Words by Jesse Serwer
No reason to reiterate how much Rihanna’s and Lady Gaga’s present-day aesthetics are indebted to Grace Jones–it’s been duly noted. Those two ladies might even deserve some credit for the fact that the Jamaican-born Jones’s musical oeuvre is being discovered by a generation that previously only knew her as “Strange” from the movie Boomerang, if at all. Nearly three years after it was released overseas by Britain’s Wall of Sound, the 2008 album Hurricane—her first release since 1989—will finally get a US release September 6. The CD will also be issued with a bonus dub version of the album, which saw Jones reunite with Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare (with whom she made “My Jamaican Guy,” “Pull Up to the Bumper,” “Private Life” and pretty much the lion’s share of her best records). Despite its absence from stores here, Jones performed in several US cities in support of the album two summers ago, so a return visit could be in order. I personally witnessed the unfathomable spectacle that is Ms. Jones’ live show at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and the word of mouth after that show alone could probably fill a venue twice the size of that one.
Sample “Love You To Life,” arguably the best of Hurricane‘s reggae-flavored tunes, below. Real Grace-o-philes may also be interested in these rare photos from her early model days, including the one below, from her very first test shoot, and a fro-sporting Jones looking frolicking with the Chambers Brothers in an Essence Magazine spread.[audio:http://largeup.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/07-Love-You-To-Life.mp3|titles=07 Love You To Life]