Each and every Sunday night when the clock hits eight, The Strombo Show celebrates the spirit of radio over on CBC Radio 2. It's music for music lovers by music lovers. To kick off the program, we always tip our hats to the legends, the noise-makers and the ground-breakers in a segment that we like to call: Nod to the Gods.
Sly and the Family Stone released their ninth studio album Back on the Right Track in hopes of, well, getting on the right track and staging a comeback. At this point, the group had mostly dissolved due to various addictions and personal issues, although some of the original Family Stone members, including Cynthia Robinson, Pat Rizzo, Freddie Stone and Rose Stone, were able to come together on this record. Shortly after, everyone went their separate ways, with Freddie Stone retiring from the music industry and eventually becoming the pastor of the Evangelist Temple Fellowship Center in Vallejo, California. Sly Stone himself withdrew into rehab in the mid-1980s, at the suggestion of his friend Bobby Womack.
Despite its aspirations, Back on the Right Track was neither a critical nor commercial success — perhaps in part because Sly didn't produce the album, which had previously been the norm for the band. Whatever the case, time has been kind to this track at least.
"Remember Who You Are" has been sampled by plenty of hip-hop acts, including A Tribe Called Quest on "After Hours," off their debut record People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm:
In 2006, a tribute for Sly and the Family Stone took place at the Grammy Awards, featuring a surprise reunion performance from the original lineup. It was an eclectic bill, which included Dave Chappelle, Nile Rodgers, John Legend, Joss Stone, Maroon 5, Ciara, Aerosmith and Robert Randolph.
During the ensemble rendition of "I Want To Take You Higher," the Family Stone took the stage with Sly sporting a blonde mohawk and metallic suit — although he only last a couple of minutes before walking off the stage:
For further musical musings, new and old, join the collective for The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, every Sunday night at 8PM. And if you'd like to catch up or relisten, all of the episodes are archived on our Radio page.