Sly And The Family Stone Essay

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Sly and the Family Stone were an American soul, funk and rock band who were active from 1967 to 1983. They were one of the first American rock bands to have a multi-racial, multi gender line-up. There was a two year gap between the releases of their album Stand! and the release of There’s a Riot Goin’ On which was recorded in 1971. Stand! went on to sell over three million copies. It was a huge success and was one of the high points of the band’s career. Unlike their album Stand! , There’s a Riot Goin’ On is darker. It is an urban blues mixed with funk, filled with electric pianos, extensive overdubbing, slurred vocals and dark instrumentation.
The 1970’s in America was a time of great social change and progress for the African-Americans. Dr. Clifton R. Wharton, Jr became president of Michigan State University. Toni Morrison published her book The Bluest Eye in 1970 and would later go on to win the Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize for Literature. Essence magazine was first published in 1970; its aim was to show the positive views and stories of African-American women. Kenneth Gibson was elected mayor of Newark. Jill Brown became the first African-American woman pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces and later in 1978 she became the first African-American pilot for a major airline. Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to run for the office of the President of the United States of America in 1972. However there was still more progress to come. Only sixteen percent of African-Americans were attending college. Unemployment was higher among them than the white community. They were earning significantly less than white families.
However there was still a sense of hopelessness am...

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...n December 1969. It is slow and drags out. It goes on for seven minutes and twelve seconds. It is completely different than the original recording which was much more upbeat and moved at a faster pace.
There’s a Riot Goin’ On has been praised as one of the greatest and most influential recordings of all time. It is different from Sly and the Family Stone’s earlier stuff. It is a darker funk style. The band greatly influenced the sound of hip hop, pop, R&B, funk and pop music. Their album was influenced by what was going on in America at the time, especially in relation to the African-American community and the huge increase in drug use during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Upon the release of the album it was met with divided reactions from fans and music critics. However it has been ranked number 99 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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