Saturday, 30 January 2010



I've been tied up with the usual goings-on, and might be for the next few weeks.

But I've came back with an update on the Lineup pictures. New 1981 lineup photo found.

Also, any submissions of pictures of Slave you have that aren't on here, or any Slave music videos etc, send me an email to the address: - which would make my life a fair bit easier.


Saturday, 23 January 2010

Wait For Me Video

Just A Touch Of Love Video

Watching You Video

I already knew about this video, but was planning to wait until I could obtain the best possible quality version of it. From now on, I'll post all the Slave vids I can find. By the way, does anyone notice in this vid that Mark "Drac" Hicks is on the keyboards? I found that a bit odd. (Danny Webster is on the lead guitar)

The Word Is Out Video

How in the world did I not come across this before?! I love this find, and for once, I'm able to see the band as they were in 1984. And wow, does Keith Nash look so different in this from the other pictures! This was the first album where Keith was in and on the drums. Mark has a really typically 80s hairstyle, too! I love this particular song, and am so pleased to find that it's in video format!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Slave Interview (1995)

Early Mark Adams Pictures

Thanks to Otis from talkbass here.

Lyrics: Just A Touch Of Love

Just a touch of love a little bit
Just a touch of love
Just a touch of love a little bit
Just a touch of love

[Verse 1:]
Makes me shine just a little bit, just a little bit
(with just a touch of love)
In my mind baby just a little bit, just a little bit
(you got to)
Keep me high baby just a little bit, just a little bit
(with just a touch of love)
Can we spend some time
(can we spend some time)
Oooh baby baby

[1] - Just a touch of love a little bit
Just a touch of love

[2] - Just a touch of your love all the time to my mind
Just enough of your love to my mind keeps me high
Just a touch of your love all the time to my mind
Just enough of your love to my mind keeps me high

Need it now just a little bit, just a little bit
(with just a touch of love)
Makes me frown baby just a little bit, just a little bit
(you got to)
Send fire through my spine just a little bit, just a little bit
(with just a touch of love)
Can we spend some time
(can we spend some time)

[Repeat 1]

[Repeat 2]

[Repeat Verse 1]

[Repeat 2]

[fade out]

Thanks to justsomelyrics.

Restored Interview Found In The Web Archives (Steve Arrington)

I've struck some real gold here! An interview credit to Farid (Funkylol94) and located here. This is beautiful!

Farid: Could you tell us more about how you started out in music, like how where you touched by the musical ‘virus’?

Steve: I’ve always been fascinated by music. When I was a kid, I played records before I could read, by associating the song with the label. I used to just stare at the 45’s going around. The first song I ever liked was “Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop”. My great uncle, Charles Cook called me ‘Moosic’ (That’s how he said music). I loved my mother’s Jimmy Smith album, “Walk on the Wild Side”. We listened to that on our Saturday morning house-cleaning day, long with Aretha’s, “Skylark” album on Columbia Records. Some people don’t know about Aretha’s jazz days. That’s how I got the bug.

Farid: You come from Dayton, Ohio. How do you explain the fact that the Ohio scene was so prolific although Ohio was far from all the big music scenes from the days like Detroit, Chicago, NYC & L.A?

Steve: James Brown, the godfather of soul had King Records in Cincinnati, Ohio. Everybody that’s funky owes a debt to Brown.

Farid: If I’m not mistaken, the first big band (in terms of commercial success) to come out of Dayton was the Ohio Players. The Dayton scene has a sound of it’s own. I mean it’s rough and funky in the deepest sense of the word.

I suppose that in the early 70’s the Ohi
o Players was THE band you were looking up to in your town? Were there any other bands or artists at that time who were a driving force on the Dayton’s music scene?

Steve: Yes, the Ohio Players. They were the band that everyone was looking up to. They were so funky, jazzy, bluesy, and most of all original! Another band that I, and the younger guys, looked up to was the band called The Young Underground, who later became the mighty Lakeside.

Farid: In your early days, as a drummer, what were your main influences? I feel some jazz too in your music, am I wrong?

Steve: One of my early influences was Billy Cobham, when he was with Mahavishnu Orchestra. I saw them in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the bill with Frank Zappa and Florescent Leach and Eddie. I had never heard of Mahavishnu Orchestra, until that day in about 1971 or 72, since I have never been the same.

