Friday, August 3, 2012

Grace Jones: The Fashion Show and Don't Cry, It's Only The Rhythm

Two months ago I watched the legendary Grace Jones do an incredible rendition of "Slave To The Rhythm",  easily one her biggest hits ever, during the Queen's Jubilee concert while hula hooping at the young age of 64! As expected,  I was stunned by her but also haven't been able to forget the brilliance of this song.  I've been fortunate to see her perform live a couple of times and it has been an unforgettable experience.  As a creative force and ground breaking musician with her abundant contribution to dance music, Miss Grace Jones is a true icon and I could easily devote a whole blog about her music alone.   Instead, I will focus on the album itself since I've been wanting to do a posting dealing with the concept  based on the multi-track. Released in 1985, this masterpiece was solely based on different radical interpretations of this one song.  The entire project was written by Bruce Woolley, Simon Darlow, Stephen Lipson and the legendary Trevor Horn who produced it as well.  He introduced the idea of stripping the track to it's basic form and adding different elements such as voice overs, other instruments using some of the most interesting sound effects created out of a single melody and rhythm.  All the tracks on the album are intercepted with excerpts from a conversation about her life conducted by journalist Paul Morley, which gives the record an autobiographical feel.  Also some of the voice-overs are from actor Ian McShane reciting passages from Jean Paul Goude's biography Jungle Fever.  I'm finding hard to believe that "Slave" was originally intended for Frankie Goes To Hollywood as a follow up to their hit "Relax", but was finally given and rightly so to Miss  Jones.  There have been some other amazing concept albums but never like his one and it's worth revisiting in hopes that this will inspire a trend that seems dormant now.  The entire work is pure brilliance along with the amazing art work cover designed by Jean-Paul Goude, Jones' partner at that time. Here are two song from this brilliant work. Enjoy!

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