26. Grace Jones – Walking in the Rain

Feeling like a woman, looking like a man.

When I was a teenager I walked into the record store on Hounslow High Street and there on the wall was a poster of Grace Jones’s Nightclubbing album. Grace looked like a robot. She looked amazing. How did she sing? Well it turns out she didn’t. Early in her career she sang, like on Do or Die or La Vie en Rose but then she discovered her inner truth. Grace Jones doesn’t sing. She collects a band of killer musicians then stands in front and radiates.

The modern Grace Jones was created on Warm Leatherette with this amazing and sexy version of Chrissie Hynde’s Private Life. This isn’t the subject song of the essay but I am going to embed it since it is just too good for a hyperlink.


[Note: This is Jean’s favourite Grace Jones song. She used to love playing it loud as she drove around Seattle in her convertible.]

Once she had invented ‘Grace Jones’, the next album sold it to the masses. Nightclubbing was brilliant from start to finish. The song I hear most is I’ve Seen That Face Before, but my favourite is the opening track of the album, Walking in the Rain. YouTube doesn’t have a video for it, but here she is ‘singing’ it live.


Walking in the Rain is a Harry Vanda/George Young song – Australians will know them as the core of The Easybeats (Friday on my Mind). The music of Walking in the Rain is all about the rhythm section – Sly and Robbie, Jamaica’s finest drummer and bass player. Sly Dunbar’s drums are hypnotic. The bass line is melodic and more intricate than is usual for Robbie Shakespeare, but it keeps its reggae lazy tone. They make a perfect beat, a frame, a structure on which Grace Jones can be Grace Jones.


Next: 25. The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up

Previous: 27. N*E*R*D – Lapdance


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