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Saturday, January 24, 2009

SLY & THE FAMILY STONE : Everyday People (1968/9)

Why not give 2009 a boost with some Sly? Here is a multi-racial group singing one of the most positive messages ever put in a pop song; all in 2.5 minutes!

Here's allmusic:
Perhaps Sly & the Family Stone's most universal message, "Everyday People" is sort of Sly Stone's own "All You Need Is Love." A simple, direct comment on discrimination, the literate and concise words come through to any listener, whatever their creed or color. Musically, the song is built around an almost nursery rhyme melody and rhythm, and this suggests that perhaps Sly had the lyric idea at the outset of the creation and attempted (successfully) to make the overall song as accessible as possible.

And from the wiki blurb:
The song is one of Sly Stone's pleas for peace and equality between differing races and social groups, a major theme and focus for the band. The Family Stone featured Caucasians Greg Errico and Jerry Martini in its lineup, as well as females Rose Stone and Cynthia Robinson; making it the first major integrated band in rock history. Sly & the Family Stone's message was about peace and equality through music, and this song reflects the same.

Unlike the band's more typically funky and psychedelic records, "Everyday People" is a mid-tempo number with a more mainstream pop feel. Sly, singing the main verses for the song, explains that he is "no better/and neither are you/we are the same/whatever we do."
Sly's sister Rose Stone sings bridging sections that mock the futility of people hating each other for being tall, short, fat, skinny, white, black, or anything else. The bridges of the song contain the line "different strokes for different folks," which became a popular catchphrase in 1969.

For the chorus, all of the singing members of the band (Sly, Rosie, Larry Graham, and Sly's brother Freddie Stone) proclaim that "I am everyday people," meaning that each of them (and each listener as well) should consider himself or herself as parts of one whole, not of smaller, specialized factions.
Song : "Everyday People" by Sly & The Family Stone
Single A-side (Nov. 1968); also from the LP "STAND!" (Epic) May 3, 1969

Sly Stone : vocals
Rose Stone : vocals, backing vocals, piano
Little Sister (Vet Stone, Mary McCreary, Elva Mouton) : backing vocals
Freddie Stone : guitar, backing vocals
Larry Graham : bass, backing vocals
Greg Errico : drums
Jerry Martini : tenor sax
Cynthia Robinson : trumpet
Get it here : Everyday People


Dana said...

I'll take credit for this one! thank you thank you

I can't even describe how much better this version is than the Arrested Development cover. This one gets in your bones..

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