Classics: Steve Arrington – Feel So Real (Extended Version) (Atlantic)
Steve Arrington made himself famous, first as the lead singer of Slave. This with classics such as ‘Just A Touch Of Love’, ‘Watching You’ and ‘Wait For Me’… He would pretty much increase his fame when opening his account as a solo artist back in 1985. Thus enjoying then his greatest successes on his debut-LP – ‘Dancin’ In The Key Of Life’ – including the title of the likes and ‘Feel So Real’.
There’s an instant ‘Feel So Real’ impression when comin’ to listen to this monsterjam. Not only because of its uplifting lyrics. Comin’ up as a celebration to the well being one may feel along with the beloved one. But also while taken by its overall irresistible flow. From Arrington‘s heartfelt performance to its sparkling arrangements courtesy of Keg Johnson and Wilmer Raglin. With the presence of luminaries such as Pattie Brooks (backing vocals), George Johnson (guitar) and Paulinho Da Costa (percussion) adding to the whole. This in addition to the late Freddie Hubbard in charge of the trumpet solo…
From Dayton, OH, Steve Arrington originally played drums with local band The Young Mystics. He relocated to San Francisco, CA after they broke up. Meanwhile the remaining members of the group combined with another Ohio band by the likes of Black Satin Soul. With this resulting in the birth of Slave in the mid-70’s, then the release of their debut-album – ‘The Hardness Of The World’ – back in 1977.
Arrington returned to the band back in 1978. Just in time to contribute to Slave‘s third album, ‘The Concept’. This as a backing singer, eventually co-writing a couple of cuts, beginning with the memorable ‘Stellar Fungk’. Then he took the lead, heavily contributing to the recognition of clasics such as ‘Just A Touch Of Love’, ‘Watching You’ and ‘Wait For Me’.
Politics within the group led to his departure back in 1983 and the formation of his new band by the likes of Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame. ‘1’, their debut-album, spanning the classics ‘Nobody Can Be You’ and ‘Weak At The Knees’. With ‘Hump To The Bump’ standing as the highlight from their follow-up (‘Positive Power’). Arrington reachin’ his peak soon after under his own name with the release of ‘Dancin’ In The Key Of Life’. An album that got him to score his biggest successes ever back in 1985. This with ‘Feel So Real’ and its title track.
Moderate success would follow from then with tracks such as ‘The Jammin’ National Anthem’ (the title cut of his third solo album). But also ‘Homeboy’ then ‘Stone Love’ from his 1987 ‘Jam Packed’ album which marked his debut on Manhattan Records.
He would eventually disappear from the radars before resurfacing with a new album – ‘Pure Thang’ – 22 years later. Lastly, he could be heard jammin’ along with Kool Moe Dee on the smooth ‘Are You Beautiful?’ by the beginning of 2018.