Why is Sly & The Family Stone’s Greatest Hits on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
There are very few bands that have better expressed the pure joy, the pure jubilation of music.
What does Sly & The Family Stone’s Greatest Hits mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
When listening to the opening notes of “I Want To Take You Higher” or “You Can Make It If You Try” or “Dance To The Music,” I’m reminded that there are very few bands that have better expressed the pure joy, the pure jubilation of music.
And with “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” that joy starts out with the funkiest bass popping-est riff ever put down on tape. And just looking at the song title (and what a song title!) and others like it (“Everybody Is A Star,” “Dance to the Music”), there’s a strong message of joy as expressed by way of being yourself. Letting one’s freak flag fly, so to speak.
“I Want To Take You Higher” starts with typically Sly & Co. high energy and ramps it up from there, with rollicking organ, horns blaring, a soul funk jam for the ages all told.
“Everyday People” shows off the range of the band, a really pretty song which is tarnished just a touch from being overkilled by use in various ad campaigns over the years.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Sly & The Family Stone’s Greatest Hits
Sly & The Family Stone’s “I Want To Take You Higher” must surely have influenced “Higher,” by Brother Meat, my favorite band from upstate New York during my college years at Binghamton University. Great tune, which allows the so called “Brother” to show off his pipes.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Sly & The Family Stone’s Greatest Hits
When I hear the opening bass guitar line on “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” I immediately think “slap bass mode.”
The background on this is that I played bass guitar in high school and college. Not very well – I was fairly mediocre all told, I’d say. I had an absolutely mediocre amplifier for my bass guitar (produced by a company called Stone, if memory serves, which is slightly ironical as this entry is about The Family called Stone), which at its loudest (turned up to 11, so to speak) wasn’t even all that loud. It also had a switch called “slap bass,” that when activated produced kind of a punchier sound that one associates with slapping the bass.
Slapping the bass, if you’re not familiar, means that instead using two fingers (or using a pick) to pluck the bass guitar strings, you use the side of your thumb to strike the strings, which produces a different kind of sound.
In any event, I stand in awe of Sly & The Family Stone’s ability to rock out and funk out the slap bass mode.
Some stats & info about Sly & The Family Stone – Greatest Hits
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? SF Bay Area Bands, Funk, Soul, R&B, Psychedelic Soul
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #343
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Greatest Hits released? 1970
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #744 out of 1,000
Sly & The Family Stone’s Greatest Hits on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.