Sly Stone S/D

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Ok, so we all know Stand, There's A Riot Goin' On and Fresh are classic, but what else can the discriminating fan look for? Is it really all downhill after Fresh? Are records like Life really all that? And are there any interesting boots out there of outtakes during that period?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Small Talk from '74 is pretty good.

JasonD (JasonD), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i actually like "back on the right track", not as much as riot, fresh, small talk, but its fine if not groundbreaking. the slurryess of those records is replaced by a tighter groove and hilarious/sad lyrics about mental rehabilitation, all illustrated by his goofy photo on the cover.

gaz (gaz), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

If It Were Left Up To Me from Fresh(1973)

bert, Monday, 24 March 2003 22:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Agreed re. BOTRT. There's a song on there called "It Takes All Kinds" that just has the most strung-out vocal of all time -- and we're talking about the guy who sang "Just Like A Baby" on TARGO...

How about High On You from 1975? The critics seemed to like it around the time it came out. It just...tanked.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ha! As soon as I read this thread title I had that song in my head!

Small Talk is very good, High on You is spottier but still nice-sounding. W/r/t to the critical consensus, I think Fresh is the last great record, but the stuff that followed isn't as embarrassing as many lazy critics would have it. It's sort of a shame that the records I mention have all but been written out of history. Although the inclusion of some tracks from Small Talk and High on You (in remastered versions!) on the recent Essential Sly and the Family Stone set bodes well.

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Crosspost. "If It Were Left Up to Me" is the song in my head.

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Which reminds me: does anyone have the UK-only "remastered" version of Riot? The one with the original (flag) cover art?

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Years ago I had TARGO on US CD, and couldn't believe how awful it sounds. Weird tape hiss sounds kept rising and falling, and things seemed to be randomly distorted. I have the orig LP now, and while by no means a sonic spectacular, it destroys that CD. And what was up with changing the cover art?

Sean (Sean), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:29 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

re; UK remaster...er, maybe...i'm not sure. mine has the flag. its a digipack. is that it?

gaz (gaz), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i love 'dance to the music', especially the long-assed medley at the end... good tight stax-y psychedelic soul.

stevie (stevie), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:38 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Riot is my favorite album ever, hands down. Greatest Hits ain't too far behind. Fresh is wonderful. You could go further, but I'm not sure why you'd need to. (nb I have the new Essential comp but haven't played it yet)

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It's sort of a shame that the records I mention have all but been written out of history.

No kidding. I remember having some cassette hits compilation in college that had "Loose Booty" from Small Talk, easily one of the tightest little jams he ever did (and famously sampled on Paul's Boutique). It's almost embarrassing that the song has been available exclusively on those Rhino funk comps until this recent comp.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 24 March 2003 23:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

And Re. Riot: I thought it always sounded as bad as that Epic CD. I thought that was the point with all his overdubbing and recording over the tracks of girls he "auditioned." Does the British CD actually sound better? Or the LP even?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 24 March 2003 23:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Re the CD vs. LP; on the Epic CD there are definately washes of tape hiss you can hear fading in and out. Granted the overall level of surface noise on my vintage LP copy is higher; maybe it's enough to make that those washes of hiss less audible.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 24 March 2003 23:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

<>especially the long-assed medley at the end...<>

Maybe on the end of side A, it's track 4 on my CD. Anyway, terrific, yes! It's called Dance to the Medley and it's over twelve minutes long. A great album, Dance to the Music.

JoB (JoB), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 01:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

especially the long-assed medley at the end...

Maybe on the end of side A, it's track 4 on my CD. Anyway, terrific, yes! It's called Dance to the Medley and it's over twelve minutes long. A great album, Dance to the Music.

JoB (JoB), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 01:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

pre-Riot Search: A Whole New Thing (first album, amazingly varied, tons of great tunes, a lot very weird experiments/arrangements that didn't resurface in his music for quite a while), Life, Stand! I don't think "Dance to the Music" is all that great actually, singles aside.

post-Riot Search: Fresh is fantastic, as is High On You, Small Talk, and Back on the Right Track. This stuff is *all* up there with his best work in my opinion.

