8 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After a three-year hiatus in which she transformed herself into a Hollywood star, Grace Jones returned to the studio and created 1985’s Slave to the Rhythm, which turned out to be both her most ambitious and most popular album. After making three brilliant albums in collaboration with the Nassau-based studio collective The Compass Point All-Stars, Jones assumed a new direction by teaming up with Trevor Horn, the eccentric pop producer most famous for his work with Frankie Goes to Hollywood. With his taste in orchestral electronics and theatricality, Horn helped develop a single Jones song—the excellent “Slave to the Rhythm”—into an entire album. With its spoken-word interludes (some read by Ian McShane, who'd later become famous playing Al Swearengen, the evil saloonkeeper on Deadwood) and reiterations of a single theme, Slave to the Rhythm feels something like an impressionistic autobiography, written in the vocabulary of '80s pop music. Listeners might never really notice that the album is essentially several remixes of the same song. The final product comes off like a surprisingly epic statement of purpose.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After a three-year hiatus in which she transformed herself into a Hollywood star, Grace Jones returned to the studio and created 1985’s Slave to the Rhythm, which turned out to be both her most ambitious and most popular album. After making three brilliant albums in collaboration with the Nassau-based studio collective The Compass Point All-Stars, Jones assumed a new direction by teaming up with Trevor Horn, the eccentric pop producer most famous for his work with Frankie Goes to Hollywood. With his taste in orchestral electronics and theatricality, Horn helped develop a single Jones song—the excellent “Slave to the Rhythm”—into an entire album. With its spoken-word interludes (some read by Ian McShane, who'd later become famous playing Al Swearengen, the evil saloonkeeper on Deadwood) and reiterations of a single theme, Slave to the Rhythm feels something like an impressionistic autobiography, written in the vocabulary of '80s pop music. Listeners might never really notice that the album is essentially several remixes of the same song. The final product comes off like a surprisingly epic statement of purpose.

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