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About Machine

Best known for its 1979 cult classic "There But for the Grace of God Go I," Machine was a soul/disco/funk band that tackled social and political issues at a time when many of its colleagues were afraid to. Machine was formed in New York in 1977, when the disco-era was in full swing and most R&B, disco, and funk lyrics were escapist in nature. The members of Machine -- who included lead singer Clare Bathé, lead singer/guitarist Jay Stovall, bassist Melvin Lee, keyboardist Kevin Nance, and drummer Lonnie Ferguson -- were big fans of the R&B message songs of the early '70s, and they regretted the fact that after 1975, many R&B artists had gotten away from social and political commentary. Machine set out to change that when, in 1978, it signed with RCA and recorded the single "There but for the Grace of God Go I" -- a brilliant piece of social commentary about Latino immigrants who move to the U.S. in search of a better life but quickly realize how dangerous the mean streets of the Bronx can be. Released in early 1979, the disco/soul masterpiece became a club hit and is considered a cult classic. Machine's self-titled debut album also came out in 1979, and in 1980, RCA released its sophomore effort, Moving On. Regrettably, Machine's second album was also its last. Moving On wasn't a big seller, and in 1981, Machine broke up. ~ Alex Henderson