The Album: Sly and the Family Stone: Stand! (1969)
When San Francisco’s Sylvester Stewart and his Family Stone released Stand! in the spring of the 1969, it further cemented the group’s reputation as the definitive pop act of the era, whose multiracial makeup mirrored the band’s multi-musical fluency in rock, pop, soul and funk. They captured the post-summer of love optimism of the times in songs like “Everyday People” and “You Can Make It If You Try” and though those good times wouldn’t last in the years to follow, for that brief, shining moment, Stand! thrust Sly and the Family Stone into the spotlight as avatars for a national feeling of possibility and positivity. Can it be it was all so simple then?
Stand! was the pick of guest Bhi Bhiman, the singer/songwriter from Los Angeles (by way of St. Louis). Armed with an eclectic set of influences, Bhiman’s dabbled in everything from songwriting with The Coup’s Boots Riley to collaborating with comedian Keegan-Michael Key to releasing his most recent album, 2019’s Peace of Mind, as a podcast. Together, we discuss how Stand! reflected the soon-to-be-dashed optimism of its time, how the Family Stone doesn’t get enough credit for Sly’s sound and ponder how Ike and Tina Turner managed to rip off “Sing a Simple Song” without catching heat.
More on Bhi Bhiman
- Interview with Billboard
- “In ‘Rhythm,’ Bhi Bhiman’s Music Isn’t Limited By National Borders” (NPR)
- Website | Twitter | Facebook
More on Stand!
- Oliver and Joseph Schloss’s dissection of “Sing a Simple Song“
- “Freddy Stone discusses Sly and the Family Stone’s Stand! on its 45th anniversary” (Wax Poetics)
- “Dusting ‘Em Off: Sly & the Family Stone’s Stand!” (Consequence of Sound)
Show Tracklisting (all songs from Stand! unless indicated otherwise):
- Soul Clappin’ II
- Jimi Hendrix: We Gotta Live Together
- Sing A Simple Song
- Tremaine Hawkins: Change
- Sex Machine
- Don’t Call Me N****, Whitey
- Sing A Simple Song
- You Can Make It If You Try
- Bold Soul Sister
- Everyday People
- I Want To Take You Higher
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About the show
Hosted by Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes, every episode of Heat Rocks invites a special guest to talk about a heat rock – a hot album, a scorching record. These are in-depth conversations about the albums that shape our lives.
Our guests include musicians, writers, and scholars and though we don’t exclusively focus on any one genre, expect to hear about albums from the worlds of soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, Latin, and more.
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