As records go, there are always surprises right around the corner. In NYC, you never know where records are going to turn up. Sometimes they turn up in a suitcase on the corner of the Avenue, other times they are sold out of a car boot like it was a cold day at the Camden lock up. This time, however, I found some records on the way to pick up my son from Summer Camp. As I walked by I saw some interesting stuff. Usually all these cats have the same stuff: Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Talking Heads, and Blondie records. Nothing wrong with that. The last Highway 61 Revisited Lp I saw had writing from the guys childhood on the back in crayon: “Penelope sells girdles” in orange. This cat, who turned out to be really cool had an R.Crumb Lp displayed prominently, as well as old baseball cards, magazines, books. mirrors, power tools, and 3 boxes of 45s. The first box I dug into was every The Who 45 there was. A boom if you were a Classic Rock guy, but a bust if you weren’t. When I finally got through to the unsleeved stuff, what do I pull out? A James Brown The Payback 45 and this record right here: Grace Jones “Pull Up To The Bumper” on Island Records from 1981. Now I don’t like to be fickle, but my Funk comes from approximately 1967 to 1974. How could I not pick this up for a quarter, and why wouldn’t I review this dance floor classic?
When I was a kid, I was scared of Grace Jones. Seriously. I think may have seen her on tv as a youngster and just ran away. It wasn’t until I got older, and figured out that LL Cool J’s “Doin’ It” sampled Jones’ “My Jamaican Guy” that I decided to have a gander at her back catalog. Really, what is there to say about Grace Jones that hasn’t been said? Model, Actress, Factory Girl, singer, performance artist, Disco queen, muse, and trend setter among other things, Grace Jones is a musical institution. Riding the wave after Disco, this record was coined New Wave, but has all the right elements of a sleazy Disco, late night grinder. I have been known tho throw this in my sets now and again, and it never disappoints. Controversial when it was first released, Jones has said before that this record was not a metaphor for sex, but even if it was, who cares? A very early eighties classic that is timeless, Chris Blackwell and company put their money on the right person when Grace put out this side. For those of you who were expecting some Deep Funk today I apologize. Sometime you have to shake it up. The dude that sold me the records said he has plenty more, so look for more interesting stuff in upcoming posts.