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Sly Stone, Family & Friends
Cleopatra Records, Aug. 16

08/04/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Sly Stone’s 30-year absence from releasing albums is due to a lot of things, from beefs with the Black Panthers to drugs to the usual scumbag-management stories. The colorful packaging from L.A.-based indie Cleopatra heralds only a surfacing, however, not a bona-fide “new album,” with Heart singer Ann Wilson getting a feat on disco-funk staple “Everyday People” and Doors leader Ray Manzarek popping in to remind everyone about the “Light My Fire” keyboard solo while guesting on “Dance to the Music.” Other guests hanging in this throwback wall-of-sound production include Carmine Appice, Jeff Beck and Johnny Winter, and blah blah blah, the real dope here is that this would make a timely mercy-purchase for anyone who’s ever read with horror the things management has pulled on black artists of history — things got so bad at one point that Stone was recently living on welfare while his royalties sat in litigation, i.e. there’s nothing new here except for where the money would actually go, in Stone’s deserving pocket. A+ —Eric W. Saeger






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