Sly Stone: Just Like a Baby (1970)

 |   |  1 min read

Sly Stone: Just Like a Baby (1970)

If we think of the great Sly Stone at all these days it's the celebratory guy leading the Family Stone at Woodstock and then great albums like Stand and There's A Riot Goin' On.

But flick back to his life before the public profile and in the early Sixties he was a respected producer in San Francisco, and mostly doing white artists like Bobby Freeman (C'mon and Swim), the Beau Brummels, The Great! Society (Grace Slick's pre-Jefferson Airplane band) and others.

This perhaps explains how he managed to so successfully blend black and white idioms (funk and soul, pop and rock) with his multi-racial, cross-gender band and take it to the world, often with uplifting messages which suited the times.

But in the studio -- despite having cracking musicians -- Sy was always the producer putting the parts together. So when he formed his own production company Stone Flower in '67 -- through which Family Stone releases appeared -- he also saw the chance of taking complete control in the studio, which was made easier when he discovered the Rhythm KIng drum machine which he could programme.

Like Prince two decades later, Sly became a one-man band/songwriter and producer who would invite in singers like Joe Hicks and the Little Sister trio (who had done backing vocals on Family Stone tracks), and sometimes guests like Blly Preston or Buddy Miles.

sly_1But mostly he did everything himself.

For these productions Sly kept things very simple, cutting right back to simple percussion and bass lines, and a swag of these unique and mostly unreleased recordings were recently collected onto the album I'm Just Like You; Sly's Stone Flower 1969-70 (light in the Attic/Southbound).

Sounding not a lot like the more famous Family Stone songs, these are often illuminatingly spare funk grooves . . . among them this slipperly little piece credited to Sly himself.

It's a fascinating collection and this is sly/Sly taster. 

For more unusual music or songs with a back-story see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Eddie Vedder, Neil and Liam Finn: Not Given Lightly (2009)

Eddie Vedder, Neil and Liam Finn: Not Given Lightly (2009)

After Chris Knox suffered his massive stroke in June 2009, there was an understandable outpouring of support from friends and fellow travellers who knew him, although it's fair to say not many... > Read more

Sonny Bono: Pammie's on a Bummer (1967)

Sonny Bono: Pammie's on a Bummer (1967)

Hard to know where you might start with Sonny Bono, the Republican politician who was killed in a skiing accident in 1998. He was of course much more than that and in his late 20s he worked... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE STORY OF THE SEMER LABEL (2016): The fall and rise of the house of Hirsch

THE STORY OF THE SEMER LABEL (2016): The fall and rise of the house of Hirsch

Tragically, it seems, the appalling lessons humanity should have learned from the Nazi era have been forgotten – or worse, not even known – by far too many people today. While... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more