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Sly and the Family Stone receive first career-spanning box set

on May 29, 2013, 3:51pm

sly higher

Earlier this year, funk overlord Sly Stone (figurehead of the iconic Sly and the Family Stone) turned 70. In celebration of the milestone and all his groov-e-tational work over the years, Epic/Legacy is releasing a career-spanning four-CD box set entitled Higher! on August 27th.

The first such anthology in Stone’s 61-year (!) career, the set features 77 tracks, 17 of which are previously unreleased. Highlighting the tracklist are mono versions of songs selected from Stone’s expansive catalog (centered mostly around the Family’s activity from 1968-1975), including hits like “Everyday People”, “Stand!”, “I Want To Take You Higher”, “Hot Fun In the Summertime”, and over 30 more.

Also featured are seven pre-Epic Records tracks, including the highly-bootlegged cover of Otis Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose”, from Stone’s time as an A&R-producer for Autumn Records. The collection is rounded out with rare demos, instrumental tracks, and television and live recordings, including cuts from Stone’s August 1970 gig at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Oh, but wait, there’s more: the set is accompanied by a 104-page booklet, comprised of a liner notes essay, an illustrated timeline of Stone’s career, track-by-track annotations, rare and uncirculated photography, 45 rpm label and picture sleeve reproductions, vintage concert posters and ticket stubs, and much more. Much of the writing was handled by Jeff Kaliss, author of the authorized biography I Want To Take You Higher: The Life And Times Of Sly & The Family Stone.

“Refracted in these treasures,” Kaliss wrote of Higher!, “are colors you may be unused to seeing in Sly: old R&B, jazz, nursery rhymes, gospel, and even country, fused and transformed by a precious visionary and his fellow musical alchemists.”

Check out the entire tracklist below, followed by a few gems from Stone’s discography.

Higher! Tracklist:

Disc One (1964-1967)
01. I Just Learned How To Swim by Sly Stewart (Autumn Records single, 1964)
02. Scat Swim by Sly Stewart (Autumn single, 1964)
03. Buttermilk (Part 1) by Sly (Autumn single, 1965)
04. Dance All Night by Sly and Freddie (1965, originally unissued)
05. Temptation Walk by Sly (Autumn single, 1965)
06. I Ain’t Got Nobody (For Real) (Loadstone single, 1967)
07. I Can’t Turn You Loose (Loadstone single, 1967)
08. Higher (mono Epic single master, promo only, 1967)
09. Underdog (mono Epic single master, 1967)
10. Bad Risk (mono Epic single master, 1967)
11. Let Me Hear It From You (mono Epic single master, 1967)
12. Advice
13. If This Room Could Talk
14. I Cannot Make It
15. Trip To Your Heart
16. I Hate To Love Her
17. Silent Communications (1967, previously unissued)
18. I Get High On You (version one, 1967, previously unissued)
19. I Remember (1967, previously unissued)
20. My Woman’s Head (instrumental demo, 1967, previously unissued)

Disc Two (1967-1968)
01. What’s That Got To Do With Me (1967, previously unissued)
02. Fortune And Fame (1967, previously unissued)
03. What Would I Do (1967, originally unissued)
04. Only One Way Out Of This Mess (1967, originally unissued)
05. I Know What You Came To Say (1967, previously unissued)
06. Dance To The Music (mono Epic single master, 1967)
07. Ride The Rhythm
08. Color Me True
09. Are You Ready
10. Don’t Burn Baby
11. We Love All
12. Danse A La Musique by The French Fries (mono Epic single, 1968)
13. Small Fries by The French Fries (mono Epic single, 1968)
14. Chicken (mono Epic single master, 1968)
15. Into My Own Thing
16. Life (mono Epic single master, 1968)
17. Love City (1968, previously unissued mono mix)
18. M’Lady (mono Epic single master, 1968)
19. Dynamite! featuring Johnny Robinson on vocals (1968, previously unissued)
20. Undercat (instrumental, 1967, previously unissued)

Disc Three (1968-1970)
01. Everyday People (mono Epic single master, 1968)
02. Sing A Simple Song (mono Epic single master, 1968)
03. I Get High On You (version two, 1968, previously unissued)
04. Wonderful World Of Color (instrumental, 1968, previously unissued)
05. Pressure (originally unissued)
06. I Want To Take You Higher (mono Epic single master, 1969)
07. Seven More Days (originally unissued)
08. Feathers (instrumental, 1968, previously unissued)
09. Somebody’s Watching You
10. Sex Machine
11. Hot Fun In The Summertime (mono Epic single master, 1969)
12. Everybody Is A Star (mono Epic single master, 1969)
13. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (mono Epic single master, 1969)
14. Stand! (LIVE at the Isle of Wight Festival, August 30, 1970)
15. You Can Make It If You Try (LIVE, same as track 14)
16. Dance To The Music (LIVE, same as track 14, previously unissued)
17. Music Lover / I Want To Take You Higher / Music Lover (LIVE, same as track 14, previously unissued)

Disc Four (1971-1977)
01. Luv N’ Haight (Epic single master, 1971)
02. Family Affair
03. Brave & Strong (Epic single master, 1971)
04. Runnin’ Away (Epic single master, 1971)
05. (You Caught Me) Smilin’ (Epic single master, 1971)
06. Spaced Cowboy
07. You’re The One featuring Little Sister (LIVE on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, September 1973, previously unissued)
08. In Time
09. If You Want Me To Stay (Epic single master, 1973)
10. Frisky (Epic single master, 1973)
11. Skin I’m In
12. If It Were Left Up To Me (Epic single master, 1973)
13. Time For Livin’ (Epic single master, 1974)
14. Can’t Strain My Brain (Epic single master, 1974)
15. Loose Booty
16. Le Lo Li (Epic single master, 1975)
17. Crossword Puzzle (Epic single master, 1975)
18. Family Again (Epic single, 1976)
19. Hoboken by Sly Stone (originally unissued, 1975-1977)
20. High by Sly Stone (1975, previously unissued)