Our Top 10 Sly And The Family Stone Songs looks back at one of the greatest rock and roll meets soul style party bands of the 1960s and 70s. Sly and The Family Stone were a little bit of everything. From James Brown and Stevie Wonder to the Rolling Stones, Love and the MC5, Sly and The Family Stone blended so many styles of music together that just about everyone who has ever heard one of their tunes fell in love with them. What Prince was to the 1980s, Sly and The Family Stone were to the late 1960s and early 1970s. Our top 10 Sly And The Family Stone Songs presents ten of their most important and enjoyable songs the band released during their somewhat short career from the late 1960s to the early 80s.
# 10 – Fun
We open up our top 10 Sly And The Family Stone songs list with the great party style song “Fun.” The song was released on the group’s third album entitled Life. The record was released in 1968. The Life album was not a big commercial success, yet it remains one of of their most interesting even though it has hovered under the radar all these years. ” Fun,” was never released as a single but it did appear as the B Side to the single “Hot Fun in the Summertime.”
# 9 – Everybody Is A Star
The great Sly And The Family Stone song “Everybody Is A Star,” was released on the band’s Greatest Hits album in 1972. The song was also issued as the B side to the single “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” which was also released on the Greatest Hits album. Since the song “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” hit number 0ne on the Billboard Charts, the song “Everybody Is A Star,” was also considered a number one single. Regardless of chart success, the song defines such a cool groove and civil rights statement intertwined that it goes down in history as one of the most important Sly and The Family Stone songs ever released.
# 8 – If You Want Me To Stay
As we continue this top 10 Sly And The Family Stones songs list, we present the group’s last big hit of their career. The song “If You Want Me To Stay,” was released on the 1973 album entitled Fresh. The song hit number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. Musicians on the track included Sly Stone on vocals, guitar, keyboards, Rustee Allen on bass, Andy Newmark on drums, Cynthia Robinson on trumpet, Jerry Martini and Pat Rizzo on saxophones.
# 7 – Stand
The great majestic style r&b song entitled “Stand,” was released as the title track to the great Stand album. The record was released in 1969. “Stand,” was issued as a single also in 1969. It had great commercial success as it reached the number thirteen spot on the Billboard Hot 100 during the Spring of 1969. The song has been covered by a wide range of artists over a long period of time ranging from the Jackson Five in the 1960s to the jam band Phish in the 1990s.
# 6 – Dance To The Music
Many would argue “Dance To The Music,” was the bands biggest hit. Their right and wrong. Dance To The Music was a massive hit song by Sly And The Family Stone. It wasn’t a number one, but what was most important about the song was that fact that it was the single that introduced the world to Sly and The Family Stone. It was the band’s first top 10 hit as the song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.
# 5 – Family Affair
This was a big one. Sly And The Family Stone’s classic song “Family Affair,” was released in 1971. It was issued on the album There’s a Riot Goin’ On. The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed in that spot for almost a month. The song also featured the great Billy Preston on keyboards playing a significant role in the song’s success. The great Bobby Womack also had a hand in creating a number one record as he played a very soulful rhythm guitar on the track.
# 4 – Hot Fun in the Summertime
As we enter the second half of this top 10 Sly And The Family Stone songs list we turn to one of our all time favorite Sly and the Family Stone songs. The great track “Hot Fun In The Summertime,” will always be remembered as one of those great late 1960s summertime songs. The song was released during the summer of 1969 just after Sly And The Family Stone had blown away the audience at Woodstock. “Hot Fun In The Summertime,” was released on the album Sly An The Family Stone Greatest Hits. It was one of three songs on the album that had never been released before. But a hit it sure was, as it went all the way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
# 3 – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
Bassist Larry Graham really shined on this classic Sly And The Family Stone song. Easily one of the top 10 groove songs of all time. This was another one of the great new songs that was released on the greatest hits album in 1970. Imagine putting out a greatest hits album and placing some new songs on the album that go straight to number one. Its already packed with hits and now you have new hits on top of the old hits. That’s what Sly and the band did. “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” went straight to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
The musicians on this one included Sly Stone on lead vocals and guitar, Rose Stone also on lead vocals, Jerry Martini on tenor saxophone and vocals, Cynthia Robinson on trumpet and vocals, Freddie Stone on guitar, and vocals, the great Larry Graham on bass and vocals and Greg Errico on drums and vocals.
# 2 – Everyday People
This legendary group released so many great songs over a very short period of time. Some of them would become ingrained in society so deeply that the song would almost become bigger than the band. “Everyday People,” is one such type of song. A great universal song calling for peace, it stands as one of the great classic rock peace songs of the 1960. The song was originally released on the album titled Stand. The album was issued in 1968. “Everyday People,” went all the way to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed in that spot for an entire month. Powerful song, even more powerful message.
# 1 – I Want to Take You Higher
We close out our Top 10 Sly And The Family Stone Songs list with what we believe was their greatest recording. The song “I Want To Take You Higher,” was released on the album Stand. The song was never released as a single but was issues as the b side to the single “Stand.” We placed “I Want To Take You Higher,” in the number one spot because we believed this song defined what the bands most important message. And that was to celebrate life. Putting aside all the politics and society issues of the 1960s and early 1970s, Sly and The Family Stone at their core were a party band, a kicking soulful party band at that. These musicians grooved hard and they wanted to take us all along for the ride.