2. I'm an Animal
4. Seven More Days
5. Dynamite! [Single Version]
6. Jane is a Groupee
8. Love City
12. Into My Own Thing
14. Plastic Jim
Performer: Sly & the Family Stone
Distributor: Sony BMG
Notes: LIFE, Sly's follow-up to his commercial breakthrough, DANCE TO THE MUSIC, was very much in the same vein as its predecessor. An innovative blend of rock and soul, with large helpings of horns, fuzz guitar, and bottom-heavy bass, it was to become the sonic template for just about every funk act of the '70s. The band is brash and palpably bursting with confidence, which may explain why Sly pulled a postmodern Beatles move, quoting "Dance to the Music" at the tag of the opening "Dynamite." (On the other hand, maybe Sly just had a thing for the Beatles--there's an "Eleanor Rigby" quote in "Plastic Jim.") Interestingly, despite the album's popularity, LIFE yielded no hit singles, although almost everybody assumed that the title song, an FM radio favorite, had actually charted.
Rolling Stone (9/21/95, p.85) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...LIFE is where Sly's dazzling all-things-to-all-people vision snaps into full focus....When Sly testifies on `Life,' insisting that `you don't have to come down' and `you don't have to die before you live,' the ebullient music supports his spiritual tightrope walk..."
Sylvester Stewart, known to the world as Sly Stone, had a musical vision that coalesced quickly in the late 1960s and sadly disintegrated after half a decade. As the leader of Sly & the Family Stone, he and his combination hippie commune/soul revue melded funk with psychedelia in a revolutionary manner. Sly's lyrical themes shifted from peace and love to scathing social commentaries that made for some of the strongest political statements of the era. Unfortunately, by the turn of the decade he began to lose himself in a netherworld of drug addiction from which he never really recovered.
Also Appears On:
Beck Blackbyrds (The) Blood, Sweat & Tears Blues Project (The) Brown, Arthur Cameo Chambers Brothers (The) Clinton, George (Funk) Collins, Bootsy D'Angelo Davis, Betty Davis, Miles Earth, Wind & Fire Fishbone Four Tops (The) Freeman, Bobby Funkadelic Gap Band (The) Graham Central Station Hayes, Isaac Hendrix, Jimi Hot Chocolate (US) Ike & Tina Turner Isley Brothers (The) Jackson 5 (The) James, Rick (Bass) Kravitz, Lenny Lafayette Afro Rock Band Mandrill Mayfield, Curtis Meters (The) Parliament Prince Public Enemy Rare Earth Rasputin's Stash Red Hot Chili Peppers Santana Sly & Robbie Sylvester Temptations (R&B) (The) The Average White Band The Ohio Players The Sons of Champlin Undisputed Truth (The) War Womack, Bobby Wonder, Stevie
Beatles (The) Brown, James Burke, Solomon Davis, Miles Ike & Tina Turner Jefferson Airplane Parliament Redding, Otis Taylor, Johnnie Turner, Big Joe Turner, Ike Wilson, Jackie Womack, Bobby