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Baker's Dozen

By Design: Jim Jones Of The Righteous Mind's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , September 15th, 2015 13:23

Before they headline Walthamstow's Stow Festival this weekend, The Righteous Mind's leader gives Julian Marszalek an insight into "where my head is at right now" with a tour through his current top 13 albums


Sly And The Family Stone - Fresh
The last time I was listening to it was on the road and my piano player was going, "Right, it's either There's A Riot Goin' On or Fresh", as if there was a competition going on. Obviously, There's A Riot Goin' On is a really seminal record which I love, and I particularly love the production on it; a friend of mine described it as sounding like chocolate being mixed in a bowl, which it really is.

That said, song for song, Fresh has more of it for me. I listen to the whole thing as a really pleasurable experience but there are key songs that just leap out because they're so good. You can't put on 'If You Want Me To Stay' without starting to groove. It works on everyone; it's universal.

Apparently, with that picture of Sly Stone doing the kick on the front cover, he was so out of it that he's actually doing that pose laying on the floor! He's not actually jumping in the air; he's on his back.

He does it on There's A Riot Goin' On but he does it even more on Fresh and he's the most fearless here. He lets those emotions just bubble up and lets them out and fine-tunes them as they land. He's the king of that; he's the most fearless. He's a proper mad character making amazing music. Just look at that version of 'Qué Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)' - how good is that? That's one of those songs that can move you to tears because it's so good. You can't really fault it. You know, there's some music that you can really enjoy but at the same time you know that it's hamming it up a bit but this is just faultless. I can't find anything wrong with this song and most of the album is like that.

But really, I fucking love Fresh. I put it on and it takes me to a sunny place. It does that to me and it has that power.