I’m taking it back to the old Hard Candy days and reviving the “Which Is Better” track comparison series, worth doing even if its just for this track! The song in question today is Private Life. It was written by Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders and included on their 1979 debut album, the following year it was covered by Grace Jones for the Warm Leatherette album.
For me its a very close call between Grace and Chrissie, but if I were forced to choose I’d probably pick Grace Jones’ version. The song is just so fitting for her voice and the way she delivers the track is so gloriously haunting.
Included in the liners notes of the Grace Jones compilation album The Compass Sessions are these thoughts on the cover from Chrissie herself…
“Like all the other London punks, I wanted to do reggae, and I wrote “Private Life”. When I first heard Grace’s version I thought ‘Now that’s how it’s supposed to sound!’ In fact it was one of the highpoints of my career – what with Sly and Robbie being the masters, and Grace Jones with her scorching delivery. Someone told me it was Chris Blackwell’s idea – thanks Chris!”
Which do you like better?