I also love the Yes drummer, Bill Bruford, in the ‘Round About’ and ‘Close to The Edge’ days.
Also, Tony Williams, ‘Lifetime,’ and then later when I heard him with Miles Davis, which lead me to Elvin Jones with Coltrane. Oh, my God!... Elvin with Miles, Tony with Coltrane, Billy with Mahavishnu, and Bill Bruford with that crazy snare on Round About got it done for me. And of course anything that Brown did was a lesson in all things funky! Clyde Stubblefield in the house.

Farid: I read that you were in College with Mark Adams, Slave’s legendary bass player. So why didn’t you join the band right from the start?

Steve: I was in High School as a senior with Mark Adams, who was a freshman at the time. We were in a band together called, The Young Mystics. Bad management broke us up. I went to California and ended up playing with Pete and Shelia Escovedo and Carlos Santana, who did some touring with us. Mark Adams joined with Stevie Washington, a new guy in town and nephew of Peewee (Ralph Middlebrook) of the Ohio Players.

Farid: On ‘Stellar Fungk’ you’re on drums, and then in 1979 on ‘Just A Touch Of Love’ you handle the vocals. How did this change happen? Was it the departure of Curt Jones & Starleana Young who went to create Aurra?

Steve: No. Star, Curt, and Stevie did not leave until after the ‘Stone Jam’ album. I started singing lead vocals because Danny Webster, who sang most of the leads on the 1st and 2nd album, disappeared from the Atlantic Record studio in New York, for 2 weeks and we asked ourselves “What are we going to do?” I said, “Give me a shot at the mic, since we’re just sitting.” And voilà, “Just a Touch of Love.” Curt, Star and I contributed on different songs, but at this 2-week period I came forth with “Just a Touch of Love.”

Farid: At the base of the Slave sound there was trumpet-player Steve Washington & of course Charles Carter on sax & keyboards, who followed you in your solo career with his brother Sam. Steve became Aurra’s producer & released a solo LP on Salsoul in 1984.

Do you keep in touch with all the band members or has everyone gone his own way? Also why did you leave the band in 1981, following the release of the Showtime LP?

Steve: Yes, I keep in touch with band members and, yes, we have all gone our own separate ways. I left the band in 1981, because of the classic R&B story: we are not getting paid, and so we implode. Unfortunate how as a musician, you can do your job, work hard as a child all the way up to the big time, and somebody behind a desk decides they want their money and your money, too. Just to do it.

Farid: Let’s go back to your solo carreer. In 1983, you released your first LP ‘Hall of Fame I’. I remember the first time I discovered this album at the end of the 80’s (sorry but I’m only 31 years old!) with a track that hit me severely (!) : "Nobody Can Be You", with a sound that was pretty different from other records at that time, with a heavy groove and handclaps.

When you wrote that song, what influences did you bring and what state of mind were you in? What kind of sound were you looking for? If you can still remember, what kind of instruments did you use for that particular track? (I am a vintage instruments freak as we say today!)

Steve: I played Fender bass on “Nobody Can Be You, But You.” I either played Buddy Hankerson’s Music Man or my Precision. I like the word ‘severely’ in your reaction to the song, “Nobody Can Be You, But You” because I wanted that song to be intense and yet, smoooooth.

The state of mind I was in was to try to encourage somebody who wasn’t sure that they were
important or special. There are no two people alike, so you are as important and as special as the next one. Period, end of story!

Farid: My second favorite track on that album is ‘You Meet My Approval’. Still a very original sound, with a slight touch of jazz, very subtle, and a latin touch towards the end of the song. Do you like latin music (salsa, samba, mambo & other south american rhythms)?

Steve: Love Latin music! I played with Shelia Escovedo, also known as Sheila E., the greatest female percussionist ever. My mentor was her uncle, Coke Escovedo, who played percussion on the ‘Abraxas’ album with Santana. Coke was also co-leader of the groundbreaking group Azteca with brother Pete Escovedo. You got it! “You Meet My Approval” was a meeting of several musical worlds. I used to love to play that song live.

Farid: I own both the vinyl and the CD version of the ‘Hall of Fame I’ album, but the CD carries two unreleased bonus tracks : ‘At It Again’ & ‘I Love You’. The first one has a slight P-Funk feel but your personal touch and arrangements are still very much to the forefront, and the second one is a sure dance floor filler. Why didn’t those tracks end up on the LP?

