Different Folks

Most, though not all, remix albums fall flat. But Different Strokes by Different Folks (Epic/Legacy) avoids this fate for two reasons: a reverence for the source material (the album is credited simply to Sly and the Family Stone ) and the resilience of the songs themselves. Dallas-born Sly (Sylvester Stewart) is known for the multiracial rocked-up soul formula he pioneered in the sixties; his songs are so unforgettable that when John Legend, OutKast’s Big Boi, and Public Enemy’s Chuck D reimagine them, the originals still play subliminally. With access to the master tapes, the album’s contributors have created more than a typical mash-up. It’s a seamless integration of generations and, true to form for Sly, an inclusive one, with room even for the likes of John Mayer and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

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