Destroy: Heard You Missed ME, Well I'm Back.

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 25 March 2003 01:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"I Get High On You" is a wonderful song.

Adam A. (Keiko), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 05:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Search "Rock Dirge" from pre-Family San Francisco Days. It's heat!

Cub, Tuesday, 25 March 2003 06:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

HMV in Londonn has a quad vinyl copy of 'high on you' going for £8.99 - i think they have japanese import CDs of the same album going for £££s....

why are these late-mid period Sly CDs out of print, and his last coupla albums relatively easy to track down now??

stevie (stevie), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 10:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I still really like A Whole New Thing, about half of it is just brilliant poppy psychedelic funk that I can't resist. I guess Stand! is my favourite album, but Greatest Hits (the one from 69 with the car and multiple 'echo' images of the band on the cover) is my favourite record of theirs, the one that gets played most.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 10:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Also search: Joe Hicks' "Life & Death In G & A," and Little Sister's "You're the One" and "Somebody's Watching You"--all written & produced by Sly, and awesome.

Plus, from the late records, the aforementioned "Crossword Puzzle," the title track of "Small Talk," "Same Thing (Makes You Laugh, Makes You Cry"), "Loose Booty." And from one of the early ones, "Advice."

Douglas (Douglas), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 11:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"High On You" is a great record, it's actually one of my favourite Sly albums. "Small Talk" is pretty good too but look at the sleeve with Sly lying bombed out on his bed - I think that sums up that album pretty well that and the track "Can't Strain My Brain"! I'm even rather partial to Side One of "Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I'm Back". Haven't heard any of the later ones. In contrast, a lot of the early Sly albums are kind of irritating - there's a kind of constant musical and lyrical fixed grin going on which is a trifle wearying.

Dadaismus, Tuesday, 25 March 2003 12:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Is that Joe Hicks song the same track that the Chairmen of the Board do as the centerpiece of their Skin I'm In record?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 16:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Destroy: the album he did with George Clinton in the 80s. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a bitter disappointment!

M Carty (mj_c), Wednesday, 26 March 2003 10:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Matthew--yes it is. It was also covered by somebody called Abaco Dream, in a much more rock style...

Douglas (Douglas), Wednesday, 26 March 2003 12:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
for someone who's been so universally adored + copied/imitated over the years, I am shocked and depressed at the lack of actual documentation of his music out there. There is no Sly Stone Songbook, almost no tabs/transcriptions (that I can find) on the internet, no sheet music, no comprehensive overview of his working methods or gear, etc. Compared to people like the Beatles and Zeppelin et al this seems criminally wrong to me.

(Plus I really want to know what the fucking chords in Family Affair are).

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 17 May 2005 21:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

theres singnificantly less books/documentation about soul artists in general though, shakey.

i rate his albums like this:
riot
stand
whole new thing
fresh
dance to the music/life

i like the others in the 70s but his songwriting was going down the pan a bit, already.

ppp, Tuesday, 17 May 2005 21:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

well on the bio end at least there is the "Off The Record" book, which is fucking unbelievable. Probably the best rock n roll bio of its kind (yes, miles better than Please Kill Me and We've Got the Neutron Bomb). Would make such a great movie, but it'll never happen...

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 17 May 2005 22:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

D: Ain't But the One Way, the embarrassingly bad record from '81 or so (not the Clinton collab). The only listenable song on it is "Ha Ha, Hee Hee, and Sly's so out of tune he's nearly pushed out of that song altogether. Insipid new material, a pointless cover of "You Really Got Me," and a theft of Nikki Giovanni's poetry for "We Can Do It."

S: "Underdog," a song I love to kick a mixtape off with.

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 00:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Shakey,
I remember reading somebody's website several years ago and they had visited Sly at his house (actually I think an apartment) and saw him working on new tracks. Evidently he continues to record stuff all of the time. The person mentioned that he would record tons of tracks and then play the mutes rhythmically to create an arrangement by letting certain parts peek through which I thought was interesting. I also seem to recall reading that he used a Flickinger console in the '70s so that's probably what Riot was recorded on.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 00:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Destroy: the album he did with George Clinton in the 80s. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a bitter disappointment!

