There's a Riot Goin on - (Import CD)

Sly & the Family Sto

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  1. Performer
  2. R&B
  3. Funk
Sly & The Family Stone
Sly Stone; Bob Irwin (Reissue)
There's a Riot Goin' On [Bonus Tracks]

Liner Note Author: Joel Selvin.
Recording information: 1971.
Photographers: Don Hunstein; Yoram Kahana; Claude Van Heye; Jeff Mayer; Amalie Rothschild .
Arranger: Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart.
During the late '60s, Sly and the Family Stone was the house band for the new utopia: celebratory, integrated, intent on breaking down walls, and full of relentlessly positive, idealistic energy. 1971's THERE'S A RIOT GOIN' ON directly contradicted all of these characteristics. Instead, the album represented the dark days of post-'60s disillusionment--a move from right-here/right-now ethos to reflection ("Time"), from integration to separatism ("Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa"), and from Sly's exuberant cheerleading to a weary, craggy-voiced vocal style. Many fans considered the album a "downer" at the time.
In truth, RIOT is stunningly innovative and artistically accomplished. Here Sly began playing with subtle, sophisticated rhythms, creating webs of interlocking parts and textures, foregrounding mood over pop structures. The production is murky, keeping with the dark, edgy themes of the album, yet it is packed with detail. The burbling guitars, keys, lock-pop bass, and ghostly vocals create a warm, enveloping cocoon, as on the honeyed, heavy-lidded groove of "Just Like A Baby," the percolating surge of "Family Affair" (one of Sly's finest moments), and "(You Caught Me) Smilin'," which catches a wistful flash of the old optimism. Though it may be a challenging listen for the uninitiated, THERE'S A RIOT GOIN' ON rewards endless repeated listens.

Country of Origin
Epic (USA)
Studio / Live
Songs / Tracks
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Luv N' Haight
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Just Like a Baby
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Poet
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Family Affair
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Africa Talks To You "the Asphalt Jungle"
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] There's a Riot Goin' On
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Brave & Strong
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] (You Caught Me) Smiin'
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Time
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Spaced Cowboy
  11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] Runnin' Away
  12. [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa
  13. [ Disc 01 Track 13 ] Runnin' Away [Single Version]
  14. [ Disc 01 Track 14 ] My Gorilla is My Butler - (previously unreleased)
  15. [ Disc 01 Track 15 ] Do You Know What? - (previously unreleased)
  16. [ Disc 01 Track 16 ] That's Pretty Clean - (previously unreleased)
  1. Sly & The Family Stone
  2. Sly & the Family Sto
Sony Music Entertainment

Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.118) - Ranked #99 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...Implosive, numbing, darkly self-referential..."
Rolling Stone (12/23/71, p.62) - "...One of the most influential innovators in recent years, Sly retains a certain inventiveness and a characteristically high-strung sound..."
Spin (p.122) - "[E]ven its darkest moments have a seductive, funky gait. Probably why Prince found religion."
Q (p.124) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he album's mood was dark, its structure loose. As an expression of drug-laced ennui and an evocation of the post-'60s comedown, it has a grim power."
The Wire (p.56) - "Distortion was always a major part of the Sly & The Family Stone sound, and it's wonderful to hear an expensive album breaking up in this way."
Down Beat (p.68) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[The album] opened new dark corridors for funk and anticipated hip-hop and neo-soul."
Vibe (2/02, p.87) - Included in Vibe's "Essential Black Rock Recordings".
Vibe (12/99, p.164) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century
NME (Magazine) (9/18/93, p.19) - Ranked #30 among The Greatest Albums Of The '70s.

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