This album was met with great commecial success. Do you remember how the people received it? The album was released on Atlantic Records but some singles like ‘Way Out’ were issued on a small label, Konglather. Was this your own structure?

Steve: They were very melodic, more melodic than the tracks that made it on the album. (A peek into what was to come.) People loved Hall of Fame I. I was nominated for the Soul Train Awards, new artist of the year. The song “Way Out” from that album was on my own label, soon after picked up by Atlantic.

Farid: In 1985 comes out your second LP ‘Dancin' In The Key Of Life’ with the huge ‘Feels So Real’. I remember hearing that particular track in a club in London. How many times did you visit Europe for concerts and which countries did you visit?

Steve: I went to England, Germany, and Holland.

Farid: In 1986, you followed with ‘The Jammin National Anthem’, with Paulhino Da Costa on drums on a few tracks. You appear on the cover with a lot of children from different ethnic background. Was this a message towards open-mindedness?

We all remember that at the time, apartheid still existed in South Africa, but towards the end of the 80’s, a lot of artists opened their musics to ethnic music
(or world music).

Steve: It certainly was a message for open-mindedness! Racism is passed a drag. Racism is a nuclear bomb! I just wanted to tell somebody that it’s about LOVE, and my Lord and Savoir, Jesus Christ, even though some followers of Christ have fumbled the ball in this area many times.

Paulinho Da Costa is a great percussionist. He played percussion in the movie, Roots and is a great session player in Los Angeles. Also, George Johnson, of The Brother’s Johnson, played Guitar on the ‘Dancin’ in the Key’ album. I know we are talking about the “Jammin’ National Anthem” album right now, but I have to say that George Johnson played some wonderful on guitar on “Dancin’ in the Key of Life.” Freddie Hubbard played the trumpet solo on ‘Feel So Real’.

Back to “Jammin’ National Anthem” album; I really like the song ‘Holiday’ off that album.

Farid: You are now a Reverend, so has your musical background an effect on the way you handle your ministry and is it present in the Gospel in your Church?

Steve: Yes, it does, because I’ve been in the limelight and a star, where most people say they’d give anything to be. Because I’ve been there, I can tell people, you get used to it, the limos, the hype, the accolades. In the end, we are all the same; we just want to be loved.

Farid: Are there any news today on your side, like do you plan on putting out other albums or will you be touring any time soon?

Steve: I’m finishing up a new album right now and will be touring. I’m looking big time forward to it, too.

Farid: What kind of music do you listen to nowadays? Todays’s music or the great music that was made back in the days?

Steve: Both. I listen to mass choir music. I listen to Thelonious Monk. I listen to Daft Punk. Lately I’ve been vibin’ on ‘Come See About Me’, by the Supremes and ‘In the Sanctuary’, by Kurt Karr.

I want to thank your parents for the love they showed Monk, Miles, Dexter Gordon, and Bird. In this generation, thank you for the love you’ve shown me. There’s a lot of racism in America. A lot of my heroes received a lot of love in Europe and for Miles, especially France.
And remember, that Jesus Christ is way over the top, slammin’! He’s the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Can’t wait to see ya! Somebody talk back to me on this thing!

God bless,
Rev. Steve Arrington

Reformatted slightly for it to read a bit better.

Lyrics: Watching You

Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you
Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you

Watching you
Watching you
Watching you
Watching you

Looking at the ladies, all of them fine
All of them so lovely, I can't make up my mind
But I'm lookin' at you from the corner of my eye
I can see you now, you're steppin' so high and I'm

Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (one look and I was hooked on you, baby, whoa)
Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (watching you)

Watching you
Watching you

There you go swayin', blowin' my mind
You've got everything groovin' in time
God gave her beauty, she carries it well
I'm staring at your heart, baby, hoping you can tell

Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (hope that you can tell that I'm watching you, love)
Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (with the naked eye, baby, whoa)

Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (you're far away, but I can still see you clearly, whoa)
Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (watching you)

Love at first sight
Ooh, baby, you're blowin' my mind
I just got to let you know
Energy flowin'
I said it feels so good
I gotta tell you my name is Stevie
What's yours, baby, whoa

Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (I'm watching you and only you, baby, whoa...ho...)
Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (you're blowin' my mind)

Gonna do a little dance for you

Watching you
Watching you

The girl looks just right to me, ha
Combination smile, body, physique, whoa, ho
All the ladies I've seen are really fine but
Baby, I'm watching you, you're right down my line

Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (
Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (ooh, you're right for me, you're right to the tee, baby)

Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you (what must I do to let you know I'm checkin' you)
Walking down the street watching ladies go by (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Watching you (whoa....ho...ho...yi, yi, yi)

Walking down the street watching ladies go by (whoa, whoa, ho)
Watching you (yi-yi-yi, la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, oh, oh, oh)
Walking down the street watching ladies go by (la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, oh, oh, oh)
Watching you (la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la)

Walking down the street watching ladies go by
Watching you

Hat tip to justsomelyrics.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

All Lineup Pictures (So Far)

This will be a collection of all Slave lineup pictures I can currently find/get my hands on.

I can name most people in the pictures, but some of them, I cannot. If you can tell me who any of the people are that I can't, please leave a comment. Thank you! Click all for full size.

1977 original lineup on the back of the debut Slave album.

1977 lineup on the back of The Hardness Of The World.

This particular photo was found in the book, Funk by Dave Thompson. From left to right: Raye Turner, Tom Lockett, Danny Webster, Orion Wilhoite, Steve Washington, Floyd Miller, Tim Dozier, Mark "Drac" Hicks and Mark Adams.

Photo in 1978 on the back of the album, The Concept. In the foreground, left to right, is Orion Wilhoite, Mark "Drac" Hicks and Tim Dozier. Behind, from left to right, is Mark Adams, Raye Turner, Danny Webster, Tom Lockett, Floyd Miller, Carter Bradley and Steve Washington. For some reason, Arrington, despite being present at this time, was not in this photoshoot.

A photo of the same lineup from the same year of 1978. Starlena Young is also in this photo, but still no Arrington!

The 1981 lineup from the back of the album, Showtime. Left to right: Charles Carter, Danny Webster, Mark Adams, Steve Arrington, Delbert Taylor, Floyd Miller.

Same 1981 lineup from a source I haven't tracked down yet. Left to right: Floyd Miller, Steve Arrington, Charles Carter, Delbert Taylor, Danny Webster, Mark Adams

1982 lineup, on the back of Visions Of The Lite. Left to right: Danny Webster, Delbert Taylor, Floyd Miller, ???, ???, Mark Adams

1983 lineup, on the front of Bad Enuff. From left to right: Floyd Miller, ???, Wayne Foote, Aubrey Rivers, Mark Adams, Eugene Jackson, Danny Webster, ???

And the photoshoot below is from the same time, with the same members, and is to be found in the Blues & Soul magazine, Issue No.405

1984 photoshoot on the back of New Plateau. Only contains Floyd Miller, Danny Webster and Mark Adams (left to right), despite other members being present at this point.

Four pictures on the back of the 1987 album, Make Believe, of Keith Nash, Danny Webster, Mark Adams and Floyd Miller. None of Charles Carter, despite being present in the band at the time.

Here is a complete lineup picture of the 1987 lineup, which was a promo photoshoot found on the back of a Blues & Soul magazine. (Issue No.494)

Also, this picture from the same time, but weirdly, on the Rebirth album, three years later, despite the band not containing Floyd Miller and now containing Mark "Drac" Hicks again.

1992 lineup. From left to right: Mark Adams, Keith Nash, ???**, Mark "Drac" Hicks

**A name was attributed to a fourth member in the album as Steve. The said Steve could be this individual.

1996 lineup. All completely different people, aside from Mark Adams, Floyd Miller, Tom Lockett and Mark "Drac" Hicks. Hicks is on the second left at the top, Floyd Miller is to the right of Hicks, in the middle of the top row, and Adams is second left on the bottom. The rest, I'm unsure.

Tremendous thanks to Lee for this photo of Slave!!!

Any more contributions will be greatly appreciated, thanks!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Slave Discography

Alright, I think if we're going to have a blog dedicated to Slave, then it's only best that I upload the music. I'm going to comprehensively go through each album. Download links are in the pictures of the album covers.The group was formed in 1975 by Steve Washington and Mark "Drac" Hicks, from two minor groups, called Black Satin Soul and the Young Mystics. The name, "Slave" was used for the group because the word was on a member's t-shirt. The idea behind it, was to add better connotations to the word, than the pre-existing ones. (They coined the concept that we're all "Slaves to life", which is a better connotation)

The classic 1977 debut album by Slave, containing the #1 hit, "Slide". Original members at this point being Steve Washington, Mark "Drac" Hicks, Mark Adams, Danny Webster, Floyd Miller, Carter Bradley, Orion Wilhoite, Tim Dozier and Tom Lockett. Tighter grooves are what makes this album the bomb that it is, and rapidly, but unexpectedly became a commercial success. Other great tracks on this album are "The Happiest Days" and "Separated", though it seems most of the other tracks on this album get very overlooked amidst the love of "Slide". An early and wonderful start for Slave, nonetheless.

