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A Whole New Thing

Sly & The Family Stone

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Sly Stone had worked as a record producer and radio DJ in San Francisco when he assembled this musical ensemble that would break barriers in race, gender and genre, crossing pop, soul, and R&B into a kaleidoscopic funk that eventually spawned a string of hit singles, rewrote the future of soul music for the ‘70s, and led to the hip-hop explosion of future decades. The band’s debut album, A Whole New Thing, isn’t quite as revolutionary as its title suggests. Stone’s vision is still taking shape and the band members — including brother Freddy on guitar, cousin Larry Graham on bass and sister Rosie on keyboards — are still learning each other’s strengths. The group bends the groove to their will with the James Brown inspired “Underdog,” the Memphis Stax sound of ‘If This Room Could Talk” and the easeful shuffle of “Bad Risk,” “That Kind of Person” and “Dog.” The vocal interplay is lively and the conventional ballads “Let Me Hear It From You” and “That Kind of Person” are heartfelt. The band would soon shred any attempts at convention and find that “whole new thing” with their next batch of albums, beginning with Dance to the Music. The roots, however, are here. The expanded reissue includes several mono mixes of early singles (“Underdog,” “Let Me Hear It From You”), the Graham-sung ballad “What Would I Do” and a previously unreleased instrumental (“You Better Help Yourself”).

Customer Reviews

Funky, soulful, surprisingly good!

Found this album when I did a search for the Underdog movie. I love it when I stumble across music like this. Unexpected greatness. Track 1 - Underdog rocks! It almost reminds me of early Chicago songs mixed with the Temptations and a little James Brown. I'm a big fan of funky horns though too, so that helps. It's also a great deal i think...17 songs for $9.99.


Formed: 1967 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Sly & the Family Stone harnessed all of the disparate musical and social trends of the late '60s, creating a wild, brilliant fusion of soul, rock, R&B, psychedelia, and funk that broke boundaries down without a second thought. Led by Sly Stone, the Family Stone was comprised of men and women, and blacks and whites, making the band the first fully integrated group in rock's history. That integration shone through the music, as well as the group's message. Before Stone, very few soul and R&B...
Full Bio