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Encyclopedia > Dance to the Music (song)
"Dance to the Music"
Single by Sly & the Family Stone
From the album Dance to the Music
B-side "Let Me Hear It From You"
Released 1968
Format vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)
Recorded 1967
Genre Psychedelic/Soul/Funk
Length 3:00
Label Epic Records
5-10256
Producer Sly Stone
Chart positions 8 (US), 9 (R&B), 7 (UK)
Sly & the Family Stone single chronology
"Underdog"
1967
"Dance to the Music"
1968
"Dance A La Musique"
1968
"Dance A La Musique"
Single by The French Fries (Sly & the Family Stone)
Non-album single
B-side "Small Fries"
Released 1968
Format vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)
Recorded 1968
Genre Psychedelic/Soul/Funk
Song Length 3:00
Label Epic Records
5-10313
Producer Sly Stone
Chart positions N/A
Sly & the Family Stone single chronology
"Dance to the Music"
1969
"Dance A La Musique"
1968
"Life"
1968

"Dance to the Music" is a 1968 hit single by the influential soul/rock/funk band Sly & the Family Stone for the Epic/CBS Records label. It was the first single by the band to reach the Billboard Pop Singles Top 10, peaking at #8 and the first to popularize the band's sound, which would be emulated throughout the black music industry and dubbed "psychedelic soul". Sly & the Family Stone were an important and influential American rock band from San Francisco, California. ... Dance to the Music was the second album for Sly & the Family Stone, released by Epic/CBS Records in 1968. ... In recorded music, the terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 7 inch vinyl records on which singles have been released since the 1950s. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... A gramophone record, (also phonograph record - often simply record) is an analog sound recording medium: a flat disc rotating at a constant angular velocity, with inscribed spiral grooves in which a stylus or needle rides. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Musical genres are categories which contain music which share a certain style or which have certain elements in common. ... Psychedelic music draws its inspiration from the experience of mind-altering drugs such as cannabis, psilocybin, mescaline, ecstasy and especially LSD. Characteristic features of the style include modal melodies, lengthy instrumental solos, esoteric lyrics and trippy special effects such as reversed, distorted, delayed and/or phased sounds. ... For other uses, see Soul music (disambiguation). ... Funk is a distinct style of music originated by African-Americans, e. ... A record label is a brand created by companies that specialize in manufacturing, distributing and promoting audio and video recordings, on various formats including compact discs, LPs, DVD-Audio, SACDs, and cassettes. ... Epic Records is a record label launched originally as a jazz and classical music label in 1953 by CBS. Its bright-yellow, black and blue logo became a familiar trademark for many jazz and classical releases. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) is (among many other tasks) primarily responsible for completing a master recording so that it is fit for mass production and commercial release. ... Sly Stone, as depicted on the cover of the 1981 greatest hits compilation Sly & the Family Stone Anthology. ... Top 40 is a radio format based on frequent repetition of songs from a constantly-updated list of the forty best-selling singles. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... Sly & the Family Stone were an important and influential American rock band from San Francisco, California. ... In recorded music, the terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 7 inch vinyl records on which singles have been released since the 1950s. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... A gramophone record, (also phonograph record - often simply record) is an analog sound recording medium: a flat disc rotating at a constant angular velocity, with inscribed spiral grooves in which a stylus or needle rides. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... Musical genres are categories which contain music which share a certain style or which have certain elements in common. ... Psychedelic music draws its inspiration from the experience of mind-altering drugs such as cannabis, psilocybin, mescaline, ecstasy and especially LSD. Characteristic features of the style include modal melodies, lengthy instrumental solos, esoteric lyrics and trippy special effects such as reversed, distorted, delayed and/or phased sounds. ... For other uses, see Soul music (disambiguation). ... Funk is a distinct style of music originated by African-Americans, e. ... A record label is a brand created by companies that specialize in manufacturing, distributing and promoting audio and video recordings, on various formats including compact discs, LPs, DVD-Audio, SACDs, and cassettes. ... Epic Records is a record label launched originally as a jazz and classical music label in 1953 by CBS. Its bright-yellow, black and blue logo became a familiar trademark for many jazz and classical releases. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) is (among many other tasks) primarily responsible for completing a master recording so that it is fit for mass production and commercial release. ... Sly Stone, as depicted on the cover of the 1981 greatest hits compilation Sly & the Family Stone Anthology. ... Top 40 is a radio format based on frequent repetition of songs from a constantly-updated list of the forty best-selling singles. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday For other uses, see Number 1969. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... For other uses, see Soul music (disambiguation). ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Funk is a distinct style of music originated by African-Americans, e. ... Sly & the Family Stone were an important and influential American rock band from San Francisco, California. ... Epic Records is a record label launched originally as a jazz and classical music label in 1953 by CBS. Its bright-yellow, black and blue logo became a familiar trademark for many jazz and classical releases. ... Columbia Records is the oldest continually used brand name in recorded sound, dating back to 1888. ... An example of a Billboard Magazine. ... The Billboard Hot 100 is the main singles chart used by Billboard magazine. ... Top Ten is a generic term used to indicate the ten items that are best, worst, or otherwise notable according to some criteria. ... Psychedelic soul is a subgenre of soul music that thrived during the late 1960s and early 1970s. ...

