Machine (band)

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This article is about the American funk group. For the Japanese band, see Penicillin (band). For other uses, see Machine (disambiguation).
Origin New York City, New York, United States
Genres Funk, pop, soul, disco
Years active 1977–1981, 2009–present
Labels RCA Victor, RCA
Associated acts Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
Past members August Darnell
Clare Bathé
Jay Stovall
Kevin Nance
Lonnie Ferguson
Melvin Lee

Machine was an American funk disco group, formed by Jay Stovall in 1967. The band started in Brooklyn, NY with the intent to create the disco equivalent of R&B message songs.[1] The band released its self-titled debut album in 1979, which produced its most famous single "There But for the Grace of God Go I". The song describes two Latino parents named Carlos and Carmen Vidal who move out of the Bronx to protect their baby daughter.[2] In their new surroundings, their daughter is cut off from her own heritage and becomes self-destructive from the Vidals' cosseting, and they find she is the type of person from whom all their peers are trying to protect their own children.[3] "There But for the Grace of God Go I" reached number 77 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent ten weeks on the chart.[4] Slant Magazine later named it the sixth greatest dance song.[2]

The group released its second and final album Moving On in 1980 with two accompanying singles, but the album suffered from poor sales. Machine disbanded the following year, and Darnell went on to form Kid Creole and the Coconuts, who released a cover of "There But for the Grace of God Go I" in 1980.[1] In 2009, three of the band's original members, Jay Stovall, Kevin Nance, and Clare Bathé, reformed the act for a tour.



  • Machine (1979)
  • Moving On (1980)



  1. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. "Machine | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Henderson, Eric (January 30, 2006). "100 Greatest Dance Songs". Slant Magazine. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ Henderson, Eric (April 14, 2008). "Kid Creole Going Places: The August Darnell Years 1974 - 1983 | Music Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Machine - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved January 18, 2014.