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A Tribute to SLAVE

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 FUNK is a word that has largely disappeared from the vocabulary of many so called soul/rnb  lovers  yet mention artist such as GEORGE CLINTON,PARLIAMENT ,FUNKADELIC ,THE  OHIO PLAYERS  to name a few and people soon get  the meaning of funk music slap bass big snare with hand claps great percussion  some funky horns and away you go. So if I said the name SLAVE to you would this ring any bells, to those of you younger than 25 you may want to speak to your parents better yet read on or you could Google this. SLAVE was a funk soul band that came out of Ohio state US A they were formed by STEVE WASHINGTON and MARK HICKS in 1975.It was in 1981 that my cousin DENNIS introduced me to the sound of SLAVE and together we never looked back, It was the songs  PARTYLITES and SNAPSHOT from the album  that just blew both of us away. Immediately we  both not only had to have the album SHOW TIME but had to see if this group hand any previous material we could get into, and they didn’t disappoint us with what we found .The previous  album 1980`s STONE JAM was and still is a gem and features one of the groups finest  songs WATCHING YOU. Other albums include there first album SLAVE of which feature the hit single SLIDE of which went gold on the billboard charts. The second album they recorded hot on the heels of the success from the first set was entitled THE HARDNESS OF THE WORLD. Follow up on the 1978 album THE CONCEPT  of which  came the excellent  hit single (and by the way get the 12inch version  in vinyl) STAELLAR FUNGK  the  band  release  the another benchmark   set in JUST A TOUCH OF LOVE (released in 1979) of which the title track is another one of my  personal favourite songs from this gifted outfit. Two members CURT JONES and STARLEANA JONES would go on to form the group AURRA who would later become DEJA .In 1982 we brimmed with excitement as 1981 had introduced both of us to artist we hadn’t heard of or were simply ignorant to, either way we had been awakened, enlightened and funked up at the same time .There could be no going back groups and artist we had discovered from 81 of which SLAVE is one of them we eagerly awai




ted any follow up material SLAVE released the album VISIONS OF THE LITE I just love the  intro song COME BLOW YA MIND . In 1984 band would come to the UK and as I recall some reviews were not great yet this didn’t put us off we brought our tickets and off to BIRMINGHAM we went I can still remember locking eyes with bass player MARK ADAM S as the group rocked the crowd that night and we vibed to the their STELLAR FUNGK I knew this was a one off and that I would never forget that night, and I haven’t .SLAVE up to this point had been signed to COTILLION RECORDS a subsidiary of Atlantic Records in  1985 after the release of tow further albums BAD ENUFF and NEW PLATEAU COTILLION RECORDS was closed down  and SLAVE  would move to LCHIBAN RECORDS  and throughout the latter half of the 80`s until the mid 90`s the band  continue to release music .Sadly the music scene had changed and this solid brand of funky music was no longer  sought after  the GFUNK  had exploded along with GANGSTAR RAP  and  that whole movement  funk music  had  lost it following yet  had not died completely with people like SLAVE around how could it. SLAVE consisted of TOM LOCKETT FLOYD MILLER, CARTER BRADLEY MARK ADAMS, MARK HICKS, DANNYWEBSTER, and ORIONWILHITE, TM DOZIER, WAYNE FOOT,RAYE TURNER,STEVE ARRINGTON, EUGENE JACKSON, KENNI HAIRSTON,LARRY HOUSTON ,ALBERY RIVERS,MARVIN WHEATLY ,RONNIE COCHCRAN,ROGER PARKER,SAM CARTER,DELBURT C TAYLOR,KEVIN JOHNSON ,STARLEANA YOUNG and CURTIS JONES(PLEASE NOTE NOT ALL  WERE MEMBERS AT THE SAME TIME SOME CAME AND WENT). The bands ULTIMATE lead singer was the unique vocalist STEVE ARRINGTON (underrated) went on to have success with his own solo projects  STEVE ARRINGTON  HALL  OF FAME ,VOL 1 and  STEVE ARRINGTON  HALL  OF FAME POSITIVE POWER .It would take until the release of the album DANCIN  IN THE KEY OF LIFE  1985 that the title song would be released and become a massive hit here in the UK ,at the time this was great news  for me  as the man was receiving  great reviews for his work. SLAVE on a whole have left their mark and you only have to go to Amazon   or iTunes to see the vast catalogue of music they had recorded. In 2010 it was reported that STEVE ARRINGTON was to release a new album called LOVE PEACE and FUNKY BEATZ. SADLY in March 2011 MARK LESLIE ADAMS died he was 51 then came even more bad news as Guitar player MARK (DRAC)  HICKS  had also died at the age of 52.So to all the members of SLAVE we salute you a say thanks for making our live funky and happier with music  you gave us .

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