Well, this one’s unexpected! In what may be one of the strangest pairings of all time, is supermodel, fashion icon and dance music pioneer, Grace Jones’s reggae-infused take on Joy Division's gritty post-punk classic, “She’s Lost Control.”
Putting a tropical Caribbean spin on the greyscale Manchurian pulse of the original might sound like a crime against music in theory, but Grace Jones is a master of taste. In making it completely her own, the song is transformed into a first-person account of going insane set to a New Orleans death march. Unbelievably, it may be even darker than the original. Listen below.
Grace Jones | “She’s Lost Control”
Grace Jones also proved to have her finger firmly on the pulse with this song choice. From their late-seventies peak, Joy Division already inspired a level of devotion that extended beyond their music; fans gravitated to the mood and philosophy driving it. But none could have predicted the pop-culture turning point it represented, nor how their legacy would continue to amplify in the 40 years following their albeit brief moment of pop culture ascendancy.
Except perhaps Grace Jones. Despite being from a musical world entirely to the left of the UK’s burgeoning post-punk/New Wave scene, Jones was the first artist to formally cover any song’s by Joy Division with this 1980 release; and the intensity of her eight-minute interpretation of the track suggests she didn’t just like the sound of the song, she understood what drove its creators.
Joy Division | She’s Lost Control
Released on 1979’s Unknown Pleasures, “She’s Lost Control” is a highlight of Joy Division’s catalogue. Peter Hook’s relentless pulsating bass and Ian Curtis’ bleak lyrical vision make it a force of pent up tension. The song was recorded just a few short weeks before Ian Curtis tragically took his own life, leading the remaining members to become electronic music pioneers in their own scene when they reformed as New Order at the dawn of the 1980s.
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