Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sly Stone

  • High on You [Epic, 1975] B-
  • Ten Years Too Soon [Epic, 1979] B-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

High on You [Epic, 1975]
The lyrics haven't regained their punch, and neither have the melodies--when he does try to say something, you barely notice. But the old rhythmic eccentricity, both vocal and instrumental, makes this more interesting to listen to than the run of dancey goop. Let's not give up on him yet. B-

Ten Years Too Soon [Epic, 1979]
Pieties aside, John Luongo does better with this monstrous concept--segueing "contemporary" instrumental stylings into Sly's (not the Family's) greatest dance tracks--than you'd expect, and the album is at least a listenable curiosity. I mean, it's funny to hear a kickdrum-syndrum break follow the familiar "for people who only need a beat." And "High on You" is actually improved. But of course, the concept failed--this got virtually no disco play. And Greatest Hits is still in catalogue. B-