Contents


History

Reluctance to a pop sound

Notably, none of the band members particularly liked "Dance to the Music" when it was first recorded and released. It, and the accompanying Dance to the Music LP were made at the insistence of CBS Records executive Clive Davis, who wanted something more commercially palpable than the band's 1967 LP, A Whole New Thing. Bandleader Sly Stone crafted a formula, blending the band's distinct psychedelic rock leanings with a more pop-friendly sound, resulting in what saxophonist Jerry Martini called "glorified Motown beats. ['Dance to the Music'] was such an unhip thing for us to do." Dance to the Music was the second album for Sly & the Family Stone, released by Epic/CBS Records in 1968. ... Clive Jay Davis (born April 4, 1934) is the founder of Arista Records, and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a nonperformer. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A Whole New Thing was the debut album for Sly & the Family Stone, released by Epic/CBS Records in 1967. ... Sly Stone, as depicted on the cover of the 1981 greatest hits compilation Sly & the Family Stone Anthology. ... Psychedelic music draws its inspiration from the experience of mind-altering drugs such as cannabis, psilocybin, mescaline, ecstasy and especially LSD. Characteristic features of the style include modal melodies, lengthy instrumental solos, esoteric lyrics and trippy special effects such as reversed, distorted, delayed and/or phased sounds. ... Pop music, in popular and contemporary parlance, is a subgenre of popular music. ... A saxophonist is a musician who plays the saxophone. ... Jerry Martini (born October 1, 1943 in Colorado) is an American musician, best known for being the saxophonist for the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone. ... Motown Records, Inc. ...


About the song

However, "Dance to the Music" did what it was supposed to do: it launched Sly & the Family Stone into the pop consciousness. Even toned down for pop audiences, the band's radical sound caught many music fans and fellow recording artists completely off guard. "Dance to the Music" featured four co-lead singers, black musicians and white musicians in the same band (segregation had just been repealed four years prior), and a distinct blend of instrumental sounds: rock guitar riffs from Sly's brother Freddie Stone, a funk bassline from Larry Graham, Greg Errico's syncopated drum track, Sly's gospel-styled organ playing, and Jerry Martini and Cynthia Robinson on the horns. An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black), is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that Apartheid outside South Africa be merged into this article or section. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... A guitar is a stringed musical instrument. ... Freddie Stone (born Frederick Stewart in Vallejo, California on June 7, 1946) is an African-American musician, best known for his role as co-founder, guitarist, and vocalist in the band Sly & The Family Stone, the front man for which was his brother Sly Stone. ... A Fender Jazz Bass Bass guitar (also called electric bass guitar, electric bass, or simply bass) refers to an electric bass or an electric/acoustic string instrument with a similar appearance to the guitar, but with a larger body, commonly four strings, longer scale neck and tuned an octave lower... Larry Graham, Jr. ... Greg Errico (also spelled Gregg Errico, born September 1, 1949 in San Francisco, California) is an Italian-American musician, best known for being the drummer for the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone until 1971. ... In music, syncopation is the stressing of a normally unstressed beat in a bar or the failure to sound a tone on an accented beat. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ... Gospel music may refer either to the religious music that first came out of African-American churches in the 1930s or, more loosely, to both black gospel music and to the religious music composed and sung by white southern Christian artists. ... The Casavant pipe organ at Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica, Montreal The organ is one of the oldest musical instruments in the western musical tradition, with a rich history connected with the Christian religion and civic ceremony. ... Cynthia Robinson (born January 12, 1946 in Sacramento, California) is an African-American musician, best known for being the trumpetist in the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone. ... In music, a horn section is a group of wind instruments--sometimes dubbed horns--which are arranged to enhance a song or musical group. ...


An unabashed party record, "Dance to the Music" opens with Robinson screaming to the audience, demanding that they "get on up...and dance to the music!" before the Stone brothers and Graham break into an acapella scat before the song's verses begin. The actual lyrics of the song are sparse and self-referential; the song serves as a Family Stone theme song of sorts, introducing Errico, Robinson, and Martini by name. After calling on Robinson and Martini for their solo, Sly tells the audience that "Cynthia an' Jerry got a message that says...", which Robinson finishes: "All the squares go home!" A party is a social gathering intended primarily for celebration and recreation. ... A cappella music is vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. ... Scat singing is vocalizing either wordlessly or with nonsense words and syllables as employed by jazz singers who create the equivalent of an instrumental solo using only the voice. ... The theme music of a radio or television program is a melody closely associated with the show, and usually played during the title sequence and/or end credits. ... In the parlance of jazz, a square was a person who failed to appreciate the medium, i. ...


