Fifty Year Friday: Sly and the Family Stone, Dance to the Music, Hair
Pioneers of psychedelic soul and greatly influential to the course of funk and jazz-rock, San Francisco’s Sly and the Family Stone, led by composer, arranger, and producer Sly Stone releases their second solid album, Dance to the Music, on April 27, 1968. Sly’s original intent was more in the direction of psychedelic soul, but was urged by CBS’s Clive Davis to make the album pop friendly. Despite any musical compromises, Sly Stone is unwavering in emphasizing peace, love, and social harmony.
Track listing [from Wikipedia]
All songs written by Sylvester Stewart and produced and arranged by Sly Stone for Stone Flower Productions.
- “Dance to the Music” – 3:00
- “Higher” – 2:49
- “I Ain’t Got Nobody (For Real)” – 4:26
- Dance to the Medley – 12:12
- “Music Is Alive”
- “Dance In”
- “Music Lover”
- “Ride the Rhythm” – 2:48
- “Color Me True” – 3:10
- “Are You Ready” – 2:50
- “Don’t Burn Baby” – 3:14
- “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” – 3:25
- Sly and the Family Stone
- Sly Stone – vocals, organ, guitar, piano, harmonica, and more
- Freddie Stone – vocals, guitar
- Larry Graham – vocals, bass guitar
- Rose Stone – vocals, piano, keyboards
- Cynthia Robinson – trumpet, vocal ad-libs
- Jerry Martini – saxophone
- Greg Errico – drums
- Little Sister (Vet Stone, Mary McCreary, Elva Mouton) – backing vocals
Starting as an off-Broadway music in 1967, Hair opened on Broadway on April 29, 1968 at the Biltmore Theatre in the middle of the theater district. Known for songs like “Aquarius”, “Hair”, “Easy to be Hard”, “Good Morning Starshine”, and “The Flesh Failures” aka “Let the Sun Shine In” as well as it’s nude scene (nudity onstage was legal, but only if the actors were not moving, and this restriction was appropriately incorporated as the actors undressed under a parachute-like fabric and then sang the remainder of the song motionless), this book-less musical (no story) stitches together scenes addressing topics of that day such as hair length, the Vietnam war, race and sexual freedom.
Songs [from Wikipedia]
The score had many more songs than were typical of Broadway shows of the day. Most Broadway shows had about six to ten songs per act; Hair’s total is in the thirties. This list reflects the most common Broadway lineup.