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Scotch Bonnet UK
Artist Profile
Gregory Isaacs
Jul 15, 1950 ~ Oct 25, 2010
The ‘Cool Ruler’ ran things for much of the late 1970’s delivering fine Loverman songs and equally impressive Reality & Rasta Tunes. Today he is the great survivor who is loved for his fierce independence.
>>Featured Page
Real name:
Gregory Anthony Isaacs
Place of birth:
Jamaica
Kingston
Fletcher Land
Gregory Isaacs began as part of the Concords who recorded a handful of sides for Rupie Edwards' Success label he began to record as a solo artist in 1970 & 1971. After one track each for Prince Buster ('Dancing Floor') and for Glen Brown (the sublime 'One One Coco') Gregory set up the African Museum imprint with his brethren Errol Dunkley and delivered two great tracks in the shape of 'Look Before You Leap' and 'My Only Lover'. But by 1972 he begun doing the rounds of Kingston's studio as a voice for hire – and with Gregory you always got more than a voice. Over the next two years he voiced for Randys, Gussie Clark, Lloyd Campbell and especially Alvin 'GG' Ranglin who captured Gregory's plaintive tenor on cuts like 'Sweeter the Victory'.

1975 was the year that The Rasta faith of the Ghetto's of Kingston became the driving force in reggae and it was the year that Gregory Isaacs released a series of sublime tracks, often self-produced. Such as 'Beautiful Africa', 'Something Nice' and a brace of tunes for Niney, 'Bad Da' & 'Rock On', all served to add to his growing stature in Kingston. Even today the Horns cut of Rock On on disco 45 fetches serious money in auctions. Gregory had his own African Museum shop in Idlers Rest, and he even produced a few other ghetto artists for his label.

The following year saw his own African Museum imprint return to the fore with tracks that took Gregory to the top of the JA & UK reggae worlds. 'Rasta Business', 'Black A Kill Black', 'Warrior' and 'Extra Classic' saw Gregory as both the smooth lover and the cool brethren on the street whom no one got the best of. This dual persona won him legions of female and male fans who loved him all the more live as he could deliver both a fabulous voice and a powerful persona.

Three tunes in 1977: 'Set The Captives Free', 'Mister Cop' (cut at the Black Ark) and 'Slave Master' (for Lloyd Campbell) raised the bar as Gregory really found his groove. Gregory's music moved to the new 12" Disco 45 format with huge success from 1977 onwards when he had a string of Reggae hits with productions from Alvin 'GG' Ranglin(Alvin Ranglin), ('Chunnie You Are My Number One' & 'The Border') Lloyd Campbell ('Mr Know It All' & and Sly & Robbie ('Soon Forward' and 'Motherless Children').

It wasn't long before this degree of popularity attracted record company interest from the UK where Virgin records had begun investing in Reggae on its 'Frontline' imprint. Virgin issued JA productions from Gregory & Sly & Robbie and the albums 'Soon Forward' and 'Cool Ruler' achieved strong cross-over sales, with 'Cool Ruler' becoming Gregory's moniker, as it captured his persona so well.

Gregory then signed up with the UK 'Pre' label and issued the African Museum albums 'Lonely Lover' and 'More Gregory' which cemented his position as No1 Lover Man. In true Gregory style Disco's and singles emerged from various other links with JA producers including the fine 'Sunday Morning' with Bunny Wailer at the controls.

It was Island that then took on Gregory and worked to create a sound that would cross over and employed Paul 'Groucho' Smykle to mix down the Tuff Gong cut tracks. The keyboard playing of Wally Bardou also added to the mainstream appeal of Gregory's music. Tracks like 'Night Nurse' and 'Cool Down The Pace' became cross-over hits in London but his records old hardly at all outside the M25. Gregory's profile would never be higher: He was the cool ghetto crooner: he wore wonderfully tailored suits, elegant hats and flowing locks that had the women screaming and the guys respectful. He was a star for a new generation of British born West Indians and for a newly internationally successful JA music business.

It was once said that Gregory always remained 'resolutely feral' – meaning he was always his own man and won't be controlled by anyone, so it was no surprise when his 'rude boy' lifestyle caught up with him and he served time in Kingston's General Penitentiary on a drugs charge. His 'Out Deh!' album on Island proved to be his last with the label and once again he struck out without a major UK deal.

