- 5 February 2015
At a recent tribute concert in Oakland, Mayor Libby Schaaf officially declared January 24, 2015 as Sly & The Family Stone Day, citing the local band’s positive message. Original band members were on hand to accept the award. Watch the proclamation (presented by Undercover concert promoter Lyz Luke and KPFA's Rickey Vincent), courtesy of KQED Arts.
- 21 October 2014
In 1970, The Family Stone were at the peak of their popularity, but the maestro Sly Stone had already moved his head to a completely different space. The first evidence of Sly’s musical about-turn was revealed by the small catalog of his new label, Stone Flower: a pioneering, peculiar, minimal electro-funk sound that unfolded over just four seven-inch singles. Stone Flower’s releases were credited to their individual artists, but each had Sly’s design and musicianship stamped into the grooves–and the words “Written by Sylvester Stewart/Produced and arranged by Sly Stone” on the sticker.
Set up by Stone’s manager David Kapralik with distribution by Atlantic Records, Stone Flower was, predictably, a family affair: the first release was by Little Sister, fronted by Stone’s little sister Vaetta Stewart. It was short lived too–the imprint folded in 1971–but its influence was longer lasting. The sound Stone formulated while working on Stone Flower’s output would shape the next phase in his own career as a recording artist: it was here he began experimenting with the brand new Maestro Rhythm King drum machine. In conjunction with languid, effected organ and guitar sounds and a distinctly lo-fi soundscape, Sly’s productions for Stone Flower would inform the basis of his masterwork There’s A Riot Goin’ On.
The first 45 came in February 1970: Little Sister’s dancefloor-ready “You’re The One” hit Number 22 in the charts–the label’s highest showing. The follow-up, “Stanga," also by Little Sister, made the wah pedal the star. The third release came from 6IX, a six-piece multi-racial rock group whose sole release, a super-slow version of The Family Stone’s “Dynamite," featured only the lead singer and harmonica player from the group. Joe Hicks was the final Stone Flower stablemate; his pulsing, electronic "Life And Death In G&A” is one of the bleakest moments Sly Stone ever created on disc (Hicks’ prior single for Scepter, “Home Sweet Home,” the first released Stone Flower production, is also included).
This compilation of Sly’s Stone Flower era gathers each side of the five 45s plus ten previously unissued cuts from the label archives, all newly remastered from the original tapes. In these grooves you’ll find the missing link between the rocky, soulful Sly Stone of Stand! and the dark, drum machine-punctuated, overdubbed sound of There’s A Riot Going On. I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-70 opens up the mysteries of an obscure but monumental phase in Stone’s career.
1. Little Sister - You're the One (Parts 1 & 2)
2. Sly Stone - Just Like a Baby
3. Joe Hicks - Home Sweet Home (Part 2)
4. 6IX - I'm Just Like You
5. Little Sister - Somebody's Watching You (Full Band Version)
6. Joe Hicks - Life & Death in G & A
7. 6IX - Trying to Make You Feel Good
8. Little Sister - Stanga
9. 6IX - Dynamite
10. Little Sister - You're the One (Early Version)
11. Sly Stone - Africa
12. Joe Hicks - I'm Goin' Home (Part 1)
13. Little Sister - Somebody's Watching You
14. 6IX - You Can, We Can
15. Sly Stone - Spirit
16. 6IX - I'm Just Like You (Full Band Version)
17. Sly Stone - Scared
18. 6IX - Dynamite (Alternate Version)
Rolling Stone review: 3 1/2 stars
- 3 July 2014
Sly & The Family Stone's "If You Want Me To Stay" is one of the songs featured in the new movie, Tammy, starring Melissa McCarthy in theaters now. Can't wait to hear it in the movie? Get the song now at iTunes!
- 11 June 2014
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is staging a variety of free programs related to its interactive exhibit, "Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience.''
The first is at 1 p.m. Friday, June 20, in the Rock Hall's Foster Theater. Lauren Onkey, the vice president of education and public programs, will interview original Sly & The Family Stone members Cynthia Robinson, Greg Errico and Jerry Martini, who played trumpet, drums and sax, respectively, for rock's first integrated, multi-gender band.
And they know their festivals, having been part of Woodstock in 1969 and the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival in the United Kingdom. The event is free with a reservation, available at tickets.rockhall.com or at the Rock Hall box office.
Read more at Cleveland.com.
- 21 May 2014
Legacy Recordings Releasing Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection, Iconic Vocal Recordings Fused With New Brazilian Grooves via Production Vision of The Berman Brothers
Celebrates the All In One Rhythm™ Theme of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ With 12 New Brazilian Arrangements of Classic Tracks By Bill Withers, the Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, and More
Tracks From This Innovative Album Are Set To Be Included in
ESPN’s Comprehensive 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Coverage Starting June 12th
Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection Digital Release Now Available; 12” Vinyl Due May 27th; CD Arrives On June 23rd
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Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection, an innovative collection of 12 beloved vocal recordings re-experienced through new samba and bossa nova arrangements created by iconic Brazilian musicians and The Berman Brothers. The perfect summer soundtrack party album, Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection includes first single, “Lovely Day (Studio Rio Version)” by Bill Withers with Studio Rio and will be released just in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, scheduled for June 12th - July 13th. Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection is available now at all digital music providers; the 12” vinyl LP arrives on May 27th with a CD edition following on June 23rd.
Embracing the All In One Rhythm™ Theme of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection blends 12 iconic performances - from Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Sly & The Family Stone, The Isley Brothers, Mel Tormé, Nina Simone, Johnny Nash, Dave Brubeck with Carmen McRae, Andy Williams and Sarah Vaughan - with new samba and bossa nova arrangements and production inspired by the spirit of Brazilian music.
Tracks from Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection will be included throughout ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, with multiple songs from the album slated to soundtrack the network’s multi-platform presentation of the quadrennial tournament. In addition, the collection’s “It’s Your Thing” (Studio Rio Version)” by The Isley Brothers with Studio Rio is among the highlights included on Sony Music Entertainment’s recently released One Love, One Rhythm – The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Album.
Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection is the latest innovative musical project from the award-winning production duo, the Berman Brothers (Frank and Christian). The project saw the Berman Brothers seeking out the original multi-track masters and then utilizing state-of-the-art separation technology from Science of Sounds to extract exquisitely pristine and detailed vocals. The newly isolated vocals were then melded with brand-new, authentic backing arrangements played by Studio Rio, an all-star cast of Brazilian musical pioneers from the bossa nova and samba genres, including Latin GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award winner Roberto Menescal and Brazilian musical legend Marcos Valle.
"Music is the heart and soul of Brazil, celebrating with syncopated beats and beautifully expressive melodies. It’s the life force of the entire culture," wrote the Berman Brothers in their notes for Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection. "We have always had a huge appreciation of Brazilian music. Between us, we have a massive collection of bossa nova and samba recordings, new and old, a lot which we found in flea markets in Amsterdam, Paris, and London.... Once you get into this music, there really is no way to stop. It was this joyful and timeless music that inspired the idea for this collection. Our goal was to bring the Brazilian joie de vivre to iconic performances by well-known American artists like Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, The Isley Brothers, and many others. What would these classic songs sound like had they been recorded in the studios of Rio de Janeiro in the first place, with the best Brazilian musicians and arrangers?”
“It was an amazing journey—bringing together these American classics and the vibrancy of Brazilian music with the help of so many talented musicians, arrangers and a dedicated production team. We learned many things putting together this music including what was the most important, and least surprising lesson of all: Brazil is the most musical place we have ever been in our lives.”
The Berman Brothers have a long history of coupling classic and contemporary sounds from around the world, including Rhythms Del Mundo (2006), a cross-cultural album summit which fused an all-star cast of Cuban musicians like Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo of the Buena Vista Social Club with US and UK artists and superstars including U2, Coldplay, Sting, Jack Johnson, Maroon5, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and others. Rhythms del Mundo was released in more than 61 countries and received multiple sales awards worldwide.
During the past 20 years, the Berman Brothers have received more than 90 gold and platinum awards, two BMI Awards, a GRAMMY® nomination (for "Love One Another," recorded by Cher) and a place in history for their production and remix of the Baha Men's colossal hit, "Who Let the Dogs Out." As producers, writers and publishers, the Bermans have worked with an array of international superstars including Coldplay, Sting, Cher, Real McCoy, Dido, Maroon5, Sophie B. Hawkins, Reamonn, and members of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club.
Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection
1. Bill Withers with Studio Rio - Lovely Day
2. Aretha Franklin with Studio Rio - Walk On By
3. Marvin Gaye with Studio Rio - Sexual Healing
4. Billie Holiday with Studio Rio - You’ve Changed
5. Sly & The Family Stone with Studio Rio - Family Affair
6. The Isley Brothers with Studio Rio - It’s Your Thing
7. Mel Tormé with Studio Rio - I’ve Got You Under My Skin
8. Nina Simone with Studio Rio – I Wish I Knew What It Means To Be Free
9. Johnny Nash with Studio Rio - I Can See Clearly Now
10. Dave Brubeck with Carmen McRae with Studio Rio - Take 5
11. Andy Williams with Studio Rio - Music To Watch Girls By
12. Sarah Vaughan with Studio Rio – Summertime
- 4 February 2014
Finding The Funk is getting its television premiere on VH1 TONIGHT at 10PM ET/PT. Directed by cultural critic Nelson George, the new VH1 Rock Doc chronicles one of pop music’s most beloved genres, exploring both the components and the innovative artists behind funk’s rise throughout the 1970s.
The film gets a helping hand from The Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, who provides narration, as well as memories and insights from legends like Bootsy Collins, Sly Stone, D’Angelo, Shelia E and many more. Watch the trailer below:
- 20 December 2013
Enter at VEVO.com for a chance to win the most incredible box sets ever assembled featuring some of the most iconic names in the Legacy Recordings catalog! The prize package includes Sly & The Family Stone's Higher!:
- Herbie Hancock – The Complete Columbia Album Collection (34 discs, 200 pg book)
- Sly & The Family Stone - Higher! (77–track over view and rarities box)
- Paul Simon – The Complete Albums Collection (12 studio albums, 2 live albums)
- Harry Nilsson – The RCA Albums Collection (14 discs + 65 bonus tracks)
- Bob Dylan – The Complete Album Collection Vol. 1 (all 41 official albums, 286 pg book)
- The Clash box set (all 12 studio albums, 3 demo albums, DVD)
- Miles Davis – The Original Mono Recordings (9 discs)
- Miles Davis Quintet – Live in Europe 1969 (3 discs, DVD)
- Kings of Leon – The Collection Box (5 albums, DVD)
- Julio Iglesias – Greatest Hits Deluxe Version (2 discs, DVD)
- Mad Season – Above Deluxe Edition (2 discs, DVD)
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience (4 discs, 80 pg book)
- Elvis Presley – Elvis at Stax (3 discs, 40 pg book)
- Taj Mahal – The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (13 albums, 15 discs)
- 28 October 2013
Biker drama Sons of Anarchy has covered Sly & The Family Stone's "Everyday People." The FX show's music supervisor and composer, Bob Thiele, was mindful of Sly Stone's legacy while managing the thrill of playing one of his songs. "Recording 'Everyday People' has easily been the biggest challenge I've had over the course of working on this show," Thiele told Rolling Stone. "First of all, Sly. In my book, none better. As big as the Beatles or Stones."
Much of the difficulty involved expanding "Everyday People" from its original form to five-and-a-half minutes -- along with fitting vocalists Audra Mae, Billy Valentine, Katey Sagal, Curtis Stigers and Franky Perez into the track. "Finding a new voice for the song, that's the challenge and that is what makes this work so gratifying."
Listen to the Sons of Anarchy cover of "Everyday People" and read more at RollingStone.com.
- 24 October 2013
Okayplayer has unveiled the final video in its Throwback Thursday interview series with members of Sly & The Family Stone, who gathered in the studio to review the newly-remastered versions of their classic tracks for the Higher! box set. The video focuses on "Stand!" -- one of The Family Stone’s most resounding and lasting statements -- and the stand they were trying to make as they tried to change the world. And don't miss your opportunity to enter for a chance to win the box set!
