Ladies and Gentlemen Miss Grace Jones..

Those iconic words spoken by Ian McShane on one of Grace’s biggest hits Slave to the Rhythm….

But wait we’re getting ahead of ourselves. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! Hope you brought it in fabulously and safely. This week at The Factory we’re going to start the year off with a week of Disco. Giving odes to some Disco Queens! First up is Grace Jones…..Queen Grace Jones.

Its kind of hard labeling Grace Jones as a Disco Queen but her first three albums, that were done with producer Tom Moulton, were pure disco: Portfolio, Fame and Muse. Although Grace rarely performs songs from these three albums she will always have La Vie En Rose on her setlist.

Every once in a while you may hear her belt out her debut single I Need A Man.

The bulk of the material are mainly covers of songs but put in the key of disco. Songs like Tomorrow (from Annie), Autumn Leaves and Send In The Clowns. But these three albums allowed her to slide into the heart of Gay America. Her first hit I Need A Man was a staple in the Studio 54 days, which was like her second home. You can find these vinyls hidden at your local record shops usually  BUT all three were just released in a boxset back in 2015 with additional tracks included. Honorable mention to the cover artwork done by the incredible Richard Bernstein.

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Although this post was strictly for her Disco efforts you cant just leave it at that right? Now for some reason all of Ms. Jones albums are set in threes and each set is different from the last. Her next set of albums Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing and Living My Life has to be the most important saga of her life. These three albums have been heavily sampled and covered. Although people don’t realize, still to this day, that Grace Jones is a singer with a wide body of work. Her music has been sampled in almost every genre. You may have heard…

Pull Up To My Bumper

That track was later sampled by Jamaica’s own Patra who paid tribute to Grace

You may have also heard this one…

Nightclubbing

Many hip hop fans of the 90’s knew about Shyne sampling it on Bad Boys. He also sampled La Vie En Rose on the track Bonnie and Shyne

And what about this one…

My Jamaican Guy

LL Cool J sampled this one with his song Doin’ It

Her next set of three are Slave to the Rhythm, Inside Story and Bulletproof Heart. The first of the three STTR gave her a staple for years. She still performs that song to this day except a tad bit differently. Ever see someone hula hoop and belt out a tune and be over the age of 60? Well….here ya go

Slave also gave Grace a chance to dip in the GoGo pool. Honestly I had no idea that it was a GoGo song until I read it in her memoirs and went back and paid attention to the entire song. Now Inside Story gave us a few gems as well (Victor, and Im Not Perfect) , it even saw a collaboration with Richard Bernstein again for the cover art. The last album in this saga Bulletproof Heart really only gave us Love On Top Of Love (which featured two other disco queens). Honorable mention Grace’s cover of Amado Mio!

There are soooooo many other tracks that were sampled from Ms. Jones and that ultimately made her disappear from the music scene for a bit. Now of course we all know her from Boomerang. Everybody and their mama knows about Strangé and the famous Puuuuussssssssyyyyyy scene

What you may not know is that Grace had a stint on the stage as well! She played Evillene in the 1997 production of The Wiz. Also starring Peabo Bryson, CeCe Peniston, Tasha Scott and Tony Terry. She also performed with the great Pavarotti in all of her Grace Jones glory

In the most recent year Grace has come back in full effect releasing the album Hurricane in 2008! The most celebrated tune on the album was the very very personal Williams Blood

One would think that would be the final hurrah but no ma’am Grace has no plans on slowing down. At the good age of 68 she’s still doing concerts around the globe. Particularly she’s been a staple at the AfroPunk Festival series. I had the pleasure of seeing Ms Jones a few years and for the first time I was starstruck. Everything I saw on YouTube and read in interviews was right in front of my eyes. So tangible. So ripe. Moments.

Recently she finally released her memoir of course entitled I’ll Never Write My Memoirs (a line from her song Art Groupie on the album Nightclubbing) and also started performing a new song Shenanigans  from an upcoming album.

Miss Grace Jones isn’t stopping anytime soon. She’ll be well into her 70’s and 80’s still acting silly on stage, chatting it up with the audience in between sets and causing scandals…just small scandals nothing major. No more smacking interviewers  and such!

 

 

 

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