Presumably this isn't referring to the Electric Spanking of War Babies. The tracks from that album that Sly collaborated on are brilliant!

walter kranz (walterkranz), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 01:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

There is no Sly Stone Songbook, almost no tabs/transcriptions (that I can find) on the internet, no sheet music, no comprehensive overview of his working methods or gear, etc. Compared to people like the Beatles and Zeppelin et al this seems criminally wrong to me.

(Plus I really want to know what the fucking chords in Family Affair are).


Shakey Mo, do ya know what I own? The "Riot" SONGBOOK, with all 'em in it. I can't believe I ever found this, but I do have it, and if you want the chords to any of the songs, be glad to e-mail them to you, make copies and regular mail them, whatever. ("Family Affair" is actually quite simple!)

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 01:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Ha Ha, Hee Hee, and Sly's so out of tune he's nearly pushed out of that song altogether.

the lack of a closing quotation mark here had me thinking that sly had recorded a song entitled ""ha ha, hee hee, and sly's so out of tune he's nearly pushed out of that song altogether"

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 01:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

well on the bio end at least there is the "Off The Record" book, which is fucking unbelievable. Probably the best rock n roll bio of its kind (yes, miles better than Please Kill Me and We've Got the Neutron Bomb). Would make such a great movie, but it'll never happen...

is out of print too, and fucking hard to track down.

stevie (stevie), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 08:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

sly might be working on new material, but something tells me its going to be a big Dud. if he ever finishes it or peeks out his homemade crack den, that is. its probably all dated 80s-styled robo funk. i hope he proves me wrong.

ppp, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 12:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"dated 80s-styled robo funk"

yeah. no market for that.

peter smith (plsmith), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 12:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the perfect sly album would be a 50 minute take of 'babies makin babies'

stevie (stevie), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 13:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"do ya know what I own? The "Riot" SONGBOOK, with all 'em in it. "

ILM, I KISS YOU!

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 15:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Off the Record — a chapter about Sly? Or all about him? I feel like I've heard of it, but I can't remember...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 15:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i have various excerpts from off the record if anyone wants them. i can even cut and paste them here!

ppp, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 15:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I actually brought the Off the Record book w/me today... it's a bio covering Sly and the Family Stone up through '74 or so, constructed entirely of first-hand quotes and interviews (the only relevant person who didn't contribute is, of course, Sly himself.) It's unbelievable.

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 15:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the p-funk one is amazing too.

ppp, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 15:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

cast of characters:
Jerry Martini
Larry Graham
Freddie Stewart
Cynthia Robinson
Rose Stewart
Sly's parents and siblings
Hamp "Bubba" Banks
Dave Kapralik
Stephani Owens
Bobby Womack
Stephen Paley
Ken Roberts
Pat Rizzo
Rusty Allen
Clive Davis
Vernon "Moose" Constan

many others...

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 15:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"I tried to kill myself severral times. The intensity of my relationship with Sylvester Stewart and Sly Stone was unbearable for me, this disintegrating relationship. No one would touch Sly. My lawyer, Peter Bennett, had suggested I bring in Ken Roberts, who promoted Madison Square Garden and other gigs that were trouble but successful. I knew that if I continued I would be dead. I turned over the management to him, so I could live. I had no choice but to die or make a paradigm shift. I recall going in on my knees before Sly, engulfed in tears, imploring him, begging him to let me go, so I could live. I was doing so much cocaine. I was in so much pain, confusion." - Dave Kapralik

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 15:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"I remember Sly and I going over to CBS Records and the executive saying to us, "This is what you should listen to." They gave us some shit and Sly threw it down and he looked at me and said "Okay, I'll give them something." And that is when he took off with his formula style. He hated it. He just did it to sell records. The whole album was called Dance to Music, dance to the medley, dance to the shmedley. It was so unhip to us. The beats were glorified Motown beats. We had been doing something different, but those beats weren't going over. So we did the formula thing. The rest is history and he continued in his formula style." - Jerry Martini

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 15:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wait — I think I read this some years back. And yeah, some of the quotes and the stories about his dogs were positively frightening.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 16:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

there was a lot of press when it came out - I remember the Bay Guardian ran lengthy excerpts of it.

