Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Grace Jones Goes To Hollywood: The Making Of 'Slave To The Rhythm'!

Whether you first became aware of Grace Jones via her modelling, her acting (Jones appeared alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Conan The Barbarian" and as Bond villain May Day in "A View To A Kill"), or her music, by the year 1985, Jones was as close to a household name as she would ever be.

Rather than rest on such accomplishments, Jones returned to making music after a three-year break with a fervor that had been missing after the lukewarm response to 1982's Living My Life; an album whose only real crime was that it followed the hugely successful, and groundbreaking, Nightclubbing.

Having cut three platters with Island Records boss Chris Blackwell and co-producer Alex Sadkin, Jones felt a change was in order, but was unsure where to turn until a meeting with Trevor Horn (Yes, Buggles) helped the pieces fall into place.

Horn, who had achieved great success with the song "Relax", by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, had successfully launched numerous versions of the song onto both the dance and pop charts around the world, thus giving him the idea of creating an entire album comprised of variations of a single song.

That song, "Slave To The Rhythm", had become the object of Horn's obsessive studio tinkering as he saw it as the logical follow-up to Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Two Tribes", but, seeing as how they had had no hand in the song's creation, the members of FGTH were resistant to the idea, forcing Horn to begin looking for another artist to bestow the song, and album project upon.

Jones was intrigued by the concept and immediately threw herself into the project, which made extensive use of sampling via the Synclavier, going so far as to bring Pink Floyd's David Gilmour in to record guitar parts, but, due to a horrible case of food poisoning, Horn spent much of the session indisposed and was unable to get the results he'd hoped for, but, by sampling the parts later, was able to construct the arrangements to his liking.

"Slave To The Rhythm" would go on to become Jones' most successful single, topping the U.S. dance charts while becoming a Top 10 pop hit in seven countries.

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