Grace Jones – Portfolio (1977) – Lp
Grace Jones (born 19 May 1948) is a Jamaican singer, songwriter, lyricist, supermodel, record producer, and actress.
Artist: Grace Jones
Label: Island Records
Catalog# 25579 XOT
Having enjoyed a successful modelling career in Paris and New York in the early 1970s, Grace Jones released a series of singles throughout 1975-1976. None of them, however, managed to succeed in mainstream charts. Jones secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977 and found wider recognition only with her debut Island LP, Portfolio.
The album was recorded and mixed in Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, and released in autumn 1977 as the first of three albums made with the legendary disco record producer Tom Moulton. Side one of the original vinyl album is a continuous disco medley covering three songs from Broadway musicals, “Send in the Clowns” by Stephen Sondheim from A Little Night Music, “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line and “Tomorrow” from Annie. Side two opens with Jones’ very personal re-interpretation of Édith Piaf‘s “La Vie en rose” and continues with three new recordings, two of which have been co-written by Jones herself. Italian release would omit “Sorry” and “That’s the Trouble”, adding an extended, over 7-minute long version of “I Need a Man” instead. Album’s artwork was designed by Richard Bernstein, an artist working for Interview, who would later contribute to Jones’ two next albums’ artworks.
Tracks from side A are a non-stop medley, with the total playing time 18:36.
“I Need a Man” was Jones’ debut single, originally released in 1975 by the minor French label Orfeus. It failed to make any chart impact until two years later, when it was re-recorded and released via the Beam Junction label, becoming a number 1 dance hit in the U.S. and introducing Jones to club audiences, primarily gay.
The second single, “Sorry“, was released a year prior the Portfolio album, and was a modest success on the U.S. singles chart. Its B-side track, “That’s the Trouble”, also received a separate A-side release. Both songs were Jones’ first forays into songwriting.
“La Vie en rose” was released as a single in autumn 1977 and became the biggest hit from Portfolio, having charted in the French and Italian Top 5. When re-released in 1983, it reached the Top 5 in the Netherlands. “What I Did for Love” became a top 10 dance hit in the USA.
1. Send in the Clowns (7:33)
2. What I Did for Love (5:15)
3. Tomorrow (5:48)
1. La Vie en rose (7:27)
2. Sorry (3:58)
3. That’s the Trouble (3:36)
4. I Need a Man (3:23)