Sly and the Family Stone: 20 Essential Songs

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

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"Sing a Simple Song" (1969)

"Everyday People," was an undeniably feel-good pop hit, but for the best-selling single's B-side, the Family Stone unleashed this blistering blast of funk. As rollicking and aggressive as anything James Brown and his crew were pumping out, the song also found Sly playing with studio techniques, including stereo panning to split instruments into separate channels. Greg Errico – whose crackling drum work on the song would be liberally sampled decades later – told interviewer Eric Sandler in 2013: "The track was laid so down to the bone and we all knew it was. You could feel it."

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