On the other hand, we have this album, which wasn't a commercial success, within the same year. The Hardness Of The World is, in my opinion, certainly one of their weaker albums, but understandably so, due to the fact that this album was rushed. To be honest, I'm glad this album was commercially unsuccessful; the possibilities were, that if they continued to chart constantly, the fame could have given them ideas above their station to produce the same kind of material. What with Slave and its members only being young, I think this was a potential risk, but with Slave experiencing both commercial successes and flops within the same year, I think the experience within has really built upon Slave, not just as musicians producing their sounds, but to avoid the temptation of conforming just for a famous hits.

And not to shun this album; I think "Life Can Be Happy" is certainly a song of theirs not to be missed, along with "Volcano Rupture", which features some serious bass and guitar work! And the cover art is also beautiful; another artistic aspect in which Slave are second to none at. This album also saw the introduction of Raye Turner

And so they had it. They had the experiences for which many artists and bands have yearned for. The real test for them was to build upon it. And they did. This 1978 album, The Concept, is a brilliant album, taking a very dramatic, almost pantomime like edge to it. "We've Got Your Party" was a first listen love for me, and the guitar riffs and dramatic edge to "Coming Soon" is magnificent! Guess who sneaks into the background in this album? Yep, it's Steve Arrington, who strangely only does vocals in Coming Soon.

Next up in 1979 is Just A Touch Of Love. This album is important because the vocals within Slave become a lot more upfront. Steve Arrington becomes the lead vocalist at this point, and we now see the further introduction of Curt Jones and Starlena Young as further vocalists. The goalposts for Slave had definitely changed at this point. Slave become slightly more of a serious band at this point, perhaps deviating from the kind of attitude that was put about by P-Funk, and many of the other funk groups starting at the same time. Also, the focus of this now is all about the vocals. I think for this album, the instruments are second nature. This album delivers the all time classic, "Just A Touch Of Love", as well as some killer songs like "Shine" and "Funky Lady (Foxy Lady)".

This album adds the balance between vocal and instrument focus. This particular 1980 album, Stone Jam, happened to be the very first Slave album I obtained. For me, and MANY others, the track that shines in this album, as well as being an all time classic, is "Watching You"; a beautiful blend between funky precision and soulful vocals! Other good tracks are "Sizzlin' Hot", and "Stone Jam". Charles Carter makes his first appearance in this album, too.

It's the 1981 album, Showtime, and the goalposts begin to change once again. Steve Washington, Curt Jones, Starlena Young and Tom Lockett depart to create the group Aurra. Orion Wilhoite, Tim Dozier, Mark Drac Hicks and Raye Turner also depart. (Carter Bradley disappears as well, although I think he went before, back in 1979)

Replacing him, is Kevin Johnson and Roger Parker

Overall, this album is probably Slave's biggest success story, commercial wise. But also in the sense that not a single track on this album gets overlooked. The bassline in this album is super funky, bringing Mark Adams up front into the spotlight more, alongside the shared vocal powers of Steve Arrington, and Danny Webster, who is the lead vocalist in the song, "Steal Your Heart". The Slave sound really started here, although many dismiss it as this album being the last of it. Every track on this is a killer, but special mentions go to "For The Love Of U", "Party Lites" and "Smokin"!

Now we have the 1982 album, Visions Of The Lite. Sadly, many didn't give this album a chance, and the relationship between them and Slave ended at this point, making this album a commercial flop. All of this, being for one reason; Steve Arrington departed Slave to create his Hall Of Fame, taking Carter and Parker with him.

Slave continued, despite this great loss, however, and rightly so; Danny Webster was a different yet competent takeover for the vocals. Some seriously good songs on this joint, such as "Sweet Thang", "Visions", "Do You Like It...(Girl)" and "Intro (Come To Blow Ya Mind)".

This album also saw the introduction of Marvin Wheatley and Ronny Cochran.

