Last year was a big one for Steve Arrington, a member of the influential Dayton funk band Slave — one of the most sampled bands in hip-hop history — and a solo star in his own right with Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame. He released Higher, a collaborative album with modern disciple Dam-Funk, guested on Dam-Funk and Snoop Dogg’s 7 Days Of Funk album, and gave a live interview to noted hip-hop journalist Andrew Noz as part of Red Bull Music Academy’s lecture series. He returned to music in 2009 after taking off two decades to be a minister, but suddenly he was back in a big way.
Now Arrington is emptying the vaults. Next week he’ll release WAY OUT (80-84), a collection that matches one disc of his biggest hits with a second disc of previously unheard rarities. The rarities disc, featuring “unreleased songs deemed too progressive by Atlantic Records” and previously unfinished works recorded with Hall Of Fame, is streaming below in full. It veers between unassailable funk grooves and stylistic experiments in jazz, psychedelia, new wave, and ambient balladry. For longtime fans, this is a must-hear, an unexpected blessing from a guy who already gave the world so much great music. For newcomers, it makes a fine gateway drug en route to life as a “Funk And Roll Junky.” Listen and be totally amazed with his funky ways.