Sly & The Family Stone, There’s A Riot Goin’ On (1971)
You know there are those albums – and for that matter books and movies – where you hear the story about how it was panned on release. Or ignored. Dismissed, forgotten. And maybe you’re reading about that in some reissue, or in a piece of retrospective critique. Sometimes it makes sense – you can hear (or see or read) the magic, but you’re also aware, as best you can be, of how it might not have gone over at the time. But I could never feel that with Riot. I read the stories of how it was challenging and it was weird and it was brutal and heavy (like weird, dark, political-heavy, not heavy metal-heavy). But I can’t hear any reason why this wasn’t adored, proclaimed a work of staggering genius, etc. It feels like a masterpiece. Of course it is – and it’s acknowledged as one, has been for a while. But I can’t believe that wasn’t always the case. Anyway, after so many years of loving this – first through compilations that featured most of the tracks and then through owning the album on CD – and in fact owning everything by Sly & The Family Stone, a band I just keep coming back to, a band I could never ever leave behind in any way, ever – finally I have Riot on vinyl. Some days I think this is my favourite album by anyone ever. The best of all time. Of all time.
Sample Track: Luv n’ Haight
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown