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SLY & THE FAMILY STONE: There’s A Riot Goin’ On (deluxe ‘Gold Edition’ re-issue) (2013) + promo ‘product video’

There’s A Riot Goin’ On. Actually there isn’t. Despite public sector cuts, flatlining pay, a dearth of youth employment, worsening conditions and rights for most of those who work, unintelligent cuts in benefits for most of those who can’t, mooted pay rises for MPs in the UK, a worrying rise in racist rightwing groups and religious extremism, increasingly oppressive government, nosey pricks at the NSA and GCHQ using Prism to monitor all your interweb shit, outrageous tax evasion and avoidance by corporations, government double standards on tax evasion and avoidance (let’s make a lot of noise about the immorality of it but do next to fuck all about it!), banks who caused the worst economic crisis in eighty years still not being brought to heel and still not curbing obscene bonuses and a successful combined government and media campaign to shift the blame of the crisis onto benefit claimants and immigrant workers. Despite all of that we’re sleep-walking into some sort of neo-feudalism. Question people and they give a pathetic shrug, switch on some more reality TV and adopt a ‘things are what they are – we just need to do the best we can’ mindset. A mindset, incidentally, which gave us Hitler. Yes, despite all that, there isn’t a riot going on. But there probably should be. So here’s Sly & The Family Stone‘s greatest LP re-packaged to remind us of a time when, frankly, people had the balls to get off their arses and call bullshit on the piss-poor job the people they’d voted into power were doing.

The hugely influential There’s A Riot Goin’ On was re-named during its recording in response to another hugely influential LP – Marvin Gaye’s socially-charged What’s Goin On? It includes the singles Family Affair, Runnin’ Away and (You Caught Me) Smilin’ as well as some low down dirty funkin’ in the shape of Luv N Haight, Brave & Strong and Thank You For Talking To Me Africa. This deluxe edition features an embroidered version of the original’s distinctive modified ‘Stars and stripes’ flag with suns instead of stars on a black instead of blue background. The gold edition cd version features embedded 24 carat gold and comes with a 48-page hardback liner notes book that will give music history nerds a massive boner. ‘Product video’ below fetishizing the collectability of this re-issue – the cd, at least, will be wipe clean…
(Out 26 August on Get On Down Records)

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