The Winner: The Roots of Gregory Isaacs

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Like his immediate predecessors Alton Ellis and John Holt, Gregory Isaacs is most famous for his way with a love song, and if that alone was all he did, he would still be considered one of Jamaica's greatest pop singers, but in his four-decade-long career, Isaacs has done a lot more than just sing love songs. A quick look at his extensive discography reveals an astute songwriter who has tackled issue songs dealing with poverty, war, Jamaican and world politics, and all manner of spiritual and Rasta-related matters as well. Then there is his Jamaican image, where he is the virtual template for the original Kingston rude boy, and his frequent arrests and jail stays have ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Like his immediate predecessors Alton Ellis and John Holt, Gregory Isaacs is most famous for his way with a love song, and if that alone was all he did, he would still be considered one of Jamaica's greatest pop singers, but in his four-decade-long career, Isaacs has done a lot more than just sing love songs. A quick look at his extensive discography reveals an astute songwriter who has tackled issue songs dealing with poverty, war, Jamaican and world politics, and all manner of spiritual and Rasta-related matters as well. Then there is his Jamaican image, where he is the virtual template for the original Kingston rude boy, and his frequent arrests and jail stays have given him a street cred that informs and gives immediacy to even his sweetest love songs. Isaacs' peak years internationally came in the late '70s and early '80s, when he was signed and distributed by large labels like Island Records, but he had been a star in Jamaica for close to a decade before then, and as shown by this collection of his early tracks recorded between 1968 and 1978, he was truly something special from the start. Included here are his self-written, self-produced, and self-released first single, "Another Heartache," from 1968 a recut done with producer Alvin Ranglin in 1974 is also included; the Rupie Edwards-produced "Don't Let Me Suffer" from a year later when Isaacs was a member of the harmony group the Concords; the solo "Grow Closer Together," also done with Edwards, from 1971; a wonderful and vigorous version of the Silvertones' "Smile" from 1977; and the poignant and haunting "Motherless Children," done with the ace rhythm team of Sly & Robbie, from 1978. Energetic, varied, inventive, and frequently edgy, this set of early Jamaican singles will be revelatory for those only familiar with Isaacs' later and better-known lovers rock material.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/8/2009
  • Label: Ume Imports
  • EAN: 5050159935826
  • Catalog Number: 358

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Another Heartbreak (2:46)
  2. 2 Don't Let Me Suffer - The Concords (3:34)
  3. 3 Buttoo - The Concords (2:02)
  4. 4 Too Late (2:46)
  5. 5 Grow Closer Together (2:28)
  6. 6 Set Back (2:22)
  7. 7 While There Is Life (2:22)
  8. 8 Be Careful (2:34)
  9. 9 Another Heartache (2:49)
  10. 10 Happiness Come (2:51)
  11. 11 No Forgiveness (2:23)
  12. 12 Lonely Days (2:58)
  13. 13 Something Nice (3:18)
  14. 14 Dance with Me (2:52)
  15. 15 Don't Believe in Him (2:49)
  16. 16 Village of the Underprivileged (2:59)
  17. 17 Sinner Man (3:03)
  18. 18 Give a Hand (3:00)
  19. 19 Help Us Get Over (2:56)
  20. 20 Beautiful Africa (2:50)
  21. 21 Smile (3:33)
  22. 22 Storm (4:03)
  23. 23 The Winner (3:52)
  24. 24 Motherless Child (6:00)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gregory Isaacs Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Rupie Edwards Producer
David Katz Liner Notes
Gregory Isaacs Composer, Producer
Bunny Lee Producer
Alvin Ranglin Producer
Laurence Cane-Honeysett Creative Coordinator
Anthony Dehaney Composer
Tim Debney Mastering
Sidney "Luddy" Crooks Producer
Winston Sinclair Producer
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