A career-spanning anthology of a true innovator, in HQ audio, featuring many rare tracks, extended versions and one brand new remix. #gracejones #blackhistorymonth
Born in May 1948 on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, Grace Jones originally never intended to become a singer. At the age of 13, she, along with her siblings, moved to New York state to live with her parents. Her father was a minister, and, according to her autobiography, was beaten daily and lived in a very strict household.
While a child, she was criticized by other children for her very tall, thin frame. In the song “Slave to the Rhythm”, she talks about her grandfather, a member of the Ebo tribe (also known as the Igbo tribe, which some sources say possibly contains the “lost” tribe of Israel) in what is now present-day Nigeria. To escape from her personal hell, she would often travel to gay clubs in New York City with her gay brother Chris. She describes this period as transformative. She openly cultivated and celebrated gender fluidity and queer culture, and became an icon to the LGBTQ community.
After attending college and doing some modeling briefly in New York City, she moved to Paris, where she stood out from just about everyone, and was quickly a mainstay of fashion magazines and runway shows. It was in 1975 that recorded a Eurodisco number, “I Need A Man” for the independent French label Orfeus. This led to a signing with another independent, Island, where she recorded three albums of dance music with Tom Moulton, who had one of Disco’s biggest and most impressive production resumes.
In 1980, she decided to literally go back to her roots to the Caribbean. With production courtesy of Alex Sadkin, she recorded three albums of material with the Compass Point All Stars in the Bahamas; Reggae superstar rhythm section Sly and Robbie were an integral part of her backing band. She was not only able to sustain her career after the demise of Disco in 1979, her albums during this period, most notably Nightclubbing and Warm Leatherette, are often listed as some of the greatest works in recorded history, with Jones uncannily mixing Reggae, Dance, Rock and New Wave into a style completely original and her own. It was Alternative Rock before a decade before we had a name for it.
She would continue to record new music until the early 1990’s, but grew tired of the music industry machine, and often found further work as an actress, even playing a Bond villain in A View to a Kill and a truly unforgettable role in an early 1990’s urban comedy, Boomerang, literally turning the tables on gender norms, sexual mores and just about every conceivable mainstream taboo you could imagine.
Jones took an extended break from recording for almost 20 years, finally returning to form with the album Hurricane and it’s dub album. She hasn’t put out a new album of material since, but don’t count her out just yet: she still continues to perform at the age of 70 at festivals, often drawing massive crowds and amazing critical support for her live work, and even contributed a new track to one of the final installments of the Hunger Games film series recently.
First Hour First Part
- Slave to the Rhythm (album version), 1985, Slave to the Rhythm
- Sex Drive (Hard Drive Remix), 1993, Black Marilyn (unreleased)
- Well, Well, Well, 2008, Hurricane
- I Need a Man (Disco Mix), 1977, Portfolio
- Original Beast, 2014, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
First Hour Second Part and Finale
- Fame (album version), 1978, Fame
- I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You) (album version), 1986, Inside Story
- Nipple to the Bottle (12 inch version), 1982, Living My Life
- On Your Knees (album version), 1979, Muse
- FINALE: Operattack, 1985, Slave to the Rhythm (with Ian McShane) and La Vie En Rose (album version), 1977, Portfolio
Second Hour First Part
- Warm Leatherette (single edit), 1980, Warm Leatherette
- Pull Up to the Bumper (12 inch version), 1981, Nightclubbing
- My Jamaican Guy, 1982, Living My Life
- Private Life (12 inch version), 1980, Warm Leatherette
- Nightclubbing, 1981, Nightclubbing
Second Hour Second Part and Finale
- 7 Day Weekend (Club Mix), 1992, Boomerang Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- Victor Should Have Been a Jazz Musician (album version), 1986, Inside Story
- The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game (long version), 1980, Warm Leatherette
- Suffer (Baby Boy 2019 remix), original version released 1979, Muse (with Thor Baldursson)
- FINALE: Hell (Dub), 2008, Hurricane Dub
Love to you all.
Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner
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