16 March 2023,
Yesterday marked the 80th birthday of Sly Stone and innovator and game changer in the world of funk, soul and dance music of all times.
There are creators and then there are game changers and in this case I call your attention to one of the greatest of all time, but surely one of the most underserved as well.
An innovator, master of the slow sexy delivery of a vocal that made women melt and vinyl pulsate at the frequency of love. He was the consummate innovator of a style and delivery of a music so powerful and message so simplistically sophisticated that it touched everyone in a way unlike others in the world of R&B, Soul and crossover Pop had never done before.
His musical messages, on a frequency of their own, were taken to a next level of consciousness that was enhanced and personified in the bass play of the original Thunder Thumbs, that one in a million, Larry Graham. His vocals were not sung but soulfully talked as a sort of sliding funk that moved the listener as he educated a generation of listeners to his views on Family, Righteousness causes and Love of music and the spirit within it that made you want to get on up and Dance to their Music!
Sly is an underrated genius who, along with Larry Graham redefined soul and soulful music and delivered it like warmed home cooking in its finest form, and made it powerful, sexy and infectious without having to hit you over the head. with loud vocals or bombastic musical sounds and effects.
When I worked on his album "Ten Years Too Soon" it was like touching the cloak of an emperor when I listened to the track with reverence and had the very difficult and in ways impossible task of reimagining the songs, that were already sacred gems, and come up with a take on them to make them into contemporary dance tracks of the day.
It was a daunting task but one that I undertook with care, love and lots of thoughtful moments to arrange and deliver what I felt was worthy of the band and in later years, both Sly and Larry Graham came to me and gave me their approval of my efforts on their masterpieces. I was able to turn true classic songs into songs for the Dance-floor with power, energy and a lot of funk.
Happy Birthday Sly and all I can say is ""Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" during the process!
Now to celebrate Sly's birthday, I ask you all to Get On Up and Dance To The Music!
Click to read more on Discogs - Album 'Ten Years Too Soon'