Stand! (Bonus Tracks Edition) [2007 Remaster]

Stand! (Bonus Tracks Edition) [2007 Remaster]

Arguments will forever ensue over whether 1969’s Stand! or 1971’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On serves as Sly and the Family Stone’s finest hour. Riot is an artistically dark collection of songs confronting the mounting tensions within the group and the country, whereas Stand! tries to have it both ways. There is the growing tension of race relations, sparked by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and the inner city riots, indirectly addressed in “Don’t Call Me N****r, Whitey,” and the growing surveillance paranoia of “Somebody’s Watching You,” but there is also the unrestrained ebullience of the title track, “I Want to Take You Higher,” “Everyday People,” and “You Can Make It If You Try.” The band was firing on all cylinders: Larry Graham’s uncompromising bass, Freddy Stone’s hard rock and funky guitars, Sly and sister Rosie’s enveloping keyboards, the punctual horn section and, most exciting, the revolving door of vocal contributions from the five band members that make every song a celebration regardless of the situation. The expanded edition includes several single mono mixes, including the truncated version of “I Want To Take You Higher,” a previously un-issued instrumental (“My Brain” (Zig-Zag)”) and the spirited if less than groundbreaking “Soul Clappin’ II.”

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