Jonesing for Grace

Grace Jones first released this cover of Roxy Music’s “Love Is The Drug” on her 1980 album Warm Leatherette, but she must have liked the song, because there are alternate versions of it on the 1985 compilation Island Life, and on the 1998 collection of all her recordings at Compass Point Studios, in the Bahamas, where she worked with the amazingly prolific reggae duo Sly & Robbie.  Roxy Music’s original, from the 1975 album Siren, was very funky, kind of proto-disco with some deliciously cheesy horns.  Jones turns “Love Is The Drug” into a bubbling runaway train.  Everything is streamlined and fast, especially the nervous, paranoid synths. Occasionally the song slips into bits of reggae, as if it needs to catch its breath before chugging off again. When Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music sang the song, he sounded like he was having a good time chasing the high.  Jones’ vocals are different — she really needs her fix, and you don’t want to stand in her way.


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