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Grace Jones Slave To The Rhythm single cover

“Slave to the Rhythm” is a song by Jamaican singer, model, and actress Grace Jones, released in October 1985. The song is the title track and the lead single from her seventh studio album of the same name, which was produced by the renowned Trevor Horn. “Slave to the Rhythm” stands out as a defining moment in Grace Jones’ career, showcasing her unique style and the innovative production techniques of the mid-1980s.

“Slave to the Rhythm” was part of an ambitious project conceived by Trevor Horn, who sought to create a concept album that revolved around a single song. The album consists of eight variations of the title track, each with different arrangements and lyrical interpretations. The project was designed to explore and expand on the themes of rhythm and movement, both musically and lyrically. Trevor Horn, known for his work with The Buggles, Yes, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, brought his distinctive production style to the project. The song features intricate production, blending elements of pop, funk, and art rock with an experimental edge. The album includes contributions from various musicians and showcases Horn’s use of advanced studio technology.

Musically, “Slave to the Rhythm” is characterized by its lush orchestration, powerful rhythms, and Grace Jones’ commanding vocal performance. The song features a prominent bassline, complex percussion, and layers of synthesizers and orchestral elements. It epitomizes the polished, high-production values typical of Trevor Horn’s work during this period. The lyrics of “Slave to the Rhythm,” written by Bruce Woolley, Simon Darlow, Stephen Lipson, and Trevor Horn, explore themes of perseverance, discipline, and the relentless pursuit of artistic and personal goals. The phrase “Slave to the Rhythm” reflects the idea of being driven by an unstoppable force, whether it be the beat of music or the demands of life and career. The song’s narrative celebrates resilience and dedication.

“Slave to the Rhythm” was well-received by critics and became one of Grace Jones’ most successful singles. It reached the top 20 in several countries, including the UK, where it peaked at number 12 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also found success in the US, reaching number 1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.

The music video for “Slave to the Rhythm,” directed by Jean-Paul Goude, who was also Grace Jones’ longtime collaborator and partner, is iconic. The video features striking visuals that combine live-action footage with avant-garde art and fashion elements. It includes scenes of Grace Jones in various elaborate costumes and makeup, reflecting her distinctive style and persona.

Grace Jones – Slave To The Rhythm – Lyrics