Review #119: Stand!, Sly & The Family Stone

Karla Clifton
2 min readJun 27, 2021

#119: Stand!, Sly & The Family Stone

The last Family Stone album we heard, There’s A Riot Goin’ On, was pretty serious. Also I went on kind of a deep dive into Sly Stone’s downward spiral, which made me very sad.

So it’s really weird to listen to this cheerful album! This is such a kumbayah album that I kept expecting “We Are The World” to come on. I guess this was pre-Sly’s cocaine addiction; his A&R director Stephen Paley said he was “more together” when they made this album.

Sly & his family Stone had a hit with “Dance To The Music,” but this was their first album to hit the Billboard Top 100. Good for them! But at the same time, it’s always a bummer to discover a really great band then find out that success destroyed them.

FAVORITE SONGS:

“Stand!” — Something about this huge band singing STAAAAAND! all at once makes me literally want to stand up and jump up and down.

“Don’t Call Me N*****, Whitey” — Woof. I love the guitar solo, love the female singer, love the confrontational stuff. Apparently, Ice-T, Jane’s Addiction, and the metal band Body Count performed this at Lollapalooza 1991. What a weird combination of people.

“I Want to Take You Higher” — I love that they sound like a choral band at times. I bet Sly was a blast to see live.

“Sing a Simple Song” — This song is actually quite complex.

“Everyday People” Different strokes for different folks!

“Sex Machine” — Excellent, a guitar solo.

“You Can Make It If You Try” — Jeez, what happened to Sly Stone in between this album’s release and Riot?

LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:

“Somebody’s Watching You” —Airplane music.

IS RS FULL OF IT?

This album is syrupy sweet and somehow also terrifyingly edgy, and I had heard several of these songs before, even though I didn’t really know who Sly & the Family Stone were before diving down this list.

RS isn’t full of it, but man, I’d really love to read about a musician that was untouched by the troubles of the world, and just made music and was happy about it, and then retired and collects stamps now or something.

Review #118: Hotel California, The Eagles

Review #120: Moondance, Van Morrison

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