Island Life

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Island Life
Compilation album by Grace Jones
Released December 1985
Recorded 1977–1985
Genre Pop, reggae, disco
Length 47:48
Label Island
Grace Jones chronology
Slave to the Rhythm
(1985)
Island Life
(1985)
Inside Story
(1986)
Alternative Cover
1996 Island Life 2 re-release
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B-[2]

Island Life is Grace Jones' compilation album released in December 1985, summing up the first nine years of her musical career. The album sits among Jones' best-selling works.

Background[edit]

After the major commercial success Grace Jones achieved with her comeback album Slave to the Rhythm in 1985, Island Records decided to release a best-of compilation at the end of the same year. Island Life would feature songs from most of Jones' Island Records albums: Portfolio, Fame, Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing, Living My Life, and Slave to the Rhythm. No tracks from Muse were included. Some of the songs appeared in edited forms, and a remix of "Love Is the Drug" was included. No new songs were recorded for the album. Island Life consists only of previously released material, produced by Tom Moulton, Chris Blackwell, Alex Sadkin and Trevor Horn. American writer and journalist Glenn O'Brien wrote an essay for the record sleeve.

Australian LP release of the album came with a bonus 12" disc containing four songs: "My Jamaican Guy", "Pull Up to the Bumper", "On Your Knees" and "Warm Leatherette", and the 1986 UK cassette release included three bonus tracks: "Demolition Man", "Nipple to the Bottle" and "Grace Jones Musclemix".

Island Life met with a warm commercial reception worldwide. It was a major success in the UK, reaching number 4 on the UK Albums Chart in December 1985, and New Zealand, where it topped the chart in March 1986, thus becoming the only chart-topper in Jones' entire career. CD sales of the album in the United States since 1991 have reached 112,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In April 1996 Island Records and Universal re-released the album under the name Island Life 2. Released only in France, it featured four additional tracks: "Pars", "Feel Up" and two versions of a 1993 single "Sex Drive", intended for the Black Marilyn album, which remains unreleased to date.[3] Album retains the cover picture of the original Island Life album, with the only difference being the yellow-coloured background.

Artwork[edit]

The cover picture is one of the most famous images of Grace Jones and was created by her then-partner Jean-Paul Goude. The impossibly graceful arabesque is actually a montage of separate images, following Goude's ideas on creating credible illusions with his cut-and-paint technique. The body position is anatomically impossible.[4] The picture was originally published in the New York magazine in 1978 and subsequently used in the music video for Jones' hit single "La Vie en rose". It has been since described as "one of pop culture's most famous photographs".[5] Also included in the album sleeve are other iconic images of Jones, among them the "twins" photograph, Grace Jones in cage and wearing "maternity" dress.

The cover picture was featured in Michael Ochs' 1996 book 1000 Record Covers[6] and has been often imitated in works by other artists.[7] American model Amber Rose recreated the pose for her 2010 photo shoot.[8] The image was also channeled in Nicki Minaj's 2011 music video for "Stupid Hoe", mimicking the pose.[9] The cover art for Kylie Minogue's most successful album Fever, was inspired by the Island Life cover.

Singles[edit]

As no new material was recorded for Island Life, the album was promoted by re-releases of singles. "Pull Up to the Bumper" was released at the end of 1985, with new artwork and "La Vie en rose" as a double A-side single. The song, which had peaked at number 53 in the UK when released originally in 1981, climbed to number 12 and became one of Jones' greatest hits in the UK. It topped its previous peak positions also in Germany and New Zealand. A special "Musclemix" version of the song was also released, which was a mash-up of "Pull Up to the Bumper" and other hits.

"Love Is the Drug" was released as the second single in early 1986, remixed by Eric "E.T." Thorngren. A music video was produced and the single, which had not charted upon its original 1980 release, entered charts in the UK, Ireland and Germany. Remixed version of "Private Life" was also released and the single re-entered singles chart in the UK. A "Re-Mix Re-Mask" mash-up was also released.

Track listing[edit]

Standard release[edit]

Side A

No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
1. "La Vie en rose"   Édith Piaf, Louigny, Mack David Portfolio 7:25
2. "I Need a Man"   Paul Adrian Slade, Pierre Papadiamondis Portfolio 3:22
3. "Do or Die"   Jack Robinson, James Bolden Fame 3:22
4. "Private Life"   Chrissie Hynde Warm Leatherette 5:10
5. "Love Is the Drug"   Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay Warm Leatherette 6:02

Side B

No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
6. "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)"   Ástor Piazzolla, Barry Reynolds, Dennis Wilkey, Nathalie Delon Nightclubbing 4:29
7. "Pull Up to the Bumper"   Kookoo Baya, Grace Jones, Dana Mano Nightclubbing 3:38
8. "Walking in the Rain"   Harry Vanda, George Young Nightclubbing 4:18
9. "My Jamaican Guy"   Grace Jones Living My Life 6:00
10. "Slave to the Rhythm"   Bruce Woolley, Simon Darlow, Stephen Lipson, Trevor Horn Slave to the Rhythm 4:22

Notes: 7" edits of "Do or Die", "Pull Up to the Bumper" and "Slave to the Rhythm" are included. "Love Is the Drug" appears in Eric "E.T." Thorngren's remix.

