Tuesday, April 15, 2008

33 1/3 No. 32: Miles Marshall Lewis - Sly & The Family Stone's There's A Riot Goin' On

Lewis starts his book with an extended conversation between himself and (presumably) his dad about what Sly meant. He launches into the context of Sly Stone's career and then how There's A Riot Goin' On fits in. There's a lot of discussion about the relative worth of each album and the tragic trajectory of Sly's life, compared to the uplift of his music. Well, the uplift prior to Riot.

I should point out that I love this album, and this is the book that brought me around on the issue of breaking the MOJO article mold. I bought a copy of the book while on vacation in the Pacific Northwest and ended up giving it to a friend after I read it. At the time, I'd just started Shoot Out The Lights, and I was still committed to writing a journalistic take on the album. I'd read Piper At The Gates Of Dawn a while before and disliked the deviation into the author's personality. But Lewis's book convinced me that a 33 1/3 book could be personal and still work. So I'm not going to review Piper here until I re-read it, and I can thoroughly recommend this one.

Style of book: personal, contextual, meditative, sympathetic.

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