Grace Jones' The Collection, released in 2004 by the Spectrum offshoot of Universal U.K., found enough room for a demo of "Ring of Fire" (a Johnny Cash cover) but decided not to include "Pull Up to the Bumper," one of the singer's biggest singles (if not the biggest). It's one of few flaws, but it is a massive flaw, and it makes the disc a wasted opportunity. Otherwise, the disc covers a lot of ground, despite cutting off at 1982 (so "Slave to the Rhythm" isn't here, either). There's plenty of Compass Point-era coverage, with her spectacular covers of the Normal's "Warm Leatherette," Roxy Music's "Love Is the Drug," and Joy Division's "She's Lost Control" present. The lack of chronological sense is another drawback.
Rhino has assembled a good collection of commercially popular disco tunes, but the real reason for disco's popularity - the extended mixes that created the backbone of club culture and enabled people to dance for hours - has eluded them. All the tracks featured in this collection are radio edits. Consequently, the listener is faced with a collection of dated ditties rather than hearing the tunes as they were meant to be heard: dancefloor epics that sweep you up.
In a career of myriad highlights 'Nightclubbing' remains the high water mark of Grace Jones's imperial years with Island Records. It is indisputably the album on which her musical legacy rests, and rightly considered one of the greatest albums of all time. A sophisticated melee of sound, blending post-punk cool with a hot Caribbean vibe and a catwalk Studio 54 sensibility, it's a perfect example of artist and musicians working in complete accord. It contains the all-time Grace classics in 'Pull Up To The Bumper', 'Walking In The Rain', 'Demolition Man' (written by Sting) and of course the Bowie / Iggy Pop-penned title track. There is magic in its every groove.
Disco music is the sound of hedonism and happiness. Full of seduction and freedom. The 80's was a decade of rebirth that reminds us of our most memorable moments and Back To The Disco Hits Of The 80's is the album that embodies the sound of that era.