Jheri Curl June: Steve Arrington’s “What Do You Want from Me”

We have long extolled the virtues of both Steve Arrington‘s actual Jheri curl and his Ohio-grown bouncy funk in relation to the threetime JCJ-inducted band Slave. However, not only could I easily put Arrington on the playlist every single year, but this year, I specifically wanted to give attention to his second group, Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame, with this 1984 jam, “What Do You Want from Me.”

Released the same year Arrington converted to Christianity (he would later become a licensed minister), this is a love song, but on closer listen also sounds like it could be a gospel song about serving Christ. At least the first verse does; then it devolves into moaning and talking about making love. But for my money, this song has a lot of the same love/sex/god themes that Prince was working with throughout his career, though with a lot less angst. It radiates so much warmth that it could only be on an album called Positive Power. I mean, just look at that beautiful backlit curl! It’s enough to make anyone a believer!

And with that, Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame has officially entered the JCJ (and just plain J.C.) hall of fame. As always, playlists are below:





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