UK cassette release[edit]

Side A

No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
1. "La Vie en rose"   Édith Piaf, Louigny, Mack David Portfolio 7:25
2. "I Need a Man"   Paul Adrian Slade, Pierre Papadiamondis Portfolio 3:22
3. "Do or Die"   Jack Robinson, James Bolden Fame 3:22
4. "Private Life"   Chrissie Hynde Warm Leatherette 5:10
5. "Love Is the Drug"   Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay Warm Leatherette 6:02
6. "Demolition Man"   Sting Nightclubbing  
7. "Nipple to the Bottle"   Grace Jones, Sly Dunbar Living My Life  

Side B

No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
8. "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)"   Ástor Piazzolla, Barry Reynolds, Dennis Wilkey, Nathalie Delon Nightclubbing 4:29
9. "Pull Up to the Bumper"   Kookoo Baya, Grace Jones, Dana Mano Nightclubbing 3:38
10. "Walking in the Rain"   Harry Vanda, George Young Nightclubbing 4:18
11. "My Jamaican Guy"   Grace Jones Living My Life 6:00
12. "Slave to the Rhythm"   Bruce Woolley, Simon Darlow, Stephen Lipson, Trevor Horn Slave to the Rhythm 4:22
13. "Grace Jones Musclemix"   various Island Life  

Island Life 2[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
1. "La Vie en rose"   Édith Piaf, Louigny, Mack David Portfolio 7:25
2. "I Need a Man"   Paul Adrian Slade, Pierre Papadiamondis Portfolio 3:22
3. "Do or Die"   Jack Robinson, James Bolden Fame 3:22
4. "Private Life"   Chrissie Hynde Warm Leatherette 5:11
5. "Love Is the Drug"   Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay Warm Leatherette 6:03
6. "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)"   Ástor Piazzolla, Barry Reynolds, Dennis Wilkey, Nathalie Delon Nightclubbing 4:29
7. "Pull Up to the Bumper"   Kookoo Baya, Grace Jones, Dana Mano Nightclubbing 3:39
8. "Walking in the Rain"   Harry Vanda, George Young Nightclubbing 4:18
9. "My Jamaican Guy"   Grace Jones Living My Life 6:00
10. "Slave to the Rhythm"   Bruce Woolley, Simon Darlow, Stephen Lipson, Trevor Horn Slave to the Rhythm 4:23
11. "Pars"   Jacques Higelin Warm Leatherette 4:48
12. "Feel Up"   Grace Jones Nightclubbing 4:04
13. "Sex Drive (Sex Pitch Mix)"   Sheep on Drugs Black Marilyn 7:18
14. "Sex Drive (Hard Drive Mix)"   Sheep on Drugs Black Marilyn 5:10

Commercial reception[edit]


Release history[edit]

Region Year Format(s) Label
Worldwide 1985 LP, CD, Cassette Island, Island Masters, Bertelsmann
Australia LP Festival
Portugal LP Island, Dacapo
Yugoslavia LP Island, Jugoton
UK 1986 Cassette Island
Brazil 1988 LP Island
Europe 1989 CD Island
US, Europe 1990 CD Island, Island Masters
France 1996 CD Universal International

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew Hamilton. "Island Life - Grace Jones". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  2. ^ Robert Christgau. "Robert Christgau: CG: grace jones". www.robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  3. ^ "Grace Jones Trivia – Grace Jones Interesting Facts – Grace Jones Notes". www.gracejones.org. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  4. ^ Will Hodgkinson. "Snapshot: Grace Jones". arts.guardian.co.uk. web.archive.org. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  5. ^ "Images: Grace Jones by Jean-Paul Goude". afirstclassriot.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  6. ^ Ochs, Michael (2005). 1000 Record Covers. Taschen. p. 540. 
  7. ^ Tom Townsend. "The Queen of music Grace Jones meets HRH The Queen!". music.uk.msn.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  8. ^ "Kanye West's girlfriend Amber Rose copies Grace Jones as she recreates iconic pose". www.dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  9. ^ "Nicki Minaj Channels Beyoncé, Grace Jones, and Gaga in "Stupid Hoe"". thenynthlife.com. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  10. ^ "Discographie Grace Jones" (in German). austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  11. ^ "Suche nach "grace jones"". www.charts.de (in German). Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  12. ^ "Liedsuche" (in German). www.charts-surfer.de. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  13. ^ "Discografie Grace Jones" (in Dutch). www.dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  14. ^ "Discography Grace Jones". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  15. ^ "Discography Grace Jones". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  16. ^ "Grace Jones" (in German). hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  17. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Island Life by Grace Jones Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Limited. p. 288. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  19. ^ "Grace Jones". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  20. ^ "Grace Jones Album & Song Chart History". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  21. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  22. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Grace Jones – Island Life" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Grace Jones in the field Interpret. Enter Island Life in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Grace Jones – Island Life". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Island Life in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go

External links[edit]