Sly and the Family Stone: 20 Essential Songs

The best from the generation-defining funk-soul-rock legends

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"Hot Fun in the Summertime" (1969)

Epic rushed to capitalize on the group's incandescent Woodstock performance by releasing "Hot Fun in the Summertime" as a standalone single in August of 1969. Compared to the social messaging on Stand!, "Hot Fun" delivered what its title promised: a fun summer anthem awash in some gentle streams of nostalgia and a rare instance of Stone using a string section. Critics generally treated it as a pleasant trifle – Rolling Stone's Jon Landau compared it to "a hard version of the Lettermen" – but years later, George Clinton would laud it as "proof that funk could be a pop standard."

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