Friday, November 8, 2019

"I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You)" by Grace Jones

Song#:  2946
Date:  11/29/1986
Debut:  95
Peak:  69
Weeks:  9
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  Jamaican-born Jones moved to the States with her family when she was in her early teens. By the time she was 18, Jones had moved to New York and was signed to the famous Wilhelmina Modeling agency. She began to work as a model, but her look was more suited for European designers and she made a move to Paris. It was there that she began to dabble in music, most likely influenced by her frequent visits to the city's gay nightclubs. She released a couple of indie singles in 1975 and 1976, but nothing much initially happened with them. However, the recordings got picked up by a small US label who remixed and released them. Both songs became hits on the US Dance chart and even made the lower rungs of the Pop chart. Island Records then came calling and signed Jones. The two remixes would be included on her debut album, 1977's Portfolio. Six more albums would be released over the years including her best effort, 1981's Nightclubbing (#32), which featured the #2 Dance/#5 R&B hit "Pull Up to the Bumper." For her eighth album, Jones moved from Island over to Manhattan and worked with producer Nile Rodgers to come up with Inside Story. This first single was issued out and it became Jones' ninth Top 10 at Dance getting to #4 while also reaching #9 at R&B. The song proved popular enough to become her first Pop chart entry since 1976. It didn't get far, but it did become her highest peaking single on the chart. The LP sold fairly well getting to #26 R&B/#81 Pop. The single and album would be Jones' last to reach the Pop charts. She followed the album up with Bulletproof Heart in 1989, but then didn't record another album until 2008's Hurricane.

ReduxReview:  I think that this song was Jones' most commercially viable single and indeed it did well at Dance and R&B. However, Pop ignored the tune. I'm not absolutely sure, but my guess is that the song's video (a cool one directed by Jones herself) was never promoted or probably even played on MTV. At the time, the lack of R&B artists (besides Prince and the Jacksons, of course) was still an issue, which was a shame. This song should have been a bigger hit and MTV's support could have made a difference. What kind of sucks too is that this song has a Eurythmics feel to it and I can easily hear Annie Lennox singing this. Had Eurythmics done this song back then, their video would have been on MTV and this certainly would have been a hit for them. But since it was Grace Jones, it got different treatment. That also bled into pop radio as well. Idiots. Well, at least the song became a club and R&B hit and is still one of Jones' best singles.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  When Jones attended college, she took theater class. That led to her doing some summer stock shows in Philadelphia. As her modeling career took off, she dabbled in a bit of acting, but it wasn't until she was an established music star that more opportunities came her way. Her first significant role was in 1984 when she co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarian. She got good notices for her performance and also for her next role as a villain in the 1985 James Bond flick A View to a Kill. She would also appear in the 1986 horror-comedy Vamp and alongside Eddie Murphy in 1992's Boomerang. A couple years prior to Conan the Barbarian, Jones had the chance to be in a sci-fi flick that would turn out to be a classic of the genre. Jones was sent the script to an upcoming film titled Blade Runner. She was being considered for the role of the replicant Zhora. Jones hadn't even read the script before turning the role down on the advice of artist/photographer Jean-Paul Goude, with whom she had a personal and professional relationship. After turning down the role, Jones then read the script and realized she made a mistake. She tried to get back on board with the film, but by then Joanna Cassidy was already signed on for the role. Jones didn't make that mistake again when Conan came her way.


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