Lavish best-of for classic late-'60s funk band

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Sly & The Family Stone – The Essential Sly & The Family Stone

Years ahead of their time in combining pop, rock and funk, Sly & The Family Stone remain one of the milestone acts of black music, not least in also using a multiracial line-up at a time when segregation was the rule. This double-disc compilation is the latest in a long line of anthologies of the group’s work and is without doubt the best so far.

The available space allows the compilers (among whom is Sly himself) to include far more than usual from albums like Stand!, There’s A Riot Goin’On and Fresh. Indeed, all the good stuff from these albums is collected here, rendering it almost unnecessary to buy them as separate issues. Highly recommended.