Fifty Years Of Fresh

Tiggerlion on Sly And The Family Stone – Fresh (30th June 1973)

Sylvester Stewart, ‘Sly Stone’, only ever wanted to make the world a better, happier place. He tried to bring people together from different backgrounds, regardless of gender, religion and colour, to dance and enjoy life. His ‘Family’ practised exactly as he preached, comprising mixed sex, mixed race and some actual relatives. His early songs are energetic testaments to the euphoric power of music. Records like Dance To The Music, Everyday People, Sing A Simple Song and Hot Fun In The Summer Time are joyful nursery rhymes in their simplicity, optimism and utopian vision. They were hugely popular, especially in America. At the same time, almost unnoticed, Sly was busy inventing Funk, along with James Brown and George Clinton, blending in Gospel, Pop, Rock, Psychedelia and Soul. It was a heady brew. Success followed success. Number one singles and a platinum selling album, Stand!, were followed by a triumphant appearance at Woodstock.

Then, the sixties dream was over, flower power mutated into armed struggle and the movement for integration fell apart. Sly found that once he left the stage, he still had to face racial bigotry. He couldn’t drink … Continue reading Fifty Years Of Fresh