Interview with designer/photographer Stephen Paley about his work on the album cover for Sly and the Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On
Posted 1/15/2021 by Mike Goldstein, Album Cover Hall of Fame.com
Sly and the Family Stone’s follow-up to their hit record Stand debuted at the top of both the Pop and Soul album charts when it was released on Epic Records in November, 1971, and its lead single (“Family Affair”) soon took the crown on the Pop singles charts as well. It’s title is intended as a detailed response to a question Marvin Gaye had posed (i.e., “What’s Going On?”), with the record’s ominous (but funky) mood and red, white and black flag cover (with suns substituting for stars, and with no identifying text) both standing to illustrate Sly’s mood at that point in his (and the nation’s) life. As Stone cleverly put it – “there are too many stars already in this world”.