Island Life is a collection of Grace Jones' biggest hits on the Island records label. It draws from albums like Portfolio (1977), Fame (1978), Muse (1979), Warm Leatherette (1980), Nightclubbing (1981), Living My Life (1982) and Slave To The Rhythm (1985). The tracks are arranged chronologically so it maps out her musical development from the robotic disco sounds of La Vie En Rose through her new wave experiments with Private Life, her torch song phase in Libertango up to the funky R&B of My Jamaican Guy.
She wasn't taken seriously as a musician up until the release of Warm Leatherette in 1980, but I have always enjoyed her early disco work, especially the Portfolio album with its great tracks like Tomorrow, Send In The Clowns, I Need A Man and La Vie en Rose.
The following two albums, Fame and Muse, were weaker but still contained a sprinkling of memorable disco musings like Autumn Leaves, Do Or Die and others.
Warm Leatherette really put her on the musical map, especially on account of her version of the title track that was an obscure synth-pop single by Daniel Miller's The Normal. She also did interesting versions of Private Life (The Pretenders) and Love Is The Drug (Roxy Music).
Tracks 6 to 8 come from Jones' very successful Nightclubbing album. Libertango and Walking In the Rain are witty, accessible pop ballads while the funky Pull Up To The Bumper is controversially sensual.
My Jamaican Guy from the innovative Living My Life album is jerky, funky and tribal with stunning vocal arrangements…. (Amazon)
01. La Vie En Rose
02. I Need A Man
03. Do Or Die
04. Private Life
05. Love Is The Drug
06. I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)
07. Pull Up To The Bumper
08. Walking In The Rain
09. My Jamaican Guy
10. Slave To The Rhythm