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 16:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

not sure if the poster is in order of importance... maybe though. did gary burton have some huge summer of 69 hit?
and yeah, good lord, why haven't they put out a complete curtis live box set, give me a break.

tylerw, Thursday, 16 April 2015 18:34 (three years ago) Permalink

Burton was definitely big-time then, and Miles was still playing clubs in the US (he didn't hit the rock halls until months later), so it's not inconceivable that Burton would headline over Miles.

But I dunno how accurate those running orders are...if I was George Wein, I'd have Zeppelin close, rather than open, the final night.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 16 April 2015 18:43 (three years ago) Permalink

I wonder if "Jeff Beck" means the classic Rod, Dunbar, Ron Wood lineup or something different?

kurt kobaïan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 16 April 2015 18:45 (three years ago) Permalink

at least rod was there:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lNIWaei3RI

tylerw, Thursday, 16 April 2015 18:50 (three years ago) Permalink

eesh ^^ this smokes

tylerw, Thursday, 16 April 2015 18:55 (three years ago) Permalink

Indeed it does!

There used to be a stream of a 1968 Detroit Jeff Beck show (with Mickey Waller and Nicky Hopkins!) on Wolfgang's Vault, but apparently it's gone. Supposedly, the Jeff Beck Group and the Who were the only two touring acts not to be blown off the Grande stage by the MC5.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 16 April 2015 18:59 (three years ago) Permalink

Thanks to that amazing Newport Jazz Fest poster for my new display name

SCHLITZ MIXED BAG (Sparkle Motion), Thursday, 16 April 2015 19:23 (three years ago) Permalink

the bonkers incredible jazz lineup is insane on its own

then you have 69 zeppelin, mothers of invention, jeff beck group, and sly & the family stone...jimminy christmas talk about some live bands

kurt kobaïan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 16 April 2015 19:25 (three years ago) Permalink

AND an afternoon with James Brown

SCHLITZ MIXED BAG (Sparkle Motion), Thursday, 16 April 2015 19:25 (three years ago) Permalink

lol at schlitz mixed bag. might need to start some kind of noize band w/ that name.

tylerw, Thursday, 16 April 2015 19:26 (three years ago) Permalink

i know there some audio boots from the festival. i have the savage rose set kicking around somewhere. (yes, of all the bands on that poster the one that most excites me is savage rose.)

rushomancy, Thursday, 16 April 2015 19:54 (three years ago) Permalink

Savage Rose were pretty cool. "A Trial In Our Native Town" is one of the secret roots of doom metal; if someone put that out now and people would lose their shit.

^^^ NOT METAL (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 16 April 2015 19:55 (three years ago) Permalink

wtf that tune is nuts! never heard that before

Οὖτις, Thursday, 16 April 2015 19:59 (three years ago) Permalink

holy shit! thanks for the tip.. amazing that's 1968

Josefa, Thursday, 16 April 2015 20:06 (three years ago) Permalink

Savage Rose is also def rec to those who like or would like to like spooky folk metal---but they had several stages etc., and since we're talking jazz now, don't forget Babylon their album feat. Ben Webster
(second row of pix, far right)
http://www.soundstation.dk/images/products/large/57/133257-b.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB7zzpNV8y4

dow, Thursday, 16 April 2015 21:37 (three years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Epic/Legacy is excited to announce the debut release of SLY & THE FAMILY STONE-LIVE AT THE FILLMORE EAST OCTOBER 4th& 5th 1968, a four-disc set of previously unreleased live shows recorded during the band's rise at New York City's legendary venue. The set is out today, Friday, July 17

curmudgeon, Friday, 17 July 2015 15:04 (three years ago) Permalink

got the promo -- very fun stuff, though it might've been better served chopped down to two discs of highlights.

tylerw, Friday, 17 July 2015 15:13 (three years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

R.I.P. Cynthia Robinson:

