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Sly Stone Greatest Hits
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Sly & The Family Stone - Greatest Hits

(S. Stewart)
Master number: CO 99324
From: Stand!
Epic album BN 26456 and Epic single 5-10450
Billboard Pop Chart #60 (1969) and #38 (1970)
Billboard R&B Chart #24 (1969)

(S. Stewart)
Master number: HCO 106425
From: Greatest Hits
Epic album PE 30325 and Epic single 5-10555
Billboard Pop Chart #1

3. STAND! 3:08
(S. Stewart)
Master number: HCO 105633-2
From: Stand!
Epic album BN 26456 and Epic single 5-10450
Billboard Pop Chart #22
Billboard R&B Chart #14

4. LIFE 3:00
(S. Stewart)
Master number: CO 93559-2
From: Life
Epic album BN 26397 and Epic single 5-10353
Billboard Pop Chart #93

5. FUN 2:22
(S. Stewart)
Master number: CO 99672
From: Life
Epic album BN 26397 and Epic single 5-10497

(S. Stewart)
Master number: CO 102067
From: Stand!
Epic album BN 26456

(S. Stewart)
Master number: CO 92837
From: Dance To The Music
Epic album BN 26371 and Epic single 5-10256
Billboard Pop Chart #8
Billboard R&B Chart #9

(S. Stewart)
Master number: CO 99347-2
From: Stand!
Epic album BN 26456 and Epic single 5-10407
Billboard Pop Chart #1
Billboard R&B Chart #1

(S. Stewart)
Master number: HCO 103646-1
From: Greatest Hits
Epic album PE 30325 and Epic single 5-10497
Billboard Pop Chart #2
Billboard R&B Chart #3

10. M’LADY 2:45
(S. Stewart)
Master number: CO 99617
From: Life
Epic album BN 26397 and Epic single 5-10353
Billboard Pop Chart #93

(S. Stewart)
Master number: CO 102289
From: Stand!
Epic album BN 26456 and Epic single 5-10407
Billboard Pop Chart #89
Billboard R&B Chart #28

(S. Stewart)
Master number: HCO 106485
From: Greatest Hits
Epic album PE 30325 and Epic single 5-10555
Billboard Pop Chart #1
Billboard R&B Chart #1

Track 7 Originally Recorded 1967.
Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 Originally Recorded 1968.
Tracks 1, 2, 8, 9, 11, 12 Original Recorded 1969.



FREDDIE STONE – guitar, vocals
ROSIE STONE – keyboards
SLY STONE – vocals, keyboards, guitar


Tuesday was a restless night. My television is set up for remote control and I punched the channel-selector button mercilessly, jumping from commercial to commercial, with an occasional thirty-second segment of a show. Everything was particularly dumb that night. Johnny Carson was picking his practiced way through the arid and rock-strewn mind of a young starlet. The late show movie was an Italian version of “The Cisco Kid” with delayed-effect dubbing supplied by Mother Murky’s Home For The Halting. Ralph Williams smiled himself into the ground with bull about the greatest automotive bargain of Your Whole Life. Other commercials were all of the dirty laundry and stained sink variety, featuring Madge, the non-liberated space brain of old-line advertising fame. Tuesday was a restless night.

Suddenly I hit a talk show and there was Sly Stone. He was being outrageous. I would expect no less from him – though I expected far less from Tuesday. Sly has always been outrageous. And he has always known how to get the music that’s inside his head Out Here, where we can enjoy it. Thank you, Sly, for saving Tuesday. He didn’t do much, sitting there in some flamboyant set of clothes, strands of suede and streaks of flamingo orange. I have the feeling he was preoccupied with some new idea for a song. “What?” he’d say when the host tried to include him in vapid discussion. “Oh yeah, I sure do agree with that, like you say.” Sly was as bored as I was. I had to love him. He’s as infectious, self-styled, and direct as his music is.

His music. Your music, too. By the way, did you leave your record collection with your brother in Duluth when you hit the road?

Was it stolen by someone who was supposed to be your friend?

Did you loan out the good ones and then lose track of them?

Or are your favorites just worn out?

Check one or more of the above with firm black lines (do not fold or mutilate). If yes, to any of the above, then here’s a way to put some Sly & The Family Stone back into your life. Because this Greatest Hits collection is particularly well rounded. It has I Want To Take You Higher; Everyday People; Everybody Is A Star; and several other best of his tunes. It even has Hot Fun In The Summertime, which got a lot of us through the summer of 1969.

Musically, there is one thing that Sly doesn’t know how to do: stand still. He moves, he grows, changes, expands, dances, preaches, pleads, laughs, and invites us all to be there. In other words, Sly & The Family Stone just keep on truckin’. The pure fine thing is that they have so much to truck about. This album will lighten your day and tonight you’ll have something to do besides watch the Dumb Parade on TV.

– Morgan Ames
Pop Music Editor, High Fidelity

He was never on time. That’s the one thing everybody knows about Sylvester Stewart. Concerts, meetings, interviews, photo shoots or television appearances, it made no difference what the occasion was, nor the consequence. His favorite saying was and most likely remains, “It is not the time, it is the timing.”

