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Thursday, July 14, 2011

100 Records That Shook the World, #40

There's a Riot Goin' On (LP)

Sly and The Family Stone

After their first four albums and their amazing performance at Woodstock, Sly and the Family Stone, could, it seemed, do no wrong. However, they moved to LA, got involved with drugs and the Black Panthers, and Sly wanted to record songs that embodied the spirit of the time. It was the end of the Sixties and a lot of terrible things were happening what with the Vietnam War and political asassinations. Epic Records were anxious for Sly to release more product, following the critical and commercial success of 1969's Stand!, but after an 18-month period during which their only release was the single Thank You (Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),  Sly himself drove over to the record company with the masters for Riot,  much to Epic's relief.

The album, which contained the hit single Family Affair,  had a darker, more foreboding, depressing tone, and extensive overdubbing produced a 'swampy' feel to the whole shebang. It has been called one of the most influential albums of its time, and along with Marvin Gaye's What's Going On it captures the feel of that whole time perfectly. In 2003 Rolling Stone placed it at #99 on their 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.


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