We’re digging into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you perhaps one of the strangest combinations of musicians you’re likely to find. Listen back to Grace Jones’ reggae-infused cover of Joy Division classic, ‘She’s Lost Control’.
Unlike any other band, Joy Division promoted a sense of urgent devotion that continues to swirl around the band’s mythos to this day. Here, Grace Jones proves she had her ear to the ground of the alternative rock scene during the late-seventies. In fact, Jones was so quick to pick up on the band’s power she can rightly attest to be the first artist to ever formally cover the band.
You heard that right. The supermodel, fashion icon, dance music pioneer, Meltdown festival curator, and acclaimed singer from Jamaica, Grace Jones, was the first artist to take the greyscale intensity of Joy Division to a brand new musical territory, infusing it with the delectable Caribbean fragrance of reggae.
The Joy Division track goes down as one of the band’s best moments on record. Released in 1979, ‘She’s Lost Control’ would go on to typify the band’s juggernaut ability; a firepower bassline, Ian Curtis’ unique lyrical vision, all pulled together to make one of the greatest rock songs ever written. Jones though makes it completely her own.
Recorded as the B-side for her single ‘Private Life’, the track was released on June 27th, 1980, another cover—this time of the Chrissie Hynde penned track by The Pretenders which was released earlier that year. ‘Private Life’ was featured on Jones’ fourth LP Warm Leatherette released by Mute and named after the cover of Mute-founder Daniel Miller’s own track.
The song was recorded just a few short weeks before Ian Curtis tragically took his own life and acts a reminder of the untapped potential the group still had within them. Though Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris would go on to have a classic career with New Order, in 1980 Joy Division had infiltrated the popular consciousness.
The proof is below. Grace Jones’ reggae-infused cover of their Unknown Pleasures album track ‘She’s Lost Control’ sees not only the first formal cover of JD but the group’s everlasting imprint on music. Even in 1980, the retaining power of Joy Division was clear for all to see.
Listen below to Grace Jones’ ‘She’s Lost Control’ below.