Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"You're The One (Part 2)" by Little Sister

"You're The One" is a forgotten gem by the soul/funk group Little Sister. Little Sister was primarily the background singers for Sly & the Family Stone but had a brief recording career of their own (1970-1971). The soul-singing trio was composed of Vaetta Stewart (Sly's youngest sister), Mary Rand and Elva Mouton. They were originally a gospel group called The Heavenly Tones before becoming Little Sister. During their short-lived career, they scored two hits with "You're The One" and "Somebody's Watching You," a cover of a track from Sly & the Family Stone's visionary Stand! album.

"You're The One" is a great cut. It has that classic Sly & the Family Stone funk sound that can't be mistaken for any other band or artist--the percolating rhythm, the gospel-inflected harmonies, the tight horn riffs and the rumbling bass. It basically sounds like a Sly & The Family Stone song sans the members providing the vocals. Sly wrote, produced and arranged "You're The One," which was released on his record label Stone Flower Records in 1970.  The song had a pretty strong showing on the charts. It climbed to number #4 on the R&B charts and # 22 on the pop charts. In 1971, Little Sister's time in the spotlight had run out, and they were relegated back to doing background vocals for the Family Stone again.

It's not clear why Sly stopped production on the trio. Perhaps it was a matter of time constraints.  It would have been pretty time-consuming to continue splitting his time between recording, producing and touring with the Family Stone and working with Little Sister, especially since his drug-abuse problems were really starting to take hold around this time. Or maybe he just lost interest. No one knows for sure. Sly is (and always has been) a mercurial and enigmatic cat who's as unpredictable as he is brilliant.

Related blog entry: Review of Sly & the Family Stone's Stand!

No comments: