17 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sly Stone had worked as a record producer and radio DJ in San Francisco when he assembled this musical ensemble that would break barriers in race, gender and genre, crossing pop, soul, and R&B into a kaleidoscopic funk that eventually spawned a string of hit singles, rewrote the future of soul music for the ‘70s, and led to the hip-hop explosion of future decades. The band’s debut album, A Whole New Thing, isn’t quite as revolutionary as its title suggests. Stone’s vision is still taking shape and the band members — including brother Freddy on guitar, cousin Larry Graham on bass and sister Rosie on keyboards — are still learning each other’s strengths. The group bends the groove to their will with the James Brown inspired “Underdog,” the Memphis Stax sound of ‘If This Room Could Talk” and the easeful shuffle of “Bad Risk,” “That Kind of Person” and “Dog.” The vocal interplay is lively and the conventional ballads “Let Me Hear It From You” and “That Kind of Person” are heartfelt. The band would soon shred any attempts at convention and find that “whole new thing” with their next batch of albums, beginning with Dance to the Music. The roots, however, are here. The expanded reissue includes several mono mixes of early singles (“Underdog,” “Let Me Hear It From You”), the Graham-sung ballad “What Would I Do” and a previously unreleased instrumental (“You Better Help Yourself”).

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sly Stone had worked as a record producer and radio DJ in San Francisco when he assembled this musical ensemble that would break barriers in race, gender and genre, crossing pop, soul, and R&B into a kaleidoscopic funk that eventually spawned a string of hit singles, rewrote the future of soul music for the ‘70s, and led to the hip-hop explosion of future decades. The band’s debut album, A Whole New Thing, isn’t quite as revolutionary as its title suggests. Stone’s vision is still taking shape and the band members — including brother Freddy on guitar, cousin Larry Graham on bass and sister Rosie on keyboards — are still learning each other’s strengths. The group bends the groove to their will with the James Brown inspired “Underdog,” the Memphis Stax sound of ‘If This Room Could Talk” and the easeful shuffle of “Bad Risk,” “That Kind of Person” and “Dog.” The vocal interplay is lively and the conventional ballads “Let Me Hear It From You” and “That Kind of Person” are heartfelt. The band would soon shred any attempts at convention and find that “whole new thing” with their next batch of albums, beginning with Dance to the Music. The roots, however, are here. The expanded reissue includes several mono mixes of early singles (“Underdog,” “Let Me Hear It From You”), the Graham-sung ballad “What Would I Do” and a previously unreleased instrumental (“You Better Help Yourself”).

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