Triumvate: Larry Graham

1. Sly & The Family Stone – Stand!

triumvirate (1)An album doesn’t sell in excess of three million units and spawn several classic hits that still get airplay more than 40 years on without being something special. The breakout album for the iconic funk- soul band is dripping with Larry’s bass chops. The mega-hit ‘Everyday People’ featured Graham’s first recorded use of slap, with its punchy riff powering the song along. It’s simply a must-have al- bum for anyone seriously into real funk, rather than flashy slap and pop riffs.


2. Sly & The Family Stone – There’s A Riot Going On

coverparadise.toA darker, grittier album than those previously released by the band, There’s A Riot Going On is now regarded by many as the band’s finest effort, though at the time its critical reception was mixed. Tapping into the downbeat feelings of the band and the nation, Graham serves up some fine deep funk grooves on the likes of ‘Family Affair’ and ‘Poet’. This album marked the maturation of funk as a genre, but the beginning of the end for Graham’s association with the band.


3. Graham Central Station – Graham Central Station

triumvirateFollowing tensions with Sly Stone, Graham quit Sly & The Family Stone to lead his own band. Their debut mines a rich seam of soul and funk, with Larry on top form throughout. Certainly it’s an album of its time and not without its flaws, but thanks to the popular hit ‘Can You Handle It?’ and the bass player’s classic party piece, ‘Hair’, it has to rank as one of his best.

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