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Lady Gaga vs Grace Jones: Who's Original Now?

Lady-gaga-grace-jones-thumbnailAh, Lady Gaga: the most shocking semi-androgyne to ever break out of the usual pop star mold while almost never wearing any pants. Oh, wait, that's not right. Wasn't there someone else? There was!

Who has been recording music since 1977? Who hung out with the likes of Brian Eno and played a muse to Andy Warhol? Who delved into the insanity of gonzo fashion when Gaga was not yet even born? Who has a film career that spans four decades? Who frightened me as a child with her segmented head on her 1985 "Slave to the Rhythm" album cover?

Grace Jones.

Lady Gaga seems to have it now, but Grace Jones had it first. The question is, who really has it?

Who rocks a somewhat nature-themed outfit with a tall white hat, Lady Gaga or Grace Jones? GRACE JONES.


While Lady Gaga goes for vintage dimestore creepy with her art student plastic sheeting top and afterthought horns, Grace Jones recalls The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz while simultaneously hearkening back to medieval Japan. Score one for Jones for complexity.

Who gives better nipple while wearing head-to-toe black, see-through outfits, Lady Gaga or Grace Jones? GRACE JONES.


Lady Gaga prefers to use electrician's tape as modesty covers, but Grace Jones goes balls out and leaves it up to the media to add its own modesty strips. Score one for Grace Jones for nipple confidence.

Who gives better face, Lady Gaga or Grace Jones? GRACE JONES.


The one eating diamonds that makes you feel like your head is next wins over the one crying through her eye makeup while making mock bunny ears. Score one for Jones for looking more interesting/less stupid/crazy terrifying.

Who kicks more ass in the pantslessness department, Lady Gaga or Grace Jones? GRACE JONES.


Lady Gaga may have the courage to wander into the hideous territory of mint green camel toe, but Grace Jones foregoes coverage altogether and slathers herself in so much oil that she has to stand on piece of cloth to keep from slipping on the hardwood. Score one for Jones for bringing on the fearfully sexy.

Who is more believably wild and free-spirited, Lady Gaga or Grace Jones?


Lady Gaga, seen naked in the arms of Kanye West, only wishes she were as cool as Grace Jones and instead comes off as overprocessed pap. Grace Jones, seen above mock-strangling one Arnold Schwarzenegger on the set of Conan the Destroyer, is frighteningly cool. Or maybe she's just frightening. Whatever. GRACE JONES WAS PART OF THE CONAN MACHINE. That is hard to best. Score one for Jones for looking freaking terrifying even when she's horsing around.

I jumped on the Lady Gaga bandwagon at the beginning. I drank her metaphorical kool-aid. I loved her ridiculous fashion. I found her endearing with her emotional shout out to her "little monsters" when she was on Oprah.

Over time, though, something has started to ring false. Her supposed originality is beginning to feel kind of old, and originality shouldn't feel old after only a couple of years. True originality holds up over time, and we should be able to look back and say "She was one of a kind." I don't know anymore if that is how Lady Gaga's future as a public figure is going to pan out.

Artists have their forebearers, the ones to whom they looked when their fledgling craft had yet to break out into the light of day. As such, obvious comparisons can be made between Lady Gaga and a number of musical artists, including Madonna and Cher, but really good artists use what they've learned as a foundation to springboard into new territory, and I no longer buy that that is what Lady Gaga is doing.

Maybe I'm jaded. Maybe I'm bored. Maybe my taste is questionable. Still, though, all that aside, Grace Jones has seen the similarities herself, and she's not all that crazy about it. In response to an invitation to work with Gaga, Jones said: "I'd just prefer to work with someone who is more original and someone who is not copying me." You said it, Grace.

In summation, GRACE JONES' TERRIFYING FIERCENESS KICKS LADY GAGA'S KITSCHY WHITE ASS, (even if Grace Jones' recent attempt at a comeback in her sixties has been lukewarm at best).

Lady Gaga - 0, Grace Jones - 5.

And now for some classic Grace Jones à la 1980:

 Grace Jones - Warm Leatherette .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine
(The above song is best listened to while under the influence. Not that I'm saying you should be under the influence. Are you under the influence? Never mind. That's probably none of my business.)

Oh, and also this:

. . . . .
Schmutzie hates having her idols knocked off their pedestals.

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You forgot parameter #6: Who's capable of playing a legitimately intimidating James Bond supervillain? Grace Jones: Been there, done that. Gaga: Not bloody likely.


If you weren't making your case before it (which I think you were), you had me at "GRACE JONES WAS PART OF THE CONAN MACHINE."

Because really - what is cooler than CONAN!!! Nothing! (Except Grace Jones strangling Conan!)


Mark Dery has a great takedown of Lady Gaga on Trueslant: http://trueslant.com/markdery/2010/04/20/aladdin-sane-called-he-wants-his-lightning-bolt-back-on-lady-gaga/
He mentions Grace Jones in passing as a superior musician.

Washington "Violets For Her Furs" Cube

I saw Grace open for Prince once. WHAT a show. She towered over him. They had to drop the mic a lot once she was done. I wore a vintage mink over my shoulders that had the gays swooning. What a night. Gaga can be amusing...at times... but I'm solidly in Camp Grace.

Suzy Q

Jones was also super-fucking cool as a vampire in the 1986 horror classic "Vamp," which I may be the only person to ever have seen.


LOVE this post. I could never put my finger on exactly what has bothered me about Gaga all this time- I just knew that I couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about. Thanks for helping me to see the light. Grace Jones is a *true* original.


Grace Jones is my fucking hero, and Lady Gaga can suck it.

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