A pattern of voicing for any producer - with the right amount of Dollar - saw floods of Gregory Tunes hitting the market throughout the decade. He cuts tunes for Jammys, Steely & Clevie & Bobby Digital(Bobby Dixon). 1985 saw his last big, almost cross over hit, when his 'Rumours' Disco for Augustus Gussie Clarke delivered a new Hi-Tech digital sound that marked the start of a whole new direction for reggae. UK imprint Acid Jazz tried to tame Gregory and achieve cross-over status but once again it was not to be.

Isaacs would never be at the forefront again but has continued to record tunes, even as his drug problems meant his voice became rather thin and nasally – his nose was in trouble and his teeth gone. He recorded for a never ending series of producers as his close relationships with drugs took hold. Remarkably he managed to not only deliver some great vocals from time to time but also to stay alive!

He died at his London home on 25th Oct 2010. Gregory had been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and continued performing until weeks before his death. He was at the age of 59.
 
Related artist(s):
Errol Dunkley
Dennis Brown
Freddie McGregor
Label Profile
VP Records
1979 ~
>>Show additional info
 
Hit title(s)
CD Too Experienced: Best Of Barrington Levy (Time One Productions) - VP US
¥2180
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CD Terry Linen - VP US
¥2280
No Stock
CD Can't Stop A Man: Ultimate Collection (2 CD) - VP US
¥3800
No Stock
CD Reggae Anthology: Music Is The Rod (2 CD) - VP US
¥4400
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CD Riddim Driven: Wipe Out - VP US
¥2180
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CD On My Mind - VP US
¥2080
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CD True Reflections - VP US
¥1980
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CD Riddim Driven: Guardian Angel - VP US
¥2180
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CD Reggae Anthology: The Sweet Sound Of Cocoa Tea (2 CD) - VP US
¥3880
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CD Reggae Anthology: Limb By Limb (2 CD) - VP US
¥3680
No Stock
CD Greatest Hits: Don't Stay Out Late 1962-1966 - VP US
¥2680
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CD Reggae Anthology: Randy's 50th Anniversary (2 CD + 1 DVD) - VP US
¥4280
No Stock
LP Greatest Hits: Don't Stay Out Late 1962-1966 - VP US
¥2880
No Stock
LP Skatalites & Friends At Randy's - VP US
¥2880
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LP One Man Against The World: Best Of Gregory Isaacs - VP US
¥2180
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LP Mr. Budy Bye (Jammys Productions) - VP US
¥2180
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LP Too Experienced: Best Of Barrington Levy (Time One Productions) - VP US
¥2380
No Stock
LP Anthology - VP US
¥1680
No Stock
LP Chapter A Day: Song Book (2 LP) - VP US
¥4680
No Stock
LP My Crew, My Dawgs - VP US
¥1880
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LP Riddim Driven: Buy Out - VP US
¥2880
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LP Joy Ride Rhythm (Mad House Productions) - VP US
¥2880
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LP Love & Hate: Best Of Dennis Brown (1972-1984) - VP US
¥2480
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LP Can't Stop A Man: Ultimate Collection (3 Lp) - VP US
¥4800
No Stock
LP Parables - VP US
¥2480
No Stock
LP Terry Linen - VP US
¥1980
No Stock
vinyl 12" True Love - VP US
¥1380
No Stock
vinyl 12" Money To Burn; Gimmi Di Music - VP US
¥1240
No Stock
vinyl 12" Everyone Falls In Love (Straight Mix, Dub Mix) - VP US
¥1240
No Stock
vinyl 12" Bonafide Girl - VP US
¥1240
No Stock
vinyl 7" By His Deeds - VP US
¥840
No Stock
vinyl 7" Give It To Her - VP US
¥840
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vinyl 7" Keep It Blazing - VP US
¥840
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vinyl 7" No Letting Go Remix - VP US
¥840
No Stock
vinyl 7" Girls Gungo Walk - VP US
¥840
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vinyl 7" So Fine - VP US
¥840
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vinyl 7" Your Smile - VP US
¥840
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vinyl 7" It's A Pity - VP US
¥980
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vinyl 7" Bun Bad Mind - VP US/Stone Love
¥980
No Stock
vinyl 7" Footprints - VP US
¥840
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vinyl 7" These Streets - VP US
¥840
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vinyl 7" Stay Close (Off Center) - VP US
¥840
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>>Best seller(s)
 
