Just talent sometimes just go away? It cost me 50p to find out. And the answer is…no. At least not in man called Sylvester Stewart’s case.
The critical line on just about anything past Fresh (1972), perpetuated in a recent Mojo (March 2010) feature, is that Sly had run outta juice. It’s simply wrong. Back On the Right Track (1979) is a really good, consistent record; it’s full of great playing, great singing and it sounds great. Perhaps the album (and Sly’s latter career) suffers in comparison with the innovation that preceded it. Right Track is relatively slick compared to There’s A Riot Goin’ On, say, and stylistically echoes past glories (the distinctive bass line from “Thank You” crops up as does the “Take You Higher”‘s ‘yeah yeah…’ vocal hook, not to mention the same rhetorical point being made in “It Takes All Kinds” as “Everyday People”), but it still has the funk, and no mistake. Honestly, some people just can’t be satisfied.