The ’59 2018 #141: 180521
Grace Jones – Nightclubbing (1981)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 23 – 1981.
Nightclubbing was the fifth studio album by Jamaican singer Grace Jones, released on 11 May 1981 by Island Records. Recorded at Compass Point Studios with producers Alex Sadkin and Island Records’ president Chris Blackwell, as well as a team of session musicians rooted by rhythm section Sly & Robbie, the album marked her second foray into a new wave style that blends a variety of genres, including reggae, art pop, dub, synth-pop and funk. The album is a mixture of cover versions from artists including Bill Withers, Iggy Pop and Astor Piazzolla, and original songs, three of which were co-written by Jones.
It album received positive reviews upon its release and continues to be praised by critics, with reviewers commending the singer’s unique sound and organic fusion of genres. The album entered in the top 10 in five countries, and became Jones’ highest-ranking record on the US Billboard mainstream albums and R&B charts.
Six singles were released from the album, including the hits “Pull Up to the Bumper” and “I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)”.
The Epic 2017 Project #188: 170707
Nouvelle Vague – If I could be happy (2016)
This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project, which, by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way: Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Mélanie Pain, and, soon, Liset Alea. The gambit paid off, with sales of over one million records over four albums released between 2004 and 2010, and world tours that included stops at venues such as London’s Royal Albert Hall, L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl and Paris’ Olympia.
Since 2011, Nouvelle Vague had stopped recording, focusing on an innovative live show created in collaboration with the mythical Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (Ceremony and Dawn of innocence,) and branching out into different projects: Olivier’s Uncovered Queen of the Stone Age, and Marc’s Bristol, along with his Kwaidan label.
So 2016 seemed the right time to write a new chapter in the Nouvelle Vague saga: with a new album “I Could Be Happy” and live show, the band and its coterie of female vocalists continue their time travels with a renewed alegria. Nouvelle vague by Nouvelle Vague and Some Friends is thus more of a nexus of forthcoming projects: a new album comprised of punk and post punk standards imbued with the inimitable Nouvelle Vague touch, and, for the first time, a bevy of surprising Collin/Libaux which prove that the two producers are more than prodigious arrangers.
This album is also the opportunity to gather again the pioneer singers of Nouvelle Vague: Élodie Frégé, Mélanie Pain, Liset Alea, Nadeah and to find other guests as Camille or Clara Luciani. A worldwide tour to promote it began in Europe and Asia and continued through South America and the U.S.A. earlier this year.
Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #320: 161115
[Song from a band seen in 2012]
I think tonight’s gig at the Kentish Town Forum in London will be the 11th or 12th time we’ve had the pleasure of seeing Camille live. In 2012 though, it was at the London Barbican (27 April). This evening, she’s performing as part of the lineup for Nouvelle Vague.