Hit series
Riddim Driven
Strictly The Best
Reggae Gold
Reggae Anthology
Soca Gold
Dancehall 101
Soca 101
 
Related label(s):
Randys
Greensleeves
Atlantic
Steely & Clevie
Stone Love
Shocking Vibes
Joe Frasier
Digital B
Def Jam
Penthouse
Artist Index
Label Index
Rhythm Index
Producer Index

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Description of item
[All Items] → [LP] → [Reggae] → [Reggae 1974-1980] → [Gregory Isaacs]
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LP LP
Gregory Isaacs
Ruler: Reggae Anthology
VP US
¥1880 (US$15.45)
Rating: 123
Genre: Reggae
Sub Genre: Reggae 1974-1980
Produced by: Various
Approx. year: 1975-1989
Date added: Nov 1, 2011
Date re-stocked: Sep 24, 2014
Country: USA
Catalog number: VPRL4186
Music type: Vocal
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>>List all items by Artist: Gregory Isaacs
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>>List all items by Producer: Various
14 TRACKS :
1) listen All I Have Is Love
2) listen Do You Ever
3) listen Never Be Ungrateful
4) listen The Sun Shines For Me
5) listen Let's Dance

6) listen Sister Love [extra Special]
7) listen Lonely Soldier
8) listen My Native Woman
9) listen Top Ten
10) listen Set The Captives Free

11) listen Victim
12) listen Premanent Lover
13) listen Let Off Supm
14) listen Too Good To Be True
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Live It To Know It: Self Productions, Protest Songs & Dub Plates 1975-1985 (2 LP) (LP)
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Meditations
Woman Is Like A Shadow (7")
Scandal US
Horace Andy - Mother And Child Reunion (Original Stamper)
Horace Andy
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Studio One
Lloyd Robinson - It Deep (Original Stamper)
Lloyd Robinson
It Deep (Original Stamper) (7")
Studio One
Jim Brown (Jimnastick) - Clippin (Original Stamper)
Jim Brown (Jimnastick)
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Studio One
Ronnie Davis - Lady Love
Ronnie Davis
Lady Love (7")
Gorgon UK
This artist's best seller(s):
Gregory Isaacs - Stick By Me
Gregory Isaacs
Stick By Me (7")
Moodisc US
Gregory Isaacs - Rumours
Gregory Isaacs
Rumours (7")
VP US
Gregory Isaacs - Rumours
Gregory Isaacs
Rumours (12")
Dancehall Classics US
Gregory Isaacs - Ruler
Gregory Isaacs
Ruler (7")
Jammys/Dub Store Records JPN
Gregory Isaacs - Slum In Dub (Colores Vinyl)
Gregory Isaacs
Slum In Dub (Colores Vinyl) (LP)
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This label's best seller(s):
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Romain Virgo
Stay With Me (7")
VP US/Dub Store Records JPN
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Sanchez
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Demarco
Love My Life (7")
VP US
King Jammy, Various - Reggae Anthology: Roots, Reality And Sleng Teng (2 CD + DVD)
King Jammy, Various
Reggae Anthology: Roots, Reality And Sleng Teng (2 CD + DVD) (CD)
VP US
JC Lodge - Telephone Love
JC Lodge
Telephone Love (7")
VP US
This producer's best seller(s):
Magic - Rude Remix Ep (6 Tracks)
Magic
Rude Remix Ep (6 Tracks) (12")
Blank UK
Horace Andy - Best Of Volume 1: Just Say Who
Horace Andy
Best Of Volume 1: Just Say Who (LP)
Clocktower CA
Various - Aloha 'n' Irie: From Sweet Hawaii Nei
Various
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Victor Ent. JPN
Benny Page, Sweetie Irie - Party With You (Original Mix); (Vip Mix) (Picture Sleeve)
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High Culture EU
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Reggae Gold 2015 (CD + Mix CD) (CD)
VP US
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