Grace Jones: Slave to the Rhythm (1985)

Video   |    |  Short, Music

Grace Jones: Slave to the Rhythm (1985) Poster

Like many outstanding works of art, this clip is a Frankenstein of video clips using of a selection of several collages and edits of previous Grace Jones clips and commercials that make a ... See full summary »

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Jean-Paul Goude

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User Reviews

30 June 2017 | Rodrigo_Amaro
| Art & Rhythm
Visual arts, music videos and songs barely expanded in its full totality with power, presence and with such a pulsating, colorful artistic ideas as this mega classic. One definition I recently found art and rhythm is such "Rhythm is a principle of art that's difficult to summarize in words (...) and in art, is a visual beat. This out of this world experience "Slave to the Rhythm" feels like an accurate description to such notion as there's so much going on with its collage of clips and even a Citroen ad Grace Jones acted plus the sound quality brought to the project that it is difficult to form just one idea over what's it's all about. Could it be about the way people move under various circumstances? Diversity of race, sexuality and way of life and how each one act in different ways in order to form a whole part of humanity? Bottom of line is that we're all slaves to a rhythm: work, relations and other complexities, and most obviously slaves to the rhythm of a delicate or powerful beat that makes us lose our heads because our ears are getting different vibes and that is the sound of music, and our eyes for having the opportunity to see something as marvelous as this explosion of color and contrasts. It's a true work of art by Jean-Paul Goude which reflects life and its variations and possibilities. Complex, sexy, mysterious, unusual, groundbreaking and one that has been copied by other diva-like stars of our current days and none of them managed to reach a similar level - unless you're too young to actually know how big Grace Jones was back in the 1980's. Still is, by the way.

As said, the concept is hard to define let alone explain it with accuracy and effect (but I'll try). Jones appears in several other clips of hers, and there's some new images that compose a different scheme. The song begins with a fantastic narration by Ian McShane and then the beat keeps strong, Jones voices defines everything else ("Sparks will fly when the whistle blow/Never stop the action...keep it up"). Characters dancing, jumping, flying; different fashion and styles; the huge version of Jones' head eating a car she's driving (that's the famous commercial and what an amusing image); still photographs and moving images showing how beautiful and full of variety life is. I never get tired of this clip, and even liked it more when I saw an extended version of it some time ago (not sure if YouTube still has it) since MTV and similar places decided to remove images of nudity and the finale which includes a memorable piece from "Swan Lake" showing an exposition of images followed by exclamations and applause from an invisible audience.

You cannot feel indifferent by the images neither by the song, one of Jones greatest highlights. There is something that grabs you by the eyes, ears, heart and soul. It'll leave a mark on you the minute the video starts to play. It's unusual, rare and magic, an experience that intrigues us and fascinates us, always wanting for more. Only Peter Gabriel managed to reach similar results with his videos in the same period. Here's an outstanding video, still not dated and way ahead of its time. Bravo! 10/10


Release Date:

September 1985



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