Grace Jones - The Disco Years

by Brian Lange. Rating:6 Release Date:2015-05-04

The contrast between the femme fatale that would eventually seduce both Roger Moore's and Christopher Walken’s characters in A View to a Kill and the Grace Jones that sings on this boxset, Disco, is almost palpable. 

From madman Max Zorin’s badass bodyguard to let-the-good-times-roll disco, Grace Jones brings three records, Portfolio, Fame and Muse, together in one boxset. It's very dated, conjuring up images of Miami nights rolling around in a pink Cadillac circa mid-70s, going to a night club where there may or not be illicit drug activities occurring. As these are three records released from 1977-79 on Island Records, it makes sense that this type of music will evoke such images. 

The boxset artwork is also a throwback to the neon and bright color obsession that persisted in the 70s; beautiful images, reminiscent of the pop art stylings of Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns. Like just about every song on the soundtrack for Carlito’s Way, it comes across cheesy as hell but you can’t help but smile and relish in the 'let the good times roll' vibe. 

Grace Jones is actually incredibly talented, with a wonderful voice that persists from track to track. Of course, Grace Jones was a singer before she was an actor; for a lot of people, that may come as a surprise since she made such an impactful role in the 14th James Bond film.

These three records really melt together into one long, maybe unbearably long, disco trilogy epic.  For the untrained disco listener, all songs will probably sound more or less the same. This has good and bad sides: on the one hand, there is consistency in the work and, though not necessarily conceptual albums, each one works as an entire body of work as opposed to a mashup of catchy, poppy singles. On the other, because of the repetitive nature of these tracks, there is not a lot to work with as far as variety and singularity from track to track.

Despite all of that, these resissued albums are entertaining and fun in their own disco way. Without even listening, there’s already a good chance that you’ll know how much you will want or like this boxset. But, you may still be pleasantly surprised.

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