Life (Sly and the Family Stone album)

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Life
Studio album by Sly and the Family Stone
Released September 1968
Recorded Summer 1968
San Francisco, California
Genre Psychedelic soul/funk
Length 34:16
Label Epic
BN 26397
Producer Sly Stone
Sly and the Family Stone chronology
Dance to the Music
(1968)
Life
(1968)
Stand!
(1969)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Austin Chronicle 3.5/5 stars[2]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[3]
Pop Matters 9/10 stars[4]
Rolling Stone (Favorable)[5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[6]
Robert Christgau 3.5/5 stars[7]
Stylus (B)[8]
Uncut 4/5 stars[9]
Yahoo! Music (Favorable)[10]

Life is the third studio album by funk/soul band Sly and the Family Stone, released in September 1968 on Epic/CBS Records.

Music[edit]

Unlike its predecessor, Dance to the Music, Life was not a commercial success, although it has received mostly positive reviews from music critics over the years. Many of its songs, including "M'Lady", "Fun", "Love City", as well as the title track, became popular staples in the Family Stone's live show. A middle ground between the fiery A Whole New Thing and the more commercial Dance to the Music, Life features very little use of studio effects, and is instead more driven by frontman Sly Stone's compositions. Topics for the album's songs include the dating scene ("Dynamite!", "Chicken", "M'Lady"), groupies ("Jane is a Groupee"), and "plastic" (or "fake") people (the Beatlesque "Plastic Jim"). Of particular note is that the Family Stone's main themes of unity and integration are explored here in several songs ("Fun", "Harmony", "Life", and "Love City"). The next Family Stone LP, Stand!, would focus almost exclusively on these topics.

Much of Life has been heavily sampled for hip hop and electronica recordings, particularly Gregg Errico's drum solo on "Love City". The opening riff on "Into My Own Thing" was sampled for Fatboy Slim's 2001 hit "Weapon of Choice".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Sylvester Stewart, and produced and arranged by Sly Stone for Stone Flower Productions.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Dynamite!" – 2:46
  2. "Chicken" – 2:14
  3. "Plastic Jim" – 3:31
  4. "Fun" – 2:23
  5. "Into My Own Thing" – 2:15
  6. "Harmony" – 2:52

Side two[edit]

  1. "Life" – 3:02
  2. "Love City" – 2:44
  3. "I'm an Animal" – 3:20
  4. "M'Lady" – 2:46
  5. "Jane is a Groupee" – 2:50

CD bonus tracks[edit]

  • 1995 limited edition CD reissue
    • "Only One Way Out Of This Mess" (3:51, added for 1995 compact disc rerelease)
  • 2007 limited edition CD reissue
    • "Dynamite" (mono single version)
    • "Seven More Days" (previously unreleased)
    • "Pressure" (previously unreleased)
    • "Sorrow" (previously unreleased)

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]