Grace Jones (born 19 May 1948) is a Jamaican singer, songwriter, lyricist, supermodel, record producer, and actress. In 1977 Jones secured a record deal with Island Records; she moved into dance, new wave, and reggae music, often collaborating with the Compass Point All Stars.
Artist: Grace Jones
Title: Slave To The Rhythm
Label: Island Records
Slave to the Rhythm is the seventh studio album by Grace Jones, released on 28 October 1985 by Island Records. Subtitled a biography in the liner notes, Slave to the Rhythm is a concept album, produced by ZTT Records founder and producer Trevor Horn, that went on to become one of Jones’ most commercially successful albums and spawned her biggest hit, “Slave to the Rhythm“.
After finishing sessions at Compass Point for her Living My Life album in late 1982, Jones took a break from recording music and focused on an acting career. Within two years, she made her debut as an actress in the 1984 film Conan the Destroyer where she played alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. She later gained even more notoriety in 1985 in the James Bond film A View to a Kill where she played the villain May Day. After finishing filming in late 1984 she returned to the studio to work on a follow up, ending an almost three-year-long hiatus.
Slave to the Rhythm, both song and album, was written by Bruce Woolley, Simon Darlow, Stephen Lipson and Trevor Horn and was produced by Trevor Horn, who was assisted by Lipson. Unlike most albums that feature a collection of different songs, Slave to the Rhythm was a concept album that featured several, radical interpretations of one title track. The project was originally intended for Frankie Goes to Hollywood as a follow-up to their hit “Relax“, but was finally given to Jones. The recording process featured Horn, Lipson and Jones creating a new version of the song every week or so, ballooning the budget for a single song to nearly $385,000 USD. As such, several versions were collected and released as the album proper.
Musically, Slave to the Rhythm ranges from funk to R&B, incorporating go-go beats throughout the album. All eight tracks are interspersed with excerpts from a conversation with Jones about her life, conducted by journalist Paul Morley, hence the a biography subtitle. The album also contains voice-overs from actor Ian McShane reciting passages from Jean-Paul Goude‘s biography Jungle Fever. Though recording dates of each version of the song are unknown, “Operattack” was created with vocal samples from “Jones the Rhythm”; while “Don’t Cry – It’s Only the Rhythm” is a variation of the bridge that appears on “Slave to the Rhythm.” Also, “The Fashion Show” could potentially be an early version of “Ladies and Gentlemen: Miss Grace Jones”. “Ladies and Gentlemen” would be released as a single, under the title of “Slave to the Rhythm”.
1. Jones The Rhythm (5:24)
2. The Fashion Show (4:05)
3. Frog & The Princess (7:34)
4. Operattack (2:16)
1. Slave To The Rhythm (6:12)
2. The Crossing (Ooh The Action…) (4:51)
3. Don’t Cry – It’s Only The Rhythm (2:48)
4. Ladies And Gentleman: Miss Grace Jones (4:279
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)