Grace Jones – Slave To The Rhythm
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 appeared in the James Bond film A View to a Kill as 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 conversations with Jones about her life, conducted by journalists Paul Morley and Paul Cooke, 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".
According to the album's sleeve notes, extensive use of the New England Digital Synclavier was made in its recording.
Slave to the Rhythm is one of the most successful of all Grace Jones' albums in terms of commercial performance. It performed best in German-speaking countries and the Netherlands, where it secured top 10 placings. It also reached number 12 on the UK Albums Chart in November 1985. The album remains the second highest-charting album of Jones' on the US Billboard 200 (after Nightclubbing) and her only entry on the Canadian Albums Chart. In 1986 Billboard magazine reported that the album had sold 150,000 copies in the US and 1 million worldwide.
A1 Jones The Rhythm
A2 The Fashion Show
A3 The Frog And The Princess
B1 Slave To The Rhythm
B2 The Crossing (Ooh The Action...)
B3 Don'T Cry - It'S Only The Rhythm
B4 Ladies And Gentlemen: Miss Grace Jones