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Music / Sly and the Family Stone

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Clockwise from top: Larry Graham, Freddie Stone, Greg Errico, Sly Stone, Rose Stone, Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini.

"There is a yellow one,
That won't accept the black one,
That won't accept the red one,
That won't accept the white one,
Different strokes for different folks,
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo,
Oh sha sha,
I AM everyday people.
"Everyday People"

Sly and the Family Stone were a pioneering multicultural Funk-Rock-Soul band best known for their work in the late 1960s and early '70s. Their biggest hits were "Everyday People," "Hot Fun in the Summertime," "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" and "Family Affair." The group dissolved in 1975 due to declining popularity and Sly's drug problems, although he continued to perform and record, first as a solo artist and then with a new Family lineup. The original group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Not to be confused with the movie The Family Stone.

Studio discography:

  • A Whole New Thing (1967)
  • Dance to the Music (1968)
  • Life (1968)
  • Stand! (1969)
  • There's a Riot Goin' On (1971)
  • Fresh (1973)
  • Small Talk (1974)note 
  • Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I'm Back (1976)
  • Back on the Right Track (1979)
  • Ain't But the One Way (1982)

Sly Stone solo discography:

  • High on You (1975)
  • I'm Back! Family and Friends (2011)note 

"Hot tropes in the summertime":

  • Alliterative Name: Sly Stone (also his real name, Sylvester Stewart).
  • Artist and the Band
  • Band of Relatives: Sly, Freddie and Rose.
  • Cover Version: Doris Day's "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be Will Be)", allegedly inspired by a bizarre gossip column rumor that Sly and Day were dating each other.
  • Darker and Edgier: There's A Riot Goin' On, which contains "Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa", itself a Darkier and Edgier (and much slower) version of the already Dark and Edgy "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)".
  • David Versus Goliath: Invoked in "Stand"
    There's a midget standing tall
    And the giant beside him about to fall
  • Epic Rocking: "Sex Machine" clocks in at 13:45.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The song "Family Affair" describes two brothers, one who is "somebody who just loves to learn" and the other is "somebody you'd just love to burn". However, the song emphasizes that "Both kids are good to Mom / Blood's thicker than the mud."
  • Funk: Along with James Brown, one of the pioneers of it.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Greatest Hits, released in 1970. Oddly enough both "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" and "Hot Fun in the Summertime" made their first appearance here, although they certainly became hits in retrospect.
  • Heavy Meta/Self-Demonstrating Song: "Dance to the Music," where each musician sings about what he or she is going to do to contribute to the song.
  • Hymn to Music: "I Want To Take You Higher".
  • "I Am" Song: "I'm An Animal"
  • Lead Bassist: Larry Graham
  • Love Hurts: "I'll Never Fall in Love Again"
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Hot Fun in the Summertime" is lyrically an upbeat celebration of summer. Musically, it's midtempo and rather bittersweet-sounding, with lots of minor chords.
  • Miniscule Rocking: As miniscule as humanly possible. The title track of There's A Riot Goin' On clocks in at 0:00.
  • N-Word Privileges: "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey".
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Stand!", "Life" and "You Can Make It If You Try" are the straight, feel-good examples. "Everybody is a Star" is a slightly more downbeat variation.
  • Progressive Instrumentation: Each performer introduces his own instrument in "Dance to the Music."
  • Protest Song: "Everyday People," "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey," There's A Riot Goin' On, "Babies Makin' Babies"
  • Pun-Based Title: "Luv N' Haight"
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Running Away" ("Look at you fooling you")
  • Shout-Out: They've received a few.
    • The band The Family Stand.
    • The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give It Away" includes the line, "Confide with Sly you'll be the wiser."
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: Well, not so much sex, but drugs played a major part in the dissolution of the group. By 1975, professionalism fell apart, band members would either walk off or never show up and their last show at Radio City Music Hall attracted about 1/8th of it's max capacity, note  and they had to scrape funds just to afford a ride home.
  • Silly Love Songs: "Trip To Your Heart", "Let Me Hear It From You", "I Hate To Love Her,"
  • Single Stanza Song: "Just Like A Baby", "Poet"
  • The Something Song: "Sing a Simple Song".
  • Song of Song Titles: "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" mentions "Dance to the Music," "Everyday People," "Sing a Simple Song" and "You Can Make It If You Try," albeit in a sarcastic way.
  • Stage Names: Sly, Freddie and Rose's real last name is Stewart.
  • Textless Album Cover: There's a Riot Goin' On
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Dance to the Music", "Stand!", "You Can Make It If You Try", "Hot Fun in the Summertime," "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)".
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)".