Friends, Famliy and Fans through out the world, Cynthia Robinson, Trumpeter and Co- Founder of Sly and The Family Stone has passed.
Our condolences go out to the Robinson Family and her bandmates and all family & friends ! You are in our thoughts and prayers and we are here for you. Please continue to support the Cynthia Robinson Cancer Care Fund due to the rising medical costs ( anything helps ). This site will stay up in her memory. God bless you Cynthia ! https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1612767712320749&id=1422867367977452

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 24 November 2015 15:00 (two years ago) Permalink

man, i rarely get "gutted" by internet death news, but this makes me so sad. such a big part of my life. where would i be without that group and her in it? they taught me to love so much of what i love.

scott seward, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 15:22 (two years ago) Permalink

Aw man RIP

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 15:38 (two years ago) Permalink

:(((( RIP Cynthia

Caput Johannis in Disco (Tom D.), Tuesday, 24 November 2015 15:44 (two years ago) Permalink

:( RIP

All The Squares Go Pwn (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 24 November 2015 17:40 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Finally listening to Heard Ya Missed Me for the first time on Spotify. On first listen, this is a *far* better record than its reputation. The arrangements are generally excellent, there is no shortage of oddball melodies and the title track is a Latin number. “Mother Is a Hippie” is great and “What Was I Thinkin’” is this record’s “Crossword Puzzle”-esque killer groove.

I have to think this record’s terrible rap has more to do with its title and his own rep in the industry at that point than the music. This is better than High On You.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 17:38 (three months ago) Permalink

I haven't listened to either of these in so long, I should just put em on blind and see how they hold.

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 17:40 (three months ago) Permalink

Also I remember paying $26 for a Japanese import cd of Heard Ya Missed me at Tower Records in 1997 because apparently that's what I was willing to do for more Sly at that point.

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 17:41 (three months ago) Permalink

Hate the philly soul sorta arrangements on Heard Ya Missed Me. It's his worst record.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 17:41 (three months ago) Permalink

No way it's better than "High On You" but I'm still fond of it.

Kanye O'er Frae France? (Tom D.), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 17:44 (three months ago) Permalink

It's not even better than Back on the Right Track

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 17:47 (three months ago) Permalink

I used to really like Back on the Right Track -- or at least, spent a lot of time with it when I got that Charley reissue in the 90s. But I think this one is sneaky -- those "philly soul sorta arrangements" are more clever than they seem. There's a lot of Sly syncopation going on -- but also some welcome diversity in the styles: Latin, doo-wop, pop. Maybe give it another shot?

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 18:03 (three months ago) Permalink

I'd have to listen to a youtube rip or something - sold back my copy years ago lol

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 18:05 (three months ago) Permalink

Runs out of steam on Side 2, songwriting is far from top notch Sly but, yes, some neat arrangements, basslines etc.

Kanye O'er Frae France? (Tom D.), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 18:07 (three months ago) Permalink

I don't mind side one of Heard Ya Missed Me! Sly and Cynthia are in fine voice! The first 2 tracks are fire emoji.

kurt schwitterz, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 18:11 (three months ago) Permalink

Loved this passage in this review I found online of High On You:

Sly frittered away the last ten years of his career doing his best to convince the world that, as his drug habits and isolationist tendencies worsened and the Family Stone fell to pieces in a morass of guns, bulldogs, and PCP, everything was fine! Better than ever, in fact! You don’t believe me? Check out my album titles! “Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I’m Back!” “Back on The Right Track!” I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an unreleased album from that era called “I Don’t Do Drugs Anymore, So Trust Me When I Say That Everything’s Cool!”

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 10 May 2018 18:30 (three months ago) Permalink

To my ears, this very hot Coffey set, ' bout to be served up by Omnivore, has Sly-type appeal:

Dennis Coffey
One Night At Morey’s: 1968
Release date: June 1, 2018

From his early work with ’50s/’60s hit makers The Royaltones (who also backed other artists like Del Shannon)—to his run through the Motor City’s independent labels as a session ace—to his pioneering and legendary work with The Funk Brothers, backing band to massive Motown hits like “Just My Imagination,” “Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today),” “War,” “Cloud Nine,” “Someday We’ll Be Together” and “Band Of Gold” among many others—Dennis Coffey is a guitar legend.