Widespread influence

"Dance to the Music" was one of the most influential songs of the late-1960s. The Sly & the Family Stone sound became the dominating sound in African-American pop music for the next three years, and many established artists, such as The Temptations and their producer Norman Whitfield, Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Impressions, The Four Tops, The 5th Dimension, and War began turning out Family Stone-esque material. The Temptations, in fact, rode their first "Dance to the Music"-inspired single, "Cloud Nine", all the way to the Pop Top Ten and to a 1968 Grammy Award. "Dance to the Music" and the later Family Stone singles also helped lead to the development of what is now known as funk music. The 1960s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... The Classic 5 lineup of The Temptations, circa 1965. ... Norman Whitfield Norman Jesse Whitfield (born in Harlem, New York in 1943) was a songwriter and producer for Berry Gordys Motown label during the 1960s. ... Reissue album cover showing The Supremes in 1966. ... For the Australian rock group, see The Impressions (Australian band). ... The Four Tops circa 1966. ... The 5th Dimension is an American popular music group, best-known during the late 1960s and 1970s for popularizing hits of songwriters like Jimmy Webb, Laura Nyro, Ashford & Simpson, and others, and helping to popularize flower power music with both white and black middle-class Americans. ... War was an American funk band of the 1970s and early 1980s. ... Cloud Nine is a 1968 hit song recorded by The Temptations for the Motown label. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... The Grammy Awards (originally the Gramophone Awards), presented by the Recording Academy (an association of Americans professionally involved in the recorded music industry) for outstanding achievements in the recording industry, is one of four major music awards shows held annually in the United States (the Billboard Music Awards, the American... Funk is a distinct style of music originated by African-Americans, e. ...


Later in 1968, Sly & the FamilyStone released an alternate version of "Dance to the Music" as a novelty single. This recording was a French language version called "Dance A La Musique", with the group's vocals sped-up in a style similar to that of The Chipmunks. 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ... Alvin and the Chipmunks, left to right: Theodore, Simon, and Alvin. ...


In 1998, "Dance to the Music" was admitted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2001, the DVD for the animated film Shrek added "Dance to the Music" in their special "Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party", alonside other classic songs like "YMCA", "Like A Virgin" and "Baby Got Back". 1998(MCMXCVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... The Grammy Hall of Fame Award is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least twenty-five years old and that have qualitative or historical significance. Alphabetical listing by title: List of Grammy Hall of Fame Award recipients A-D List of Grammy Hall... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... OMG ...


Credits

Sly Stone, as depicted on the cover of the 1981 greatest hits compilation Sly & the Family Stone Anthology. ... Freddie Stone (born Frederick Stewart in Vallejo, California on June 7, 1946) is an African-American musician, best known for his role as co-founder, guitarist, and vocalist in the band Sly & The Family Stone, the front man for which was his brother Sly Stone. ... Larry Graham, Jr. ... See AdLib for the computer sound card manufacturer. ... Cynthia Robinson (born January 12, 1946 in Sacramento, California) is an African-American musician, best known for being the trumpetist in the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone. ... Sly Stone, as depicted on the cover of the 1981 greatest hits compilation Sly & the Family Stone Anthology. ... A guitar is a stringed musical instrument. ... Freddie Stone (born Frederick Stewart in Vallejo, California on June 7, 1946) is an African-American musician, best known for his role as co-founder, guitarist, and vocalist in the band Sly & The Family Stone, the front man for which was his brother Sly Stone. ... A Fender Jazz Bass Bass guitar (also called electric bass guitar, electric bass, or simply bass) refers to an electric bass or an electric/acoustic string instrument with a similar appearance to the guitar, but with a larger body, commonly four strings, longer scale neck and tuned an octave lower... Larry Graham, Jr. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ... Greg Errico (also spelled Gregg Errico, born September 1, 1949 in San Francisco, California) is an Italian-American musician, best known for being the drummer for the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone until 1971. ... In music, a horn section is a group of wind instruments--sometimes dubbed horns--which are arranged to enhance a song or musical group. ... Jerry Martini (born October 1, 1943 in Colorado) is an American musician, best known for being the saxophonist for the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone. ... A Yanagisawa tenor sax. ... A bass clarinet, which sounds an octave lower than the more common Bâ™­ soprano clarinet. ... Cynthia Robinson (born January 12, 1946 in Sacramento, California) is an African-American musician, best known for being the trumpetist in the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone. ... The trumpet is the highest brass instrument in register, above the horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba. ... Sly Stone, as depicted on the cover of the 1981 greatest hits compilation Sly & the Family Stone Anthology. ...

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