Portfolio (Grace Jones album)

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Portfolio
Studio album by Grace Jones
Released September 6, 1977
Recorded 1975-1977
Genre Disco, pop
Length 36:59
Label Island
Producer Tom Moulton
Grace Jones chronology
Portfolio
(1977)
Fame
(1978)
Singles from Portfolio
  1. "I Need a Man"
    Released: 1975
  2. "Sorry"
    Released: September 1976
  3. "That's the Trouble"
    Released: 1976
  4. "La Vie en rose"
    Released: October 1977
  5. "What I Did for Love"
    Released: 1977
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C+[2]

Portfolio is the debut album by Grace Jones, released in 1977 by Island Records. It spawned her first big hit, "La Vie en rose".

Background[edit]

Having enjoyed a successful modelling career in Paris and New York in the early 1970s, Grace Jones released a series of singles throughout 1975-1976. None of them, however, managed to succeed in mainstream charts. Jones secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977 and found wider recognition only with her debut Island LP, Portfolio.

The album was recorded and mixed in Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, and released in autumn 1977 as the first of three albums made with the legendary disco record producer Tom Moulton. Side one of the original vinyl album is a continuous disco medley covering three songs from Broadway musicals, "Send in the Clowns" by Stephen Sondheim from A Little Night Music, "What I Did for Love" from A Chorus Line and "Tomorrow" from Annie. Side two opens with Jones' very personal re-interpretation of Édith Piaf's "La Vie en rose" and continues with three new recordings, two of which have been co-written by Jones herself. Italian release would omit "Sorry" and "That's the Trouble", adding an extended, over 7-minute long version of "I Need a Man" instead.[3] Album's artwork was designed by Richard Bernstein, an artist working for Interview, who would later contribute to Jones' two next albums' artworks and with whom the singer would re-team up for the 1986 record Inside Story.

Portfolio reached number 52 on the Black Albums Chart in the U.S., while climbing to number 109 on Billboard's mainstream albums chart. It garnered more attention in Europe, entering top 10 in both Italy in early 1978 and the Netherlands in 1983.

Track listing[edit]

Note: Tracks from side A are a non-stop medley, with the total playing time 18:36.

Standard release[edit]

Side A

  1. "Send in the Clowns" (Stephen Sondheim) – 7:33
  2. "What I Did for Love" (Marvin Hamlisch, Edward Kleban) – 5:15
  3. "Tomorrow" (Martin Charnin, Charles Strouse) – 5:48

Side B

  1. "La Vie en rose" (Édith Piaf, Louis Guglielmi) – 7:27
  2. "Sorry" (Grace Jones, Pierre Papadiamondis) – 3:58
  3. "That's the Trouble" (Grace Jones, Pierre Papadiamondis) – 3:36
  4. "I Need a Man" (Pierre Papadiamondis, Paul Slade) – 3:23

Italian release[edit]

Side A

  1. "Send in the Clowns" (Stephen Sondheim) – 7:33
  2. "What I Did for Love" (Marvin Hamlisch, Edward Kleban) – 5:15
  3. "Tomorrow" (Martin Charnin, Charles Strouse) – 5:48

Side B

  1. "La Vie en rose" (Édith Piaf, Louis Guglielmi) – 7:27
  2. "I Need a Man" (Pierre Papadiamondis, Paul Slade) – 7:30

Personnel[edit]

Singles[edit]

"I Need a Man" was Jones' debut single, originally released in 1975 by a minor French label Orfeus. It failed to make any chart impact until two years later, when it was re-recorded and released under Beam Junction label, becoming a number 1 dance hit in the U.S. and introducing Jones to club audience, primarily gay.

The second single, "Sorry", was released still one year prior the Portfolio album release and earned a very modest success on U.S. singles chart. Its B-side track, "That's the Trouble", also received a separate A-side release. Both songs were Grace Jones' first forays into songwriting.

"La Vie en rose" was released as a single in autumn 1977 and became the biggest hit off Portfolio, having charted in French and Italian top 5. When re-released in 1983, it reached top 5 also in the Netherlands. It brought Jones mainstream club popularity and now remains one of her best known recordings.

"What I Did for Love" became a top 10 dance hit in the USA.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Italy[4] 9
Netherlands[5] 8
Sweden[6] 22
United States[7] 109
United States (Top R&B Albums)[7] 52

Release history[edit]

Region Year Format(s) Label
Worldwide 1977 LP, Cassette Island
UK 1986 LP
Europe 1987 CD
Worldwide 1990 Island, PolyGram

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew Hamilton. "Portfolio - 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 - Portfolio (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-05-24. 
  4. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - ALBUM 1978". www.hitparadeitalia.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  5. ^ "Discografie Grace Jones" (in Dutch). www.dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  6. ^ "Discography Grace Jones". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  7. ^ a b "Grace Jones". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 

External links[edit]