Rock
ROCK

Grace Jones: Private Life - The Compass Point Sessions (Island, CDx2). The most frightening woman of the 1980s was not Margaret Thatcher: it was Grace Jones. She had the shoulders of a quarterback, the cheekbones of a deity, the haircut later sported by Carl Lewis, the demeanour of a James Bond villain (which she duly became), and a vocal style all her own - half-spoken, half-sung, thoroughly predatory. This compilation is a tribute to her producer, the late, potentially great Alex Sadkin, and to Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, whose taste and vision are now being applied to the hotel trade. At Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Blackwell assembled one of the last house bands (Sly and Robbie's rhythms were just the start), and Sadkin gave them their heads without ever letting go of the reins. They took songs by white people - English, mostly: Roxy Music, Bowie & Iggy, the Pretenders, Joy Division, the Police - and added a snaky fluidity to their drama and intelligence. Jones's masterpiece was Nightclubbing, a fabulous salad of reggae, rock, funk and sundry other genres, which became the NME's album of 1981. Eight tracks from it appear here, plus a few each from Warm Leatherette (more rock) and Living My Life (more funk, fewer covers), which have aged nearly as well. Some interesting out-takes make up the numbers, along with the enjoyably overblown "Slave to the Rhythm", produced by Trevor Horn, an ocean away from Compass Point, but Jones's only big hit. An outstanding collection. Tim de Lisle

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