Significant Songs (59)

Pull Up To The Bumper

Grace Jones was born in Jamaica, and became a model after moving to the USA in her teens. Her strikingly androgynous appearance served her well, in an industry always looking for something new and shocking. I had seen her image in some advertisements, and also seen some interviews she had given. I did not take to her at all. I thought that she came across as arrogant, rude, and self-centred. If I saw that she was going to be on a chat show, or fashion programme, I would be sure to avoid it.
I could not deny that she was unusual to look at, or the abstract fashions that she habitually dressed in were actually to my taste. But that was all.

In 1981, as I was driving around in my car, I heard a record on the radio. As soon as it started, I began to tap the wheel, and within a short time, I was humming along to the words. It was catchy, it was undeniably funky, and I liked it immediately. I waited until it had ended, hoping that the DJ would announce who it was sung by. Imagine my chagrin, when he told us that it was the new release from Grace Jones. As a music fan, I had to overcome my prejudices, and get this record at the earliest opportunity. She went on to release the majestic ‘Slave To The Rhythm’, and also did a modern cover of ‘La Vie En Rose’, that wasn’t half bad.

In 1995, I bought her compilation album ‘Island Life’, later adding the CD version to my collection. I may never have liked the woman, but I cannot deny musical talent, especially when it makes me tap the wheel of my car after a few seconds. And if you think it’s a strange choice for a retired man in Norfolk to make, bear in mind that Grace is four years older than me.

This is the short version.

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18 thoughts on “Significant Songs (59)

  1. Pete, if I had been riding in the car with you, I would have begun thumping the dashboard and humming right along with you. I was not familiar with the song, but immediately liked it. I’m not all that familiar with Grace Jones, though the name rang a bell when I bought the DVD, “Vamp” (1986), which is a hoot to watch. You’ve hooked me on this one, so I’m going to listen again….

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    1. I confess that she is hard to like as a person David. However, I think she has become overlooked in the grand scheme of things, and deserves more recognition for innovation in her past work.
      Regards as always, Pete.

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  2. Pete, thanks for the memories, I can’t believe it’s been 30 years. I’m amazed daily at how fast time speeds by… Loved the video…

    Take care and happy blogging (grooving) to ya, from Laura ~

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    1. She was in ‘View To A Kill’ in 1985 Eddy, so four years after this.
      I know what you mean, but it’s about the beat and production as much as her vocal. I think I would have liked it by almost anyone.
      Cheers mate, Pete.

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