Daily Mail Review
This review of "The Compass Point Sessions" appeard in the UK paper the "Daily Mail" on Friday, the 19th of June 1998.
Pop acts looking to the past for inspiration have focused on Sixties rock and Seventies dance in recent years. The Eighties have been ignored. But two new anthologies, from Grace Jones and Tom Waits, are the latest signs that the forgotton decade may soon be back in vogue.
Grace Jones the Jamaican born model who became a singer, was one of the mavericks of Eighties pop. With her flat-top hair cut and heavily padded shoulders, she was one of that decade's most striking icons.
Originally cast as a Disco Diva, Jones hit a winning formula when she moved to Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas in 1980 and began working with the Resident band.
Led by Jamaicas premier rhythm section, drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare, the group were a perfect foil for the singer. They forged a blend of dance, reggae, and rock which was years ahead of its time.
The best numbers on this new double CD are the realitively obscure ones and include a jazzy, bossa-nova rendition of I've Done It Again - a little know Mariane Faithfull song.
But too many tracks are extended dance mixes or lengty dubs which outstay their welcome.
It would have made a far stronger single disc, but is still worthwhile testimony to an artist whose stylish fusions helped to define the Eighties.
Picture Credit:London Features International.