus tracks: three mono singles and two previously unreleased bonus tracks.

The winner will be selected from the comments using a secret, proprietary formula. Or by having my one year old point to the screen. Or whichever one thoroughly entertains me. Or… you get the idea. No rhyme or reason really. Good luck! And check out some of these tracks and reissues.

Sly & the Family Stone Streamage – comin’ at ya in Real format! Keepin’ it real! Kaboom!


Everyday People (single version)

Stand! Track List

(Epic/Legacy 82876 75912 2, originally issued April 1969, as Epic 26456)

1. Stand! (3rd single, R&B #14, Hot 100 #22) • 2. Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey • 3. I Want To Take You Higher (4th single, R&B #24, Hot 100 #60/1969, Hot 100 #38/1970) • 4. Somebody’s Watching You • 5. Sing A Simple Song (2nd single, R&B 28, Hot 100 #89) • 6. Everyday People (1st single, Hot 100 #1, R&B #1) • 7. Sex Machine • 8. You Can Make It If You Try • Bonus tracks: 9. Stand! (single version, mono) • 10. I Want To Take You Higher (single version, mono) • 11. You Can Make It If You Try (unissued/cancelled single version, mono) • 12. Soul Clappin’ II (previously unreleased) • 13. My Brain (Zig-Zag) (instrumental track, previously unreleased). Produced by Sly Stone.

Note: All tracks recorded 1969, except: tracks 5, 8, 11 recorded 1968.

Buy it:


Sly & the Family Stone’s Official Site

The Reissues:

• LIFE (1968)
• STAND! (1969)
• FRESH (1973)
• SMALL TALK (1974)


  • Jshua

    Ok, where to begin on sly

    I agree with you 100% with his (and the Family Stone’s) influence on “Mr. Purple” for sure. Its also a bit eeire the way The Revolution mirrors not the look, but moreover the idea that Sly was trying to get across. I recently picked up “Precious Stones” and let me tell you, its a great documentary on his evolution and how he developed his sound.
    Btw, do you have the Fillmore performances from 68? If not, I’ve got em’

    The one thing that sticks out to me about him is the fact of how much of a true original he was for that time. What’s now considered old hat these days was originated right then and there and its Funkay!!!

    But I digress,

    I’m sure you probably just wanted to read something like:

    “Thank You falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin”

    –and I’m out–


  • Kim

    Me! Me!!! Me!! I want to win!!!! And because I actually have ‘soul’ in blog name. (Looking for any good excuse here.) And, I just put up a post yesterday about the New Orleans Jazz Fest. And last summer, Sly’s ‘Greatet Hits’ was my ‘summer’ album. REALLY. I love Sly.

    I saw Sly and Family perform at the ‘Ice Palace’ in Las Vegas, when I was like…….14 years old?????? About 500 people in the ice rink which was full and sold out. He was 3 hours late. NOBODY cared because, you know, we were ALL, you know……. What a great concert THAT was.

    Bonus reason — yesterday I also wrote about Arron (one of your fav’s) singing ‘Amazing Grace.’

    Coooommmmonnnn, I win right????? I win???? Begging is good.

  • Gonzo

    I’m refraining from entering for a while since I won the Cash dvd a while back (which I admit, I still haven’t watched). But I just wanted to say that the boxed set of all of the Sly remasters is OH SO TEMPTING!

  • bill

    Oh, Kim. Groveling is sooo beneath you. I love Sly. Saw him in Miami in 1972 when I was a youngster. First LP I ever bought was Stand. Ok, I bought it for my older sister as a gift, but I still bought it. So, pick me.

  • Mrs. Cornish

    Okay, I have an AWESOME CD I picked up last year that I will send with Charlie tomorrow to work for you to take a listen to. The name of the album is Different Stokes by Different Folks and it is new bands covering his originals. Found it at Starbucks and here is a link to hear some samples

    Sharing the love and hoping for the win. Need to add more Sly to our collection.

  • Thierry Côté

    While I suspect that I will own the box set in time, I would LOVE to have Stand! right NOW!!! Please? 🙂

  • Cove

    Dang, just after I had burned all of my Sly Stone albums to CD, now I have to go buy the CD’s to get rid of the crackly sounds from my old vinyl!

    I commend to everyone Greil Marcus’ book, “Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n Roll Music,” which is one of the basic texts for any lover of American music. The chapter on Sly Stone called “Sly Stone: THe Myth of Staggerlee,” is fantastic. Marcus focuses on the symbolism of “There’s a Riot Goin’ On,” but Pete is right — the real winner in Sly’s collection is “Stand!”

    He’s “only” 63. If only he could straighten out, there may be more music in him yet.

  • Girasol

    Ooooh . . . Sly! The first album I ever bought (with the money I got from my 8th grade graduation) was Sly and the Family Stone’s Greatest Hits. Sly’s music was one of the first things I downloaded from iTunes when I bought my iPod a few years ago. I’ve been meaning to buy/download the entire albums, but never got around to it. I’m glad I waited so now I can get the remastered versions.

    “Cynthia and Jerry got a message they’re saying: All the squares go home!”

  • Erica

    Hellllloo little 1 year old pick me! Cause I can add to the Sly trivia!….

    Ever listened to “Family Affair” and wondered why it sounds like it was recorded in a deep well? It’s not mono recording, it’s because Sly would meet women and say Hey you wanna sing on my record?, then when the next dame came along, record the new dame over the new one on the same tape apparently.

    I heard awhile back they (with Sly) were working on new tracks….course we’ll probably see locusts on our window sill before the tracks see the light of day, but anyone heard anything about them?

  • Dan

    Hey, Pete’s kid (I’m sure I’ve seen the name, but I don’t remember)!!! Look! It’s Barney! Over here! The Wiggles! Laurie Berkner!!!! Pick me! No, put that down. Look here. No, don’t put that in your mouth. Pick m… oh, now there’s drool all over that.

  • Hans

    I am Dutch and my fellow country man Walter Stokman made the absolutely brilliant Sly documentary “Let me have it all” in 1993. So. Let … me … have … it … all …

  • Pete

    Obligatory Disclaimer: I wish you could all win, but of course there can be only one winner! There’s many more giveaways to come, and you will all get yer turn, I swear!

    So this time ’round, we go with….. the fairer sex…. Erica! Congrats, and the CD will soon be on its way…

  • Anonymous

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