Sly and the Family Stone: 20 Essential Songs

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

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"Rock Dirge" (circa 1965)

During Stone's brief stint at Autumn Records, he made use of their studios to mess around with his own compositions, including this funky, chattering instrumental, likely concocted in 1965. Stone self-taught himself how to play an array of instruments, including the organ that can be heard wheezing away on this track. "Rock Dirge" and similar experiments from this era eventually surfaced on a 1975 compilation of Stone's early work and the song was subsequently pressed onto a seven-inch that's become popular amongst breakbeat-crazed DJs.

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