music: Trevor Horn gigantism

Bruce Forest, the creator of this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink remix of Grace Jones’ “Slave to the Rhythm” above, provided entertaining background in a Facebook comment on one of Trevor Horn’s magna opera/Mount Everest:

What do you get if you combine 2 years of studio time, the best musicians in the world, two insanely-talented producers and £800,000? The most expensive, and IMO the best produced single of all time, and surely – another 80s masterpiece. ….

His comment links to another alternative remix of “Slave to the Rhythm.” The entire Slave to the Rhythm Grace Jones album is basically resequencing and remixing facets of that one single, which is indulgent padding and why I never bought the album; but damn what a single! This, all of ABC’s Lexicon of Love album, Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Welcome to the Pleasure Dome”, and Malcolm McLaren’s “Buffalo Gals” are for me Trevor Horn’s highest highs.

Stephen Lipson also reminisced about his own “Slave to the Rhythm” track on Facebook: “I suppose Slave to the Rhythm was the culmination of our knowledge prior to computers becoming the primary recording medium. We did several versions of the song, all totally technology led. Having two digital tape machines allowed us to make multitrack drum loops. Every time the Synclavier was upgraded we’d try another version. It was a time of innovative mayhem.” Update: I wrote about Stephen Lipson is on another YouTube channel giving a session-by-session, effect-by-effect breakdown of the song.

There are many other remixes of the track, each emphasizing and looping different elements of the massive kit of parts Trevor Horn and Stephen Lipson assembled. Here’s “Grace Jones – Slave To The Rhythm (Bruce Forest + DJ Friction re-imagining)”:

Finally here’s the original/official music video for “Slave to the Rhythm”, a suitably weird collage of collage, music hall characters, puppetry, and a Grace Jones Citroën commercial all by her then-boyfriend Jean-Paul Goude. (You’ll have to log in, flashes of nudity – so French!)

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One Response to music: Trevor Horn gigantism

  1. skierpage says:

    And it turns out Trevor Horn did the 12-inch remix of Spandau Ballet’s “Instinction”! At 3:40 it’s shorter than the 4:47 album version. I still like the dry sound of the album track.

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