Somebody who recorded Michael Jackson often, it might have been Bruce Swedien or even Quincy Jones, said that Jackson was a big fan of these records and may have even lifted his famous singing tic/trademarks from them. You can definitely hear the basis for such an observation in tracks like “Feel Up” -Ian!
Grace Jones teamed with the great reggae production duo of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare on this ’80 album, and made the transition from straight dance and club act into quasi-pop star with reggae and urban contemporary leaning. The single “Private Life” was one of her best, and the overall album had more energy and production gloss than previous LPs that had been aimed completely at the club market. It helped that Jones seemed enthused about the session and really put herself into the songs.
By all means a phenomenal pop album that hit number nine on the black albums chart and crossed over to penetrate the pop charts at number 32, Nightclubbing saw Grace Jones working once again with Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, and the remainder of the Compass Point team. Nightclubbing also continues Jones’ tradition of picking excellent songs to reinterpret. This time out, the Police’s “Demolition Man,” Bill Withers’ “Use Me,” and Iggy Pop’s “Nightclubbing” receive radical reinterpretations; “Nightclubbing” is glacial in both tempo and lack of warmth, while both “Use Me” and “Demolition Man” fit perfectly into Jones’ lyrical scheme. Speaking of a lyrical scheme, “Pull Up to the Bumper” (number five black singles, number two club play) is so riddled with naughty double entendres — or is it just about parallel parking? — that it renders Musique’s “In the Bush” as daring as Paul Anka’s “Puppy Love.” Drive it in between what, Grace? It’s not just lyrics that make the song stick out; jingling spirals of rhythm guitar and a simplistic, squelching, mid-tempo rhythm make the song effective, even without considering Jones’ presence. Sly & Robbie provide ideal backdrops for Jones yet again, casting a brisk but not bristly sheen over buoyant structures. Never before and never since has a precisely chipped block of ore been so seductive.
-Ron Wynn, Andy Kellman, allmusic.com