Just a Touch of Love

by: Slave

In 1977, Slave's self-titled debut album (which boasted the number one R&B smash "Slide") earned the Dayton outfit a reputation for playing sweaty, aggressive, in-your-face funk. But when Slave provided its fourth album, Just a Touch of Love, in 1979, it was clear that the Midwesterners were determined to soften their approach. "Funky Lady (Foxy Lady)," "Roots," and the hit title song (all of which boast Steve Arrington on lead vocals) are definitely the work of a smoother, sleeker Slave -- and yet, the band still had plenty of grit. This excellent album left no doubt that Slave was still a funk band, although it wasn't as in-your-face as the Slave that gave listeners "Slide" and "Screw Your Wig on Tite" in 1977. Arrington, who first recorded with Slave on 1978's The Concept, played a major role in its evolution -- and two other lead vocalists who make important contributions to this LP are Starleana Young and Curt Jones (both of who went on to form Aurra, the group that hit big with "Are You Single" in 1981). Arrington, Young, and Jones weren't original members of Slave, but all of them proved valuable when Slave opted to embrace a smoother style of funk. And all of them do their part to make Just a Touch of Love one of Slave's finest albums. ~ Alex Henderson

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