On this day in music history: September 14, 19…

On this day in music history: September 14, 1981 – “Show Time”, the sixth album by Slave is released. Produced by Jimmy Douglass, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York City from Spring – Summer 1981. Landing their biggest selling album since their self-titled debut with “Stone Jam” in the Fall of 1980, the Dayton, OH based funk powerhouse head back into the studio in the Spring of 1981 to craft the follow up. Though before work begins, band members Steve Washington, Curt Jones, Starleana Young and Tom Lockett leave after finding success with their side project Aurra. With the support of Atlantic firmly behind them, Slave soldiers on. With nearly all of the band contributing to writing material, they finish work on the album by Summer. The tantalizing first taste of the album comes in early September of 1981 with the single “Snap Shot” (#6 R&B, #91 Pop, #21 Club Play). Featuring lead singer and drummer Steve Arrington front and center, the track features a uniquely syncopated groove that stands out immediately, brilliantly displaying the band’s arresting “stop on the dime, and pick up nine cents change” tightness. The songs’ repeated provocative vocal hook “upper persuasion, for the lower invasion” sung Arrington is a thinly veiled code for “I’m going to mentally seduce you so I can physically get you”.  It also features a spoken passage in the later portion, with the singer directing a model through a photo session, complete with a photographer actually snapping photos during the vocal session, and is audible on the finished record. Originally just over four and a half minutes on the album, the full unedited version of “Snap Shot” running over six minutes is released as a promotional only 12" by Atlantic Records to club and radio DJ’s. The album spins off another single with “Wait For Me” (#20 R&B, #103 Pop, #21 Club Play) and its B-side “Steal Your Heart” also garnering some R&B radio airplay. Following the tour in support of the album, Steve Arrington leaves Slave in 1982 to form his own band Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame, also taking members Charles and Sam Carter and Roger Parker with him. “Show Time” makes its CD debut in 2005 as a two-fer CD release with the follow up album “Visions Of The Lite”. Out of print on vinyl since the mid 80’s, it is reissued as a 180 gram LP by Music On Vinyl in 2015. “Show Time” peaks at number seven on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number forty six on the Top 200.