My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: There’s a Riot Goin’ On was recorded throughout 1970 and 1971 and was released in November of 1971. The record took nearly two years as Sly Stone’s behavior became increasingly erratic due to drug abuse.
What I think:
This is a really amazing album due to the music it contains and the back story of making it. The fact that his was able to create such music stuff while his life was spiraling out of control is truly fascinating. And I used the word music there twice on purpose, because that is were this album shines. The tones are deeper and darker and funkier than their previous songs and the lyrics are coming from the same place too. The problem is Sly’s lyrics are almost indecipherable and mumbled out and I’m sure that’s what some love about them, to me they are lackluster and lazy and the real weak point of the album. (The backing vocals of Rose are stellar though)
The stand-out tracks for me come in the middle with “Africa Talks to You” and “Brave and Strong” which are just a little bouncier than the others.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I think it does, there is a certain foreboding that would signal the troubles of the decade to come.
Rating (Out of 5): 3.5
There’s a Riot Goin’ On Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (172/217)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 79%