The ’70s didn’t slow him down for one second as he struck out on his own and had a million selling hit with “Scorpio,” in 1971. He continued his studio session work (notably appearing on “Boogie Fever” by The Sylvers), scored films and produced other artists’ albums like Gallery’s Nice To Be With You and Rodriguez’ Cold Fact.

The 2000s have found Dennis appearing on the big screen including the 2002 film Standing In The Shadows Of Motown and the 2012’s Searching For Sugarman. And to this very day you can find him playing every Tuesday night in Detroit.

One Night At Morey’s: 1968 is drawn from the residency at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge in Detroit by the Lyman Woodard Trio. The trio consisted of Coffey on guitar, brilliant organist, Lyman Woodard, and drummer Melvin Davis, and could be found at Morey’s once a week. They played to a dedicated, often repeat, audience so the band kept the repertoire fresh and changing. One Night At Morey’s: 1968 follows last year’s Hot Coffey In The D: Burnin’ At Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge released by Resonance Records, also drawn from the Morey’s residency, but with an entirely different track list.

All tracks on One Night At Morey’s: 1968 are previously unissued and come directly from the vaults of Dennis Coffey and producer partner, Mike Theodore. Tracks include original compositions, “Big City Lights,” “Mindbender,” and “Union Station,” as well as surprising and funky covers of “Billie’s Bounce” by Charlie Parker, “Burning Spear” by The Soul Strings, “Cissy Strut” by The Meters, “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles, “Groovin’” by The Young Rascals, and “I’m A Midnight Mover” by Wilson Pickett from the pen of both Pickett and Bobby Womack.

CD / DIGITAL TRACK LIST:
I’M A MIDNIGHT MOVER
ELEANOR RIGBY
CISSY STRUT
GROOVIN’
BURNING SPEAR
IT’S YOUR THING/UNION STATION
MINDBENDER
BIG CITY LIGHTS
BILLIE’S BOUNCE
All tracks previously unissued.
Cat: OV-284

dow, Thursday, 10 May 2018 18:50 (three months ago) Permalink

“I Don’t Do Drugs Anymore, So Trust Me When I Say That Everything’s Cool!”

lmao

Οὖτις, Thursday, 10 May 2018 18:57 (three months ago) Permalink

Love the first half of "Heard Ya Missed Me..." and that title track is fantastic.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 10 May 2018 19:56 (three months ago) Permalink

“I Don’t Do Drugs Anymore, So Trust Me When I Say That Everything’s Cool!”

sounds like a good "clickbait that would make a good album title"

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Thursday, 10 May 2018 20:48 (three months ago) Permalink

The album title is only slightly more on the nose than the song titles and lyrics (which are nowhere to be found on the internet BTW). “Everything In You Has to Come Out,” “What Was I Thinkin’ In My Head” – every lyric on this is some perversion of the optimism of his earlier records—“Everybody Is a Star,” “Life,” “Stand”—into this staring-into-the-abyss “Holy shit, I’m gonna DIE/Please give me one more chance” desperation.

It’s obviously not as successful or revolutionary as, say, There’s A Riot Goin’ On. But in a lot of ways the result is infinitely more pained.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 11 May 2018 05:21 (three months ago) Permalink

Thanks, don. Speaking of Dennis Coffey, his book wasn’t bad either. Recommended reading about the rise and fall and return of a studio ace running the maze of interrelated Motor City music worlds.

The Great Atomic Cat Power (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 10:17 (three months ago) Permalink

Remembered the first two words but had to look up the full title: Guitars, Bars and Motown Superstars.

The Great Atomic Cat Power (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 10:22 (three months ago) Permalink

The idea that High on You is anywhere near the banality of Heard Ya Missed Me is just ludicrous.

High On You is definitely second tier Sly, but Heard Ya Missed Me is, like, fifth tier by that measuring stick.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:48 (three months ago) Permalink

xxp Thanks, James! Posted your tip about the book here:
Diary of a POLL Star: what are your most/least favorite books by musos?

dow, Wednesday, 16 May 2018 03:11 (three months ago) Permalink

I'm slightly annoyed that Ten Years Too Soon is so hard to find on the interwebs. The "(I Get) High on You" remix is pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF06ACOtc1M

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 16 May 2018 18:11 (three months ago) Permalink

All about fresh

Incline/decline (Ross), Thursday, 17 May 2018 15:15 (three months ago) Permalink

The idea that High on You is anywhere near the banality of Heard Ya Missed Me is just ludicrous.

