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Published on Aug 24, 2014
After busting down doors and expanding on pop music with uplifting songs like "Everybody Is A Star", "Hot Fun In The Summertime", "Dance To The Music" , Sly took a step towards the dark side of funk with "Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf)" and "Family Affair". Sylvester was 25 years old and the pressure of stardom wore heavy on him. The sudden fame was difficult to deal with and he began to suffer the symptoms of a bleeding ulcer, which never matured, but developed a dependency on cocaine. He also began buying into the rich and famous scene accumulating cars, jewelry, expensive homes, private planes and an assortment of female companions. He was constantly busy being the star and began to lose sight of his business and musical responsibilities. He began showing up late for concerts, if he bothered to show up at all and the concertgoers weer having none of that and rioted in the venues. His musical operation was bleeding money all over the place and there was nothing to staunch the flow since he had become so self involved. Lawsuits, management battles and the lack of new music hurt the organization terribly along with many missed concert dates and group infighting. He finally put together a new album, "There's A Riot Going On" and the centerpiece single of "Family Affair" that seemed to sum up his life at the time. Debuting at #50, the highest new single that week, moving swiftly to #1 where it stayed for three weeks. The distinctive bass line was played by Sly himself, ex band member Larry Graham relates, "he used to play with a pick". This was their last smash, but their first using a primitive drum machine.