REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Grace Jones goes back to the nightclub, still cuts it

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

A classic revisited - if you don't own it, buy it now.

Available 28th April on Island Records, Download, CD, Vinyl & Blu Ray Audio - 9/10

Ask most people about Grace Jones and they'll remember a wildly inappropriate Bond Girl, an extraordinary hula hooping performance at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, or perhaps if they're a little older an appearance on Russell Harty's chat show (your parent's will explain...!). Indeed as she, incredibly, reaches an age where she's able to get a pension and a free bus pass, Jones musical legacy is in danger of slipping further and further down the list of things you're likely to associate with her. So it is rather fortunate that her finest album has finally appeared in a deluxe edition befitting it's quality and influence.

Having signed to Island in 1977, Jones was originally teamed with disco producer Tom Moulton with whom she made three efficient but inconsistent albums before jumping on the New Wave bandwagon for what is considered her classic trilogy, of which 
Nightclubbing is the second and by far the best. Whether it be Moulton, Trevor Horn, Nile Rodgers or in this case Chris Blackwell and Alex Sadkin, up until the mid 80s she had a knack of choosing the right producer at the right time, but from all of those collaborators this is the sound and the material for which she is rightly remembered. Typical of this period of her career, the album is a mixture of covers (Iggy, The Police, Bill Withers etc) and some original material including the classic 
Pull Up To The Bumper, which on the new deluxe reissue appears in no less than 6 different versions. Indeed as with most deluxe reissues, the additional material is a mixed bag, with some of the remixes adding little while others, like the 12" mix of 
Walking in The Rain are unquestionably preferable to the album versions. Of the two previously unreleased tracks one, 
If You Want to Be My Lover sounds like a throwback to her disco era and adds little to the albums legacy, while the other a cover of Gary Numan's 
Me! I Disconnect From You is good enough to stand alongside the original album and is the real find here.
Nightclubbing is an album that has always felt ahead of it's time and it remains so, it hasn't dated because despite its considerable influence on 80s music, nothing ever sounded quite like it then, or now. However we do still need reminding just how good it was/is, the cover has become so iconic, our view of Jones so skewed that the 39 minutes or so of actual music has become distant, diluted, forgotten. Others may disagree but despite great moments this is her only essential album and the one on which her legacy rests. As such whether this is your first time or you're revisiting an old friend, this deluxe reissue, which looks and sounds (no serious compression issues here) much improved, is a worthwhile purchase.