I seem to get the best joy out of listening to music when I am cleaning down the house. And at this moment in time I am listen to an album that I have not heard from front to finish in at least 19 years. Wow time does stand still does it.
Well, the album that got my all fired up to do a spot of Spring cleaning around the house was the soul funk album called "Stone Jam" by the group called Slave
Slave as a group were originally formed by Trumpeter Steve Washington and Guitarist Mark Hicks (Drac) who formed the group in DAYTON, OHIO during the year of 1975.
However, I was touch too young to be buying albums in 1975. However, when 1980 reached I was spending my pocket money on the best albums that I hear through either radio or via going to nightclubs to hear these brilliants sound mostly coming from the Usa, but also hearing tracks that were coming out of Jamaica, Brazil and Japan.
What got me into Slave was the title track called "Just a touch of love" - which had been a monster hit for the group a year earlier. That track was to be found on the album of the same name called "Just a touch of love" that was released in 1979. However, the group Slave did have a monster hit even before "Just a touch of love". The song is called "Silde" released within 1977, and released on the album called Slave. It reached number 1 in the Usa rnb charts for that year, and also reached number 32 in the Usa pop charts.
I was pondering on getting this album ("Just a touch of love" - 1979) after sourcing it out at a specialist record store here within Ipswich at the time. I listened to it, but felt that for the price that they were asking for in 1979 which was £15.00 at the time (which was an extremely lot of money at the time for an import Usa album). Plus I felt that the album wasn't that strong overall I felt better to leave it.
However their next album release that was Stone Jam. I did that same. I sourced out the album at the same record store. Listened to each track individually. Say like 40 seconds of each track on the album. And each track that I listened to every one seemed like a winner.
As soon as I got the album home. I played the album from start to finish with no interruptions. And yes my instinct had guided me well as this was a brilliant, brilliant album. The two things that got me shook up about this album the bass players sound. And vocal delivery of the Starleana Young and Steve Washington. Brilliant blended and worked in the right order to achieve brilliance on tracks from the album such as Feel my love and Starting all over especially.
Slave - Starting all over
This was to be Slaves 5th album release and was their most successful Usa Rnb music release.
It was released during the year of 1980 on Cotillion Records. It was produced by Jimmy Douglass and Steve Washington members of the Slave band themselves. The album was listed on the Billboard 200, Billboard's 1981 Year-End Chart and was certified Gold by the RIAA. Such was its impact.
The biggest track from the album was "Watching you" - which to was the track put them on a international pedigree especially over here in the Uk. Some fans states that "Just a touch of Love" was the single. But I have disagree and state that the album "Stone Jam" was the one.
Slave - Watching you
Other notable singles on this album that deserve higher recognition are "Stone Jam" and "Dreaming"
The band had expanded from what it was originally within 1975 to included worthly musicians and vocalists such as Starleana Young, Steve Arrington, Curt Jones and Ray Turner. By joining the band thay gave the band a more melodic sound instead of the raw Funk/rock sound that they were originally famed for.
In fact more emphasis seems to be given over to Steve Arrington and Starleana Young in regards to taking on the lead vocals for the group.
In fact here were the contributors to this classic album that is - STONE JAM
Mark Adams (Bass, Background Vocals)
Mark Hicks (Lead Guitar)
Thomas Lockett (Tenor Sax, Alto Sax, Background Vocals)
Floyd Miller (Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, Vocals)
Raye Turner (Keyboards)
Danny Webster (Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Vocals)
Steve Arrington (Drums, Vocals)
Charles Cedell Carter (Sax, Production)
Curt Jones (Vocals)
Starleana Young (Vocals)
Here at those tracks that were made for the album that is Stone Jam
- "Let's Spend Some Time" (Mark Adams/Jimmy Douglass/Mark Hicks/Jennifer Ivory/Curt Jones/Ray Turner/Steve Washington/Starleana Young) – 4:38
- "Feel My Love" (Adams/Steve Arrington/Hicks/Jones/Turner/Washington/Danny Webster) – 4:33
- "Starting Over" (Adams/Hicks/Jones/Floyd Miller/Turner/Young) – 4:27
- "Sizzlin' Hot" (Adams/Arrington/Miller/Turner/Washington/Webster) – 5:
- "Watching You" (Adams/Arrington/Turner/Washington/Webster) – 4:41
- "Dreamin'" (Adams/Arrington/Jones/Miller/Turner/Washington) – 4:20
- "Never Get Away" (Adams/Arrington/Hicks/Jones/Turner/Webster) – 5:09
- "Stone Jam" (Adams/Hicks/Jones/Turner/Washington/Webster/Young) – 6:43
It is my opinion humble that this was Slaves best album release. Many people argue the point that "Showtime" that their 6th album was even better, but I beg to disagree.
"Stone Jam" the album is packed with tight jams delivered by Mark Adams' that bands bass player - giving us those rumbling bass lines. Danny Webster who played lead and rhythm guitar, providing chunky funk riffs for Steve Arrington who was the bands drummer to provide a solid backbeat to the tunes: and finally the sophisticated keyboard tones played by Ray Turner added another glorious layer to this Slave sound.
And finally all completed with the addition of the lead and backing vocals of . This rounded of this project just right.
Slave as mentioned above went on to make the album that is "Showtime" another stellar album in its own right, and many people who love Slave just as much or even more than myself, state that the "Showtime" album was the best that the group ever did. I am still standing by my choice and opting for "Stone Jam" in which you encountered exquisite ballads right through to Hard funk tracks. Everything is here that shows you the musicianship of Slave at their peak
My only regret about Slave at this moment of time within their careers was the leaving from the band of Starleana Young and Steve Arrington. I believe that their inclusion within the band gave the band another direction which they could add to their musicianship. But that is just my opinion.
Slave went onto to make another 10 albums would you believe. I went to buy another 5 albums of their albums as they came out. The hits were still coming out those albums but they didn't hit me as hard as they did when I first heard "Stone Jam" as those years ago in the year of 1980.
Here is the Slave Interview - Please click on the start button to hear the interview
It was in the year of 2011, that us fans of the group were to learn of double tragedy in the form of the death of
- Mark Leslie Adams Sr - died on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at age 51 in Columbus, Ohio.
- Mark (Drac) Hicks - died on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at the age of 52 in Dayton, Ohio
Both are hugely important to the group and the sound of Slave. However, it the Bass playing and sound that was achieved from Mark Adams that inspired many people across the world to take up playing the Bass guitar as an instrument in its own right.
The group that was Slave are still about would you believe and have reformed. The even have a website which is - The New website for the newly fromed Slave band
Well were you a Slave fan back in the day? Did you ever go and see them live, What were they like as I never got a chance to see them live. A big regret of mine. Please tell your stories of seeing them live. What about your favourite Slave single. Have you one? Please let me know.
Well that all folks for me now anyway.
Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show © www.electricsoulshow.com