In the case of Sly & The Family Stone’s Greatest Hits, at least, the former San Francisco radio disc jockey and music industry veteran was right. Signed to Epic by Clive Davis in 1967, his radically and sexually integrated collective had turned out four genre-busting albums in just three years. Then nothing.


Between 1969 and 1971 – an eternity back then – Stone locked himself inside the studios at 783 Bel Air Road in Los Angeles and The Record Plant in Sausalito, California, meticulously working on material that would eventually make up the group’s thorny fifth album, There’s A Riot Goin’ On.

The only problem was that in 1970, Sly & The Family Stone were more popular than ever. They had just played a triumphant set at Woodstock and fired up the pop charts with a series of joyous singles that smashed together strains of psychedelic rock, elastic funk and whatever else happened to cross the singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and ringleader’s musical periphery.

To keep fans happy and the band’s name in public view, a couple of b-sides and the singles from the year before were rounded up with songs from the group’s three previous albums – 1968’s Dance To The Music, 1968’s Life and 1969’s Stand! (at the time, 1967’s debut, A Whole New Thing, was considered a commercial flop).

Originally released on November 21, 1970, Greatest Hits captured the era when Sly & The Family Stone radiated with optimism. Stone’s personal problems were still somewhere in the distance. Instead, listeners heard a band spilling over with energy and ideas. No two songs sounded alike; from “Everyday People” to “Everybody Is A Star,” every groove defied categorization, every lyric highlighted Stone’s singular worldview, even if the message of peace and love was ultimately familiar.

Greatest Hits wasn’t arranged in any scientific order. Instead, it feels like a prototypical mix-tape, driven along by a wildly dynamic band that included Sly’s brother Freddie Stone on guitar, sister Rosie on electric piano, cousin Larry Graham on bass and Greg Errico on drums, along with saxophonist Jerry Martini and trumpet player Cynthia Robinson.

Even though it only covers a little over two years in the group’s lifespan, the material exhibits the full range of Sly & The Family Stone’s multiple personalities

It opens with “I Want To Take You Higher,” a celebratory mission statement that finds the musicians trading verses and shouting the song title over a swirl of organs, blaring horns and audible grunts: “Don’t you want to get higher?” Naturally, it was the song that inspired the 3 a.m. audience sing-along at Woodstock.

From there, it blazes through a set of songs that cast the template for Stone’s languid sermonizing (“Stand!,” “You Can Make It If You Try”) and the ones that broke it with a cosmic slant (“Dance To The Music,” “M’Lady”). The band plays the euphoric anthem for equality, “Everyday People,” seemingly without touching the earth, then comes crashing down with the slap-bass hailstorm of the closing track, “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).” Every minute represents a new round of invention and risk-taking.

Other artists have pondered these songs through the years. They have been covered by a diverse roster that includes the likes of Aretha Franklin, The Jackson Five, Diana Ross, The Four Tops, Tina Turner, The Beach Boys, Duran Duran, Pearl Jam, Belle & Sebastian, Dave Matthews and Gwen Stefani. The list goes on and grows more varied.

Upon its release, Greatest Hits shot up to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 and became Sly & The Family Stone’s most successful album to date. There would be other hits, but no other set would quite capture the remarkable, anything-goes spirit that ran rampant through the material collected here. In many ways, it was the album that made the band. The timing was right.

Which brings us to another one of Stone’s favorite sayings: “Being sorry is for sorry people.”

– Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco

If ever a greatest hits album lived up to its name, it’s this one. Decades after its original 1970 release, Sly & The Family Stone’s Greatest Hits remains as thrillingly irresistible as ever, spinning off one indelible classic after another – “Dance To The Music,” “Everyday People,” “I Want To Take You Higher,” “Stand!” and more. More than hits, they are high points of American popular music, every one of them. One of the great party records ever made!


Produced by Sly Stone for Stone Flower Productions

Album Design: Teresa Alfieri
Photos: Stephen Paley


Executive Producers: Jerry Goldstein and Glenn Stone for Even St. Productions, Ltd.

Produced for Reissue by Bob Irwin

Mastered by Vic Anesini at Sony Music Studios, New York

Legacy A&R: Steve Berkowitz

Project Direction: Lisa Buckler

Art Direction and Design: Rob Carter

Photography: page 2 – Stephen Paley; pages 5, 10, 11 – Sony BMG Archives; pages 6-7 – (top) Bob Gruen, (bottom, left to right) Murray Neitlich, Sandy Speiser, Sony BMG Archives, Yoram Kahana; page 8 – Murray Neitlich; page 9 – Jeff Mayer

Billboard chart information courtesy of Joel Whitburn.

© 1970, 2007 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT / Originally Recorded 1967, 1968, 1969. All rights reserved by SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
(P) 2007 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT / Manufactured and Distributed by Epic, A Division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT / 550 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022-3211 / “Epic,” “Legacy” and L Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Marca Registrada
WARNING: Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

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