The wheels were coming off Sly & the Family Stone by the time it released its seventh album, Small Talk, in 1974. The band had been in decline for years, divided by drug abuse and Sly Stone’s behavior, equal parts dysfunctional and tyrannical.
The cover of the album featured a photo of Stone reveling in forced domesticity with his new wife, who would leave him three months later after Stone’s pitbull almost ate their young son (who cries annoyingly over Small Talk’s title track).
Reviews of the album were unenthusiastic and it failed to catch-on with record buyers. But the album has its moments and its fans, most notably the Beastie Boys, who lifted much of “Loose Booty” for the frenetic Paul’s Boutique cut “Shadrach” and then covered “Time For Livin’” as a punk song on Check Your Head.