Sly and the Family Stone: 20 Essential Songs

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

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"Running Away" (1971)

Even more than "Family Affair," "Running Away" felt like a song at odds with itself. The message was unambiguous – "running away/to get away … you're wearing out your shoes" – and the "ha-ha, hee-hee" laughter feels mocking in every stanza. But in contrast, the music feels light and luminous with a jaunty guitar and bright brass section that would have been at home with Earth, Wind & Fire. Cynicism never sounded so cheerful.

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