- 17 October 2013
It’s Throwback Thursday at Okayplayer, which means they have another exclusive look at Sly & The Family Stone‘s historic conversation, reunion and playback session as they met for the recent release of the Higher! 4CD box set. Videos 9 & 10 include anecdotes and insights from the Family’s early gigs at Winchester Cathedral and a listening session for the master tracks of "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)," including never-before-heard versions! Also, enter for a chance to win a copy of the box set!
- 16 October 2013
LEGACY RECORDINGS ANNOUNCES LIMITED EDITION VINYL EXCLUSIVES FOR RECORD STORE DAY'S ANNUAL BACK TO BLACK FRIDAY (FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2013)
Numbered Limited Edition of Bob Dylan - Side Tracks Leads Legacy's RSD Back To Black Friday 2013 Vinyl Lineup
New Legacy Collectibles Include: 12" Releases by Cheap Trick, Miles Davis, Nas, Harry Nilsson, Paul Simon and Roy Orbison; 7" Singles by Jimi Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone and Uncle Tupelo; Vinyl Replica CDs by the Clash
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Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is rolling out an incredible line-up of collectible 12" and 7" vinyl releases created especially for Record Store Day's Back to Black Friday 2013, celebrated this year at the nation's independent record stores on Friday, November 29, 2013.
For RSD Back To Black Friday 2013, Legacy is offering a range of historic and classic releases catering to connoisseurs of timeless sounds, from rare Bob Dylan Side Tracks to the roots of contemporary hip-hop, from punk rock to cool jazz, from 12" box sets to 7" vinyl singles to CD replicas of LPs in the Clash catalog.
Legacy Recordings Back To Black Friday 2013 releases include:
Bob Dylan - Side Tracks - 3 x 12" 200 gram LPs - numbered limited edition
An independent record store vinyl exclusive, Side Tracks (first made available as two CDs in the monumental Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One, released November 5, 2013) is a career-spanning collection of official Bob Dylan recordings--including previously released non-album singles, tracks from Biograph and other compilations, songs from films and more--that have never appeared on one of the artist's formal albums.
Cheap Trick - The Classic Albums 1977-1979 - 5 x 12" 180 gram LPs - numbered limited edition
An independent record store vinyl exclusive, The Classic Albums 1977-1979 box collects the first five ground-breaking power-pop masterpieces from one of America's all-time great rock bands, Cheap Trick. First released within a breathtaking two-year creative peak period in the late 1970s, these classic titles--Cheap Trick, In Color, Heaven Tonight, Live Budokan and Dream Police--have been newly remastered in 2013 from the original analog tapes and come packaged in original album artwork, housed in a newly-designed, numbered limited edition LP box.
Harry Nilsson - Rarities Collection - 12" 180 gram LP - numbered limited edition
An independent record store vinyl exclusive, these 12 rare Nilsson tracks have been especially selected for this release from The RCA Album Collection, a career-spanning 17 CD collection, and include demos, outtakes and other rarities.
Roy Orbison - The Monument Vinyl Box - 4 x 12" 180 gram LPs
An independent record store vinyl exclusive, The Monument Vinyl Box brings together the first three landmark albums--Lonely and Blue (1961), Crying (1962) and In Dreams (1963)--from Orbison's groundbreaking tenure at Monument Records. These records are now joined by a newly-curated fourth LP, Oh! Pretty Woman - the "missing" Monument album masterpiece that could have, and should have been released as its title song, "Oh, Pretty Woman" was topping the charts in 1964.
Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Fire" b/w "Foxey Lady" - 7" single - Numbered Limited Edition
An independent record store vinyl exclusive, these two live tracks were performed by the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the May 1968 Miami Pop Festival and have been previously unavailable.
Sly & The Family Stone - "Sexy Situation" b/w "Mother Is A Hippie" - 7" single - Numbered Limited Edition
An independent record store vinyl exclusive, this funky 7" single celebrates the release of the deluxe Sly & The Family Stone box set HIGHER! with two previously unissued early versions of these tracks.
Uncle Tupelo - "I Wanna Be Your Dog" b/w "Commotion" - 7" vinyl single - Numbered Limited Edition
An independent record store vinyl exclusive, this vinyl 7" includes "I Wanna Be Your Dog," a cover of the Stooges punk standard and outtake from No Depression, on the A Side with a B Side premiering a previously unreleased studio outtake showcasing Uncle Tupelo rocking Credence Clearwater Revival's "Commotion" in a preview of the forthcoming Legacy Edition of No Depression.
