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The Essential Sly & the Family Stone [Epic/Legacy]

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Review

The Essential Sly & the Family Stone does what a double-CD best-of/career overview should do: it packs a lot of career highlights into a two-disc set for listeners who want more than the basic greatest hits, but don't want every last album. Of course, all of those greatest hits are here, including a few from 1970 that didn't make it onto album releases at the time. As you'd expect, the fattest slice comes from Sly & the Family Stone's late-'60s/early-'70s peak: in fact, most of the tracks from the Stand! and There's a Riot Goin' On albums are here. The fun extras come in the not-too-well-known tracks from pre-Stand! albums and Fresh (which is actually amply represented, with six cuts). This doesn't quite deserve the highest rating, as the post-There's a Riot Goin' On material doesn't keep up the momentum of the rest of the set. Small Talk and Sly Stone's 1975 solo effort, High on You, are wisely lightly plucked, though at least the hits from those albums are the three cuts selected. This deserves better annotation than the cursory liner notes, but otherwise it's an excellent summary of a major rock and soul band. ~ Richie Unterberger
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Underdog Sly & The Family Stone 3:55
  3. 2 I Cannot Make It Sly & The Family Stone 3:17
  4. 3 Dance to the Music Sly & The Family Stone 2:57
  5. 4 Are You Ready? Sly & The Family Stone 2:47
  6. 5 Fun Sly & The Family Stone 2:20
  7. 6 M'Lady Sly & The Family Stone 2:44
  8. 7 Life Sly & The Family Stone 2:58
  9. 8 Love City Sly & The Family Stone 2:41
  10. 9 Stand! Sly & The Family Stone 3:6
  11. 10 Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey Sly & The Family Stone 5:59
  12. 11 I Want to Take You Higher Sly & The Family Stone 5:21
  13. 12 Somebody's Watching You Sly & The Family Stone 3:18
  14. 13 Sing a Simple Song Sly & The Family Stone 3:55
  15. 14 Everyday People Sly & The Family Stone 2:20
  16. 15 You Can Make It If You Try Sly & The Family Stone 3:37
  17. 16 Hot Fun in the Summertime Sly & The Family Stone 2:36
  18. 17 Everybody Is a Star Sly & The Family Stone 3:3
  19. 18 Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) Sly & The Family Stone 4:47
  20. 1 Family Affair Sly & The Family Stone 3:3
  21. 2 Luv N' Haight Sly & The Family Stone 4:1
  22. 3 Poet Sly & The Family Stone 2:58
  23. 4 (You Caught Me) Smilin' Sly & The Family Stone 2:52
  24. 5 Runnin' Away Sly & The Family Stone 2:53
  25. 6 Brave and Strong Sly & The Family Stone 3:26
  26. 7 Just Like a Baby Sly & The Family Stone 5:9
  27. 8 Thank You for Talkin' to Me, Africa Sly & The Family Stone 7:13
  28. 9 In Time Sly & The Family Stone 5:46
  29. 10 If You Want Me to Stay Sly & The Family Stone 2:58
  30. 11 Frisky Sly & The Family Stone 3:8
  31. 12 Skin I'm In Sly & The Family Stone 2:52
  32. 13 Babies Makin' Babies Sly & The Family Stone 3:36
  33. 14 If It Were Left Up to Me Sly & The Family Stone 1:57
  34. 15 Time for Livin' Sly & The Family Stone 3:13
  35. 16 Loose Booty Sly & The Family Stone 3:44
  36. 17 I Get High on You Sly & The Family Stone 3:11

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