Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sly and the Family Stone - Fresh (1973)

This is some gritty funk, yo. Recorded at the beginning of the end for Sly Stone, this music wasn't properly appreciated at the time of its release, but has since become a landmark soul/funk album. According to Rolling Stone, Sly Stone should sit "alongside James Brown, Marvin Gaye, George Clinton and Al Green on the Mount Rushmore of soul." True. Without Sly Stone, there would be no Prince. The syncopated horn parts on this disc are Stone's best, right up there with the JB's. Bonus points for the Richard Avedon photo on the cover. Unfortunately, after this release, Sly would no longer be as fresh and he would soon just vanish like Bobby Fischer.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #7
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #1 (3 weeks)   

Tracks: It's all good. If I had to pick favorites, I'd go with In Time, If You Want Me To Stay (which has one of my all time favorite bass lines), Frisky, Skin I'm In, If It Were Left Up To Me, and Babies Makin' Babies. The cover of Doris Day's hit Que Sera Sera, sung by Rose Stone, is the best kind of cover, a complete deconstruction. Sly reimagines the song as a crawling gospel-blues waltz.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Embarrassingly, none. At the time of the album's release in 1973, this wasn't exactly the type of music being played at my house. I eventually became a casual Sly fan, owning only his greatest hits for years. In 2003, saw this album in the 186 slot of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and that prompted my purchase.

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