It comes with teary eyes to report the passing of the legendary Gregory Isaacs. His career spanned more than four decades and was loaded with hits that dominated the soundwaves of Jamaica. While Bob Marley was the king of Reggae internationally, it was Isaacs and Dennis Brown who truly ruled the sound on the island. An unmistakable vocal style and a smoothness that few possessed, the treasure that is recordings by The Cool Ruler will never be forgotten by many including yours truly.
Just last night that I was spinning some vibes and chilling out on a Sunday evening. Tossed one of my favorite tunes of his, “Sacrifice” off the Mr. Isaacs set from 1978, on the platter. To nice up the dance and keep that sweet melody flowin’, I dropped Ronnie Davis’ heavy version titled “Inna Dis Ya Time”, a 45 on Blackbeard’s Mr. Tipsy label. Both are included below to delight your ears.
Below is my favorite shot of the man taken by Beth Lesser. He’s in front of his African Museum store on Chancery Lane, Kingston. F’n love the slackness of his style. For many years now, I’ve wanted to rock my belt in the same fashion as him, but figured 100% of the people I’d meet on the streets would just give me strange looks and totally not get my inspiration.
Beautiful vibes featured above. There are literally thousands more cuts that you can dig through in his catalog. Should you need a start, I recommend the â€œMr. Know It Allâ€ 12â€³ recorded for D.E.B. Music in 1978. The cut is an extension of his Mr. Isaacs sessions where Ossie Hibbert was at the controls. The flipside showcases the dub treatment by Ossie Hibbert & The Revolutionaries titled â€œWar of the Starsâ€. Mighty vibes!
Quite coincidental that he was featured, alongside Augustus Pablo, on the cover of the latest issue of Wax Poetics. Already looked like a collector’s item to me, but I suppose it is probably more so now. Pick up a copy here.
Long Live the Cool Ruler!