Sly and the Family Stone was an American band from San Francisco. Active from 1967 to 1983, the band was pivotal in the development of funk, soul, rock, and psychedelic music. In 2010, they were ranked 43rd in Rolling Stone list of "The 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time," and three of their albums are included in the Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Rhino Handmade collection compiles Back on the Right Track (1979) and Ain't But the One Way (1983) with five previously unissued recordings.
Stone the Crows was a tough-luck, working class, progressive soul band that came out of the pubs of Scotland in the early '70s. They had everything going for them at the start: not one, but two gritty singers, a talented guitarist, a rhythm section that had played with John Mayall, and the name recognition of having Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant as their producer. Despite favorable reviews by the critics, however, they never managed to sell their hybridized soul music to a large audience. In addition, they lost two of their key members early on, one of whom was tragically electrocuted, and the group broke up after four albums. Their biggest contribution to rock was the immense vocal talent of one Maggie Bell. Winner of several Top Girl Singer awards in Britain, Bell had a raunchy, gutbucket voice that, although it fell short of the naked emotion and range of Janis Joplin's, came probably closer to her style than any other female singer.
With the success of her previous hit single, "Wish I Didn't Miss You," Angie Stone went from being trapped in a pack of neo-soul divas going straight to the bargain bin to being one of the first singers off the tip of the tongue when the word "neo-soul" was uttered. After nearly a two-year absence, Stone Love pleasantly picks up where Mahogany Soul left off, presenting a wiser, more even-keel Stone putting her best foot forward right from the album's onset.
It's easy to write off There's a Riot Goin' On as one of two things – Sly Stone's disgusted social commentary or the beginning of his slow descent into addiction. It's both of these things, of course, but pigeonholing it as either winds up dismissing the album as a whole, since it is so bloody hard to categorize…