I really love this album. I just have to say it. This is the 1983 album, Bad Enuff, and this is one of my favourite Slave albums. This album runs very smoothly, and has fantastic tracks on it, as well as getting a slight peak within the charts, as well. The lineup has many new introductions, including Eugene Jackson, Wayne Foote, Aubrey Rivers and Kenny Anderson. "Steppin' Out" is a classic track on this album, and well appreciated amongst me and other fans. Other fantastic tracks on this album are "Bad Girl", wrote by Eugene Jackson (who is the lead vocalist on the track, as well), "Show Down", and "Shake It Up".

I think this album is testimony to mass stupidity of the charts. This is the 1984 album, New Plateau, and was the first album of Slave's not to chart, as well as being the last album on Cotillion. This album also sees the introduction of the later very prominent Slave member, Keith Nash. Charles Carter and Curt Jones also reappear in this album to help out.

I really like this album. The basslines in this album are extremely funky, and the usage of synthesizers for this album are very cool. The fact that this album didn't chart says something about conventional opinion. Tracks I love on this album are "Ooohh", "The World Is Out", "Share Your L.O.V.E.", "Forever Mine", "K.O.G." and "Jungle Dance (The Dance Bass)". Forever Mine is probably my favourite track on this album, being one of Slave's "deeper" songs, hitting very different chords. That might be an aspect of the "New Plateau" that Slave achieved in this album.

This is the first Ichiban release by Slave, as Slave moved to Ichiban in 1985, and then produced this album, Unchained At Last. The members at this point were Mark Adams, Floyd Miller, Danny Webster, Keith Nash, Aubrey Rivers and Kenny Anderson.

I think, as they got total control of the handling of their releases, they also found the right elements to combine with the Slave sound. This album is an absolutely fantastic album, containing many funky breaks, soulful vocals, powerful guitar riffs and a more spacey/cosmic overtone. "Jazzy Lady" was released as single, and was quite popular. Other great tracks on this album are "Don't U Be Afraid", "All We Need Is Time", "Thrill Me" and "Don't Waste My Tyme".

Well, this is it. This is my all time favourite album of Slave's. This is the 1987 release, Make Believe. Also, this is the Slave album that most people strangely seem to forget about. For some reason, people can't recall this album, and it was only February of last year that I had heard this album. This album was the highest charting Ichiban release they did. The lineup now was right down to the core: Mark Adams, Floyd Miller, Danny Webster, Keith Nash, with Charles Carter chipping in with the keyboards.

This album took a very different route, the route of hardcore funk, with very powerful guitars and riffs, rap-styled vocals from Floyd Miller, along with the original Slave sound, and cosmic/spacey themed synthesizers. This album works perfectly. The favourite track on this album for most people is "Juicy-O", which was released as a single. "Juicy-O" is a great synth funk joint (Take note, reviewers: Synth funk; NOT New-Jack Swing :D) with some brilliant vocal leads. All of the tracks on this album are fantastic, but special mentions go to "I Like Your Style", "You Take My Breath Away" and "Chillin'". Danny Webster appears not to be the lead vocalist from this album and from here on, and only does the lead vocals in the song "Holiday" on this album. I think the vocals (non-rap) are taken over by Keith Nash for the most part, and Floyd Miller doing the rap ones. Danny Webster does some ultra powerful guitar work, and Mark Adams doing the bass as always! Spectacular album.

This is their 1988 release, Slave 88. This album sees the return of Mark Drac Hicks, the original lead guitarist! Roger Parker also comes back to contribute, as does Sam Carter; the brother of Charles Carter. Also helping out in this album, is Buzz Amato. This album is very electro in style, and more concentrates on drum samples and loops, as well as being slightly more soul oriented. This album was the first album on Ichiban not to chart at all, which ends up to be the case for all the rest of Slave's releases. By this time, they were well eclipsed by the media, but the Sun hadn't burnt out! Some great tracks on this are "Because Of You" and "Bottoms Up".

A new decade starts, and a new era for Slave. This 1990 release, Rebirth, despite the name, is actually the phasing out of Slave. At the same time, this album is great! The new "Rebirth", is Mark Drac Hicks, Mark Adams and Keith Nash, and Danny Webster chipping in, doing guitars and the lead vocals in the song "Victim Of Circumstance". Buzz Amato also chips in on the keyboards. This album is full of powerful guitars, drum beats and loops, and futuristic synthesizers. At this point, Slave were bound to stop, but this is one of my favourite albums by them, and shows that they can amalgamate their sound with contemporary sounds and styles excellently! Tracks I like on this are "The Way You Dance", "I Love You", "Victim Of Circumstance", "How Is This Love" and "Everybody's Talking".

