Life (Sly and the Family Stone album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1, 1968
San Francisco, California
GenrePsychedelic soul, funk
ProducerSly Stone
Sly and the Family Stone chronology
Dance to the Music
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Austin Chronicle3.5/5 stars[2]
The Guardian3/5 stars[3]
PopMatters9/10 stars[4]
Rolling Stone (1968)(Favorable)[5]
Rolling Stone (2007)3.5/5 stars[6]
Uncut4/5 stars[8]
Yahoo! Music(Favorable)[9]

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


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

Side one
  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
  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)


Sly and the Family Stone


  1. ^ link
  2. ^ link
  3. ^ link
  4. ^ link
  5. ^ 1968
  6. ^ 2007
  7. ^ link Archived 2008-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ link Archived 2007-04-03 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ link Archived 2005-08-28 at the Wayback Machine