High On You is definitely second tier Sly, but Heard Ya Missed Me is, like, fifth tier by that measuring stick.

I know I’m kinda dying on this hill, but it’s partly because I only just heard Heard Ya Missed Me and some of it surprised me in ways that very little else he recorded after 1974 does.

But High On You drops off precipitously after the first two tracks – I wouldn’t say any of it is “bad,” just kind of faceless, which is odd for a guy who was always pretty distinctive, melodically, rhythmically and lyrically. “That’s Loving You” is a nice enough ballad but this (as opposed to much on his next album) is the one where he’s aping that Philly sound. “Who Do You Love,” “Organize” and “Greed” are just sort of shout-y jams – fine enough but not particularly tuneful or interesting lyrically. “Green Eyed Monster Girl” (despite a dope title) is sort of a sub-Booker T instrumental. I actually like “Le Lo Li” which is a bit of a return to the string soul stuff on Small Talk – and “My World” has nice chord progression and feels a bit like something off the pre-Stand records. The fuzz bass chorus of “So Good to Me” is a nice change of pace. But again: nothing sniffs the (really) good title track and epic groove of “Crossword Puzzle.” None of this makes High On You a bad record or anything – just not one I need to hear from time to time.

In contrast, Heard Ya Missed Me has several surprising arrangements – the Latin title track, the gospel vox and hi-hat and string interplay of Everything In You” are just two examples. “Mother Is a Hippie” has a great juxtaposition between the chorus and verse – this is one place where the strings have a Philly thing going on but they’re just a color.

Also these lyrics are just awesome for how the detox metaphors (my transcription) blend with the clenched teeth smile of the music:

Everything in you has to come out
Everything in you has to come out
If you want to let your light shine
Everything in you has to come out

In order to know who’s your brother
You might want to be a good brother
It’s up to you don’t be sad
Do what you do and be glad

Everything in you has to come out
Everything in you has to come out
If you want to let your light shine
Everything in you has to come out

In order to hear with you listening
You have to know what you’re missing
You can begin to confide
If your best friend is inside

Nothing we need we will lose with
What we need we’re abusing
In order to feel who to part with
Make sure it is you who you start with

Everything in you has to come out
Everything in you has to come out
If you want to let your light shine
Everything in you has to come out

Again, a great record? No. But there’s a lot to enjoy here—lyrics, hooks, counterpoint, and clever arrangements—and on the whole is the most interesting thing he did after 1974 by some distance.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 18 May 2018 12:59 (three months ago) Permalink

I'm with you.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 18 May 2018 15:03 (three months ago) Permalink

It’s possible I just wrote more words than have been written in aggregate on that record over the last forty-two years.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 18 May 2018 16:34 (three months ago) Permalink

I think you're overstating the "interesting" aspects of Heard Ya Missed Me by quite a lot.

I don't understand how Sly mimicking the Philly Soul sound is a good thing at all. I mean, Philly Soul and McFadden and Whitehead are fine, but I find it really disappointing that someone as unique as Sly would ditch his one of a kind sound for a (sub-par) imitation of what was essentially a cookie cutter operation. To me, that just magnifies the record's shortcomings.

At least he still sounds like himself on High on You. Granted, a not as good version of his previous self, but still undeniably him.

I feel like Heard Ya Missed Me could have been made by any number of people.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Friday, 18 May 2018 17:12 (three months ago) Permalink

I don't really think he's mimicking Philly Soul that much tbh.

Poisoned by Johan's pea soup. (Tom D.), Friday, 18 May 2018 17:16 (three months ago) Permalink

Neither do I. I noted the two songs he did seem to be – one was a small flourish on Heard Ya Missed Me, the other was on High On You.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 18 May 2018 17:21 (three months ago) Permalink


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