Saturday, January 10, 2009

Number 425 - Grace Jones

Number 425

Grace Jones

"Pull Up To The Bumper"

Genre: New Wave
In 1981 i was 16 years old and the song "Pull Up To The Bumper" song by Grace Jones, to me, was about people driving in cars. As you know, back in 1981 there was no internet, so looking up lyrics meant reading the album sleeve [and that's if they even had lyrics]. So, reading the lyrics now, for example, " Pull up to my bumper baby, In your long black limosine, Pull up to my bumper baby, And drive it in between. Pull up, to it, don't drive, through it,Back it, up twice, now that, fit's nice". So ah, [cough] doesn't that make me feel a bit naive back then? Yes."I'll fix you up so won't you please come on,That shiny, sleek machine you wheel, I've got to blow your horn". Yes, well, does it change my feeling about the song? Of course bloody not! By the way, a short message to Alan Heller .... please get well soon ~ crowbarred
Black, proud and damn sexy
Grace Jones was one of the more unforgettable characters to emerge from New York City's hedonistic Studio 54 disco scene during the late '70s. Born May 19, 1952, in Kingston, Jamaica, Jones studied theater at Syracuse University before launching a career as a model. Jones' statuesque and flamboyant look proved to be a hit in the New York City nightclub scene, which led to a recording contract with Island Records in 1977. While such disco-based albums as 1977's Portfolio, 1978's Fame, and 1979's Muse failed to break the singer commercially, Jones soon amassed a substantial following amongst gay men with her sexually charged live show, leading to her title at the time of "Queen of the Gay Discos."
At least i'm wearing jewellery
But with the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work resulting in two of her best-known and strongest releases -- 1980's Warm Leatherette and 1981's Nightclubbing -- both produced by the noted reggae team of Sly & Robbie (the latter release spawned one of Jones' biggest hits, "Pull Up to the Bumper," as well as covers of Iggy Pop's "Nightclubbing" and the Police's "Demolition Man"). It was also around this time that Jones changed her look to suit the times by replacing her S&M look of the '70s with a detached, androgynous image. Jones' sixth solo release overall, Living My Life, followed in 1982, while the singer took a break from recording to focus on film work and landed roles in such movies as Conan the Destroyer and the James Bond flick A View to a Kill (Jones' romantic life also provided tabloid fodder at the time when she was linked with Rocky IV star Dolph Lundgren).
Pull up !
Jones eventually returned back to her recording career, enlisting super-producer Trevor Horn (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) to oversee 1985's Slave to the Rhythm, which turned out to be a somewhat autobiographical work (the same year, a ten-track compilation was issued as well, Island Life). Jones' penchant for working with big-name producers continued on 1986's Inside Story; with production chores handled by Chic's Nile Rodgers, the album spawned one of Jones' last successful singles, "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You)." After 1989's Bulletproof Heart, Jones seemed to turn her back on her recording career (although 1993 saw the release of a new single, "Sex Drive"), as she again focused primarily on movies, including a role in Eddie Murphy's hit 1992 comedy Boomerang. The double-disc set Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions (a collection of 26 tracks that Jones recorded with Sly & Robbie during their early '80s union) was released in 1998, which was followed up four years later with Island Life, Vol. 2. ~ [Greg Prato, All Music Guide]
For Iggy Pop see Number 980
For Chic see Number 902
But can it be Re-Mixed? [will it blend?]
Keep the camera still will ya
Over the years, "Pull Up to the Bumper" has been remixed several times. The original 12-inch single featured the unedited album master recording as an extended mix of 6m45s. An extended dub version lasting 7m17s was included as the B-side on the 12-inch release of Jones' "Walking in the Rain"; this version can be found on the Universal Music compilation CD 12"/80s. The "Walking in the Rain" 7" single also had an alternate dub mix as the B-side, called "Peanut Butter" and credited to The Compass Point All Stars. A third extended 12" mix entitled "Party Version" was released on the 1981 "Feel Up" 12" single. In 1985 the track was again remixed and re-released to promote the Island Life compilation, and was released in two different 12" mixes, one an extended mix with additional keyboard overdubs and remix by Paul "Groucho" Smykle, the other an eight-minute megamix entitled "Musclemix" which included excerpts from tracks like "Warm Leatherette", "Walking In The Rain", "Use Me", "Love Is The Drug" and "Slave To The Rhythm". Many of these mixes remain unreleased on CD.
Sexual? Nooooooooo .. [oh ok then]
The song sparked some controversy for its suggestive lyrics, as it appears to literally describe sexual intercourse. Among the racy images along the lines of this topic: "Pull up to my bumper baby / In your long black limousine / Pull up to my bumper baby / Drive it in between", as well as "Grease it / Spray it / Let me lubricate it". It is said that she is talking about anal sex with the song's lines, although interestingly, she has suggested in interviews that the song is about oral sex. ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
Groundhog day ! BING!
So, what does The All seeing eye of the Stone think?
Around the time that Studio 54 trendies began limo-ing downtown to Manhattan's Mudd Club, Grace Jones, former model and ersatz disco queen, redesigned herself in the image of dance-oriented rock. Worked over visually by her artist-husband Jean-Paul Goude and reshaped musically by the ace reggae rhythm section of drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare, Jones became more than a New Wave camp follower. On her breakthrough LP, Nightclubbing, Jones' deadpan, declamatory vocals were the striking centerpiece of a boundary-defying mix of reggae, rock and funk. ~ [Source Rolling Stone]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '425th Song of all Time' was "William, It Was Really Nothing" by The Smiths. The Smiths has not appeared in The Definitive 1000.
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at (You cannot be serious ... she's scary!) and the Album ranked at Number (No comment and closing the office!)
This song has a Definitive 1000 rating of 77.7 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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