This is the 1992 release, The Funk Strikes Back. The lineup at the moment is Mark Adams, Keith Nash and Mark Drac Hicks. The basslines on this are particularly powerful, but also, like Rebirth, reflected a lot more contemporary styles of music, and some rap like vocals. Slave still had a well good grasp of the funk, and songs "I Won't Stop", "Just A Little Bit-A Love" and "So, So Good" are particular favourites of mine!

The last and final release by Slave. This contains all rerecordings of old songs, as well as one new song, "Funky Like A Lunatic". The lineup in this are all entirely of people I've never heard of before, apart from Mark Adams, Floyd Miller, Mark Drac Hicks and Tom Lockett. To be honest, I'm not keen on some of the rerecordings, although the one of Watching You is okay, the Barbera Jean Blvd one is quite atmospheric and the new track is not so bad. Might as well get this one for collection's sake.

And that's the end of the current Slave saga. Maybe there's another? Who knows, but we'll see. Hope you enjoy what I've posted.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

U.K. Interview With Keith Nash About The Make Believe Album

Hat tip to for digging this out of the archives; an interview with Keith Nash about the Make Believe album. (My favourite Slave album, for the record)

Keith Nash: Slave as a group have always been extremely well supported in U.K. so we're not exactly down in the mouth about coming back! The 1984 visit was real good for the band and we're hoping for a repeat performance when we come back. We actually played some dates in Germany last year which were also very good but there's always something a bit special in playing in Britain.

We're also looking forward to showcasing some of our more recent stuff. The public always expect a fair share of past Slave hits and, of course, we're always happy to include those. But we are a contemporary group first and foremost and do not want to rely on former successes to maintain our status. We fully intend to progress and add to the Slave story rather than simply standing still.

B&S: Positive stuff indeed and we all hope the visit is as successful and as entertaining as expected. On the vinyl front, the new album has received less than 100% enthusiastic response from U.K. observers, although the track "Juicy-O" has been selected for special mention and remains the obvious selection for single success.

Keith Nash: I can understand some of the reservations that people might have about the new album; it's all part of the progression and the need to stretch out. Whilst we have no intention of wandering too far from the basic Slave sound, we do need to develop musically and attemp at least a few new routes.

If you need a comparison I guess I would use Cameo as an example of the right type of change internally. Having said that, however, the new album is certainly not being ignored by our more traditional fans here in America. Sales and black radio exposure is good and we have no problems on that front. Potential crossover success is always an unknown quantity until it happens.

B&S: Make Believe is Slave's second album shot for Ichiban, the first being "Unchained At Last" which has a "slight" emphasis of course on freedom from the dreaded "system"?

Keith Nash: That particular title wasn't so much an indictment of Cotillion but more a positive statement of our own creative freedom within the Ichiban setup. As an entity, Slave had always been involved with the productions with Jimmy Douglas as co-producer, but the deal with Ichiban provided us with total control which, of course, was very appealing.

John (Abbey) is always willing to give us the benefit of his experience and, naturally, we're always pleased to have that input but essentially what emerges from the studio sessions is what Slave want to emerge. We stand or fall on that but we're happy to have it like that.

The other very positive thing about being with a smaller independent label is the priority and concentration they're able to give you. The Ichiban roster is of sufficient size to permit that state of affairs. Without the marketing clout and vast sums of promotion money available to the majors, the emphasis with smaller outfits like Ichiban has to be on the quality of Product.. . which suits us fine.

Why I've Set This Blog Up

This blog is, well, going to be dedicated entirely to the band Slave. It's going to include my reviews, gathering links, info and tales etc, but perhaps most importantly, I set this blog up as being separate from my original, because I want your contributions as well; as well as being my favourite band, I also find them quite an elusive band, so if you have any photos that have been unreleased on the covers etc, please publish them on this blog. (If you wish to be a member of this blog to publish material, just leave your email to me and I'll get that fixed)

By the way, if you've heard about my funk project (Yes, which will *definitely* include Slave albums), that will remain on my original blog