CD REVIEW: Grace Jones: Warm Leatherette – Deluxe Edition

Craig Hanlon-Smith July 4, 2016

No Bulls**t, Jones is the drug.

Grace Jones
Grace Jones

Grace Jones is often lauded as an icon of grandiose style, almost a caricatured great-aunt to the somewhat clumsy niece Ga Ga, her music often taking a back seat in our distant memories of “didn’t she do…”. Her current run of album reissues should go some way to cementing her place in the hall of music legends , a piece in the jigsaw of substance alongside the post modernist style.

Jones emerged from the world of modelling into the late seventies crowded arena of Disco as a darling of the New York club and gay scene with her trio of albums Portfolio, Fame and Muse.  With Disco creeping back into the shadows in the wake of the Disco Sucks movement, Jones retreated to The Bahamas and returned in 1980 with her first collection of recordings as part of the Compass Point triology so named after the studios in which they were recorded, now reissued here as Warm Leatherette – Deluxe Edition.

Often seen as the warm-up act to her seminal release Nightclubbing, Leatherette is certainly worth investigation on its own merits. Leaving the Studio 54 ‘camp’ in the dressing up box amongst the discarded feather boas, Jones’ Leatherette performance across the eight original recordings (there are a staggering 27 tracks on this reissue) introduced us to her dark theatricality on both the albums artwork and title track. Her half spoken, half sung lyrics rolling between seduction and threat in equal measure, a performance style still echoed amongst her more recent release Hurricane.

Those familiar with Jones’ greatest hits will here recognise both The Pretender’s Private Life and Roxy Music’s Love is the Drug from this collection, although the original album versions appearing here in their original form are in much simpler form.

As expected with a deluxe edition the magnificent (and superior) 1986 remixes of Love is the Drug feature here, still a mainstay of Grace Jones the 21st Century live experience.

Other highlights include her unique take on The Marvellettes The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game, A Rolling Stone, and the almost intimidating Bullshit.

For a true collectors item; splash out on the four LP vinyl. If you don’t, Miss Jones will come for you. Probably in the night.

Warm Leatherette – The Deluxe Edition is out now on Island/UMG. Available as 4LP/2CD/BluRay pure audio/Download.