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Gregory Isaacs:

"I know that one fine day, the table's gonna turn my way..."-- Gregory Isaacs, "One One Cocoa"

Gregory Isaacs is unstoppable. At a time when his lengthy career could reasonably be expected toslow down, he has elevated himself once more right to the top of the tree, being numbered amongthe greatest of contemporary Jamaican vocalists.

As a ghetto youth growing up in West Kingston in the Sixties the prospects for him seemed slim;the reggae business offering the only way out. His aching tones duly appeared on his debutrecording of 1969 entitled "Another Heartache," and soon after he joined a trio called theConcords, which failed to stir public interest despite two fine releases.

Work with percussionist Sticky Thompson brought him finally to the attention of Lee Perry, andGregory and Sticky cut "You Are My Sunshine" for him in 1971, followed by an Isaacs solo outing "ALittle Bit Lighter," generally credited as his first roots protest song. With Prince Buster he cut"Dancing Floor" and then moved on to his own African Museum label, originally begun in partnerwith fellow singer Errol Dunkley. Two self-produced hits ensued, "Look Before You Leap" and "MyOnly Lover."

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

Gregory Isaacs
Gregory Isaacs

"One One Cocoa" and "All I Have Is Love" from 1973 summed up his stance and gave him a femalefollowing that has not deserted him to this day. 1974 brought a series of massive hits for the GG'slabel; "Innocent People Cry," "Love is Overdue" and "Don't Go." 1975 produced "Bad Da" for NineyThe Observer and the self-productions "Warriors," "My Religion" and "Babylon Too Rough," all amile removed from the love songs with which he had made his name.It seemed certain the law would put him away one way or another. Hardly a month went bywithout news of some attempted bust or rumour regarding his private life. Nothing stuck. Gregorymay as well have been Teflon coated.

1976 and 1977 delivered the "All I Have Is Love" album and hits "Mr Cop" (co-produced by Isaacsand Perry), "Extra Classic," "Rasta Business," "Black A Kill Black," "Slave Master," "Promise," andmany other hits. In 1978 Virgin put out the "Cool Ruler" LP and followed it with "Soon Forward." Ashowcase LP for Sly and Roppie's Taxi label scored heavily, as did a memorable cameo in the film"Rockers." The inevitable arrival of Island Records came in 1982 with the massive hit "Night Nurse"and an album of the same title. In 1988 Gregory made waves with the groundbreaking "Rumours,"which spawned versions from the likes of JC Lodge, Daddy Freddy and KRS1.

His two latest albums "Absent" and "Unlocked" consolidate his elevated position. He is eternallythe Lonely Lover, the Cool Ruler.

Artist Biography courtesy of GREENSLEEVES RECORDS

 

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