Nas - "Halftime" - 12" Vinyl reproduction of 1992 original
Originally recorded for the Zebrahead soundtrack by an emerging American MC calling himself "Nasty Nas," this explosive debut, in the words of Vibe magazine, "created a niche that only Illmatic could fill." The single also launched the career of one of the most durable, provocative and poetic rappers in hip-hop history. This facsimile reproduction of the original 12" vinyl includes the full "Halftime" A-side (1. radio edit, 2. LP version. 3. LP version instrumental) and B-side (1. Butcher Remix 2. Butcher Mix instrumental). The Nas "Halftime" release provides a fitting overture for the upcoming 20th Anniversary of Illmatic in 2014 (#ILLMATIC20 /Coming 2014).
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue - 12" 180 gram LP - MONO - Numbered Edition
The top-selling jazz album of all time, the modality of Kind of Blue found its way into classical, rock, and pop becoming one of the most influential cultural touchstones of the last half of the 20th century and one of the most transcendent pieces of music ever recorded. Davis played trumpet sublime with his ensemble sextet featuring pianist Bill Evans, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley with Wyton Kelly playing piano on "Freddy the Freeloader."
Miles Davis - Miles & Monk at Newport - 12" 180 gram LP - MONO - Numbered Edition
Classic live recordings from jazz masters Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk on one LP. Side One is high energy bebop from the Miles Davis Sextet in 1958 and Side Two includes two full numbers from the Thelonious Monk Quartet with Pee Wee Russell from 1963.
Miles Davis - Jazz Track - 12" 180 gram LP - MONO - Numbered Edition
A reissue of two underrated Miles Davis sessions on one mono LP; Side One is the Miles Davis Quintet's soundtrack for the French film L'Ascenseuer Pour l'Echafaud while highlights from the Miles Davis Sextet's session on May 26, 1958 (Davis' 32nd birthday).
Paul Simon - Paul Simon - 12" 180 gram LP - Numbered - includes download card
Remastered reissue of the recording artist's 1972 solo album, his first post-Simon & Garfunkel, includes the hits "Mother and Child Reunion" (recorded in Kingston, Jamaica) and "Me and Julio Down By The School Yard."
Paul Simon - There Goes Rhymin' Simon - 12" 180 gram LP - Numbered - includes download card
Remastered reissue of Simon's 1973 album includes "Kodachrome" and "Loves Me Like A Rock."
Paul Simon - Still Crazy After All These Years - 12" 180 gram LP - Numbered - includes download card
Remastered reissue of iconic 1975 album, originally produced by Phil Ramone and Paul Simon, includes four US Top 40 hits: "Gone At Last," "My Little Town" "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" and "Still Crazy After All These Years."
The Clash - The Clash - 1 CD in LP replica sleeve
The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope - 1 CD in LP replica sleeve
The Clash - London Calling - 2 CDs in LP replica sleeve
The Clash - Sandinista! - 3 CDs in LP replica sleeve
The Clash - Combat Rock - 1 CD in LP replica sleeve
For RSD Back To Black Friday 2013, Legacy Recordings is also releasing--as CDs in LP replica sleeves--the essential five studio albums that form the core catalog of The Clash. These editions were newly remastered by Clash guitarist Mick Jones and were included in the monumental Clash box set, Sound System, released September 2013.
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Now in its sixth year, Record Store Day is an annual day-long celebration of record store culture taking place on the third Saturday in April. This past January, RSD announced the appointment of Jack White to the post of Record Store Day 2013 Ambassador.
- 10 October 2013
Okayplayer has posted parts 7 & 8 from its exclusive series of video clips from the historic Sly & The Family Stone reunion, where the band listened to remastered versions of their classic songs for the release of the definitive Higher! 4CD box set. In this week’s clips, we get some insight into the Family’s gratitude for their audience, and we get to listen in (and look over Freddie Stone‘s shoulder) as they play with the original master tracks of "Family Affair." You also can enter for a chance to win a copy of the Higher! box set.