“Nightclubbing” started life as a song written by Iggy Pop in collaboration with David Bowie. It’s a very cool song, with a distinctive drum machine beat, a general feeling of unease, and Bowie on the piano. That version was released in 1977.
Grace Jone’s version is very cool though! She brings a Jamaican influence to it, most notably through the use of space. There’s the odd dubbed out guitar chord too. The album this is from is entitled Nightclubbing, and was released in 1981. It drew from an eclectic range of influences and is one of pop musics unique moments, for sure.
Using legendary Jamaican musicians Sly & Robbie certainly helps!
The song is much slower than the original, with a bass heavy riff hitting between the sparse drum beats. The song feels quite minimal, and is all the better for it. Everything on the song feels like it has earned its place.
It’s so wonderfully spaced out, and Grace Jones has such powerful vocals that they imprint themselves on your mind immediately.