Feb 142012

The Family Stone vs The JB's

As we progress through the Semifinals round of our tournament to determine—once and for all—rock’s greatest backing band ever, the Expansion Conference comes down to a battle between The Family Stone and The JB’s. The winner of this match will face Legacy Conference champs The Crickets.

Through the long, painstaking course of this tournament adequate arguments have been made on behalf of all the semifinalists. That doesn’t mean you’re not encouraged to continue arguing for your selection in this round, but you are welcome to cast your vote now. Voting in this match will run through 11:59 pm on Friday, February February 17, 2012.

Semifinals, Expansion Conference: The Family Stone vs The JB's.

  • The JB's (66%, 21 Votes)
  • The Family Stone (34%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 32

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  13 Responses to “Semifinals, Expansion Conference: Rock’s Greatest Backing Band Tournament Enters a Funk-Off as The Family Stone Meet The JB’s”

  1. Man this is a tough one. I’m leaning toward the Family Stone but I need to hear some pros and cons.

  2. This is tough! The easy way out might be to remember all the technicalities regarding The JB’s’ entry (remember, they’re not really listed on James Brown albums by their backing band name, so they kind of snuck in on their Fred Wesley credits…) and vote Family Stone, but my feeling is The JB’s are in so we might as well take them for what we know they are, Brown’s backing band during the late-’60s, right? That said, the decision is tougher yet. Nevertheless I’m leaning toward the Family Stone because they had a more varied touch, able to span AM pop to hardcore funk and everything in-between.

  3. I’m going with the JB’s on the strength of the drumming. Errico had a simple but rugged way with a beat, but the JB’s had three or four guys in there that were just phenomenal.But I agree, this was a ROUGH choice.

  4. I agree that this is a toughie. I’ll give the Family Stone a very slight nod over the JBs because on songs like “Everybody Is a Star” and “Hot Fun in the Summertime”, they could play sweetly without losing their funk. I also give the Stone points for backup-singing capability. But I still think that Parliament/Funkadelic (who should have been part of the contest no matter how some might rationalize otherwise) would give both of these bands something to sweat about.

  5. I ended up factoring in the Family Stone’s vocal contributions too. Their singing is as integral to those songs as their playing.

  6. The JBs pretty much only do one thing, although it’s an extremely cool thing and they are essentially unbeatable at it. I agree with my esteemed fellow Townsmen who have noted that the Family Stone showed a bit more range and adaptability than the JBs. I hadn’t considered the Family Ston’s vocals but tonyola and the Mod raise a good point.

    I’m going with the Family Stone.

  7. alexmagic

    This is the true finals, in my opinion, and there’s not really a wrong choice here. Either band would probably be able to beat anybody else on Look or Mach Shau alone, but head-to-head, they seem to cancel each other out in almost every category.

    I suspect the Family Stone will win based on the versatility factor, and that’s fine, but each band perfectly served the vision of their boss, so that’s not something I’m going to penalize the JBs over. This might come down to whether you favor the hippie-ish vision for the Family Stone that Sly laid out, or the funky boardroom/ drillmaster approach that James Brown perfected.

    I will say this: I think anyone willing to vote against the JBs should listen to “Get Up Offa That Thing” again and consider whether you can really vote against what they’re doing there. That’s the musical equivalent of being back by the Spanish Armada and Cirque du Soleil at the same time.

    Would the comparable Family Stone track be “I Want To Take You Higher”? A great song, but I don’t think it holds a candle to what the JBs were doing there. I just think that nobody, not even the Family Stone, can match the raw power the JBs could bring to bear while remaining a cohesive unit, and that’s probably the deciding factor for me.

    Still, whichever band wins this deserves to win it all.

  8. cherguevara

    I voted for the JB’s, largely on the principle that they laid the foundation for the Family Stone. And because they were killer!

  9. hrrundivbakshi

    I’ve been largely silent throughout this entire process, because to me, the final outcome has always been a foregone conclusion: if there’s any justice in this crazy RTH universe, the JBs should win the whole furshlugginer mess in a landslide.

  10. tonyola

    This is the Family Stone track that can match the JBs – “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”.


  11. BigSteve

    Gotta go with the JBs on this one. The volume of great music that band produced is unrivaled. Of course many more musicians passed through the JBs, but the quality of the musicianship was very high.

  12. Choreography? Did anyone say choreography?

    Give me the JB’s! In fact, give it to me four times! Uh-uh-uh-uh!!!! Give it to me eight times! Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh!!!!!!!!

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