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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 Greatest Hits: Don't Stay Out Late 1962-1966 - VP US
¥2080
No Stock
CD Too Experienced: Best Of Barrington Levy (Time One Productions) - VP US
¥2180
No Stock
CD Terry Linen - VP US
¥2180
No Stock
CD Can't Stop A Man: Ultimate Collection (2 CD) - VP US
¥3100
No Stock
CD Reggae Anthology: Music Is The Rod (2 CD) - VP US
¥3300
No Stock
CD Riddim Driven: Wipe Out - VP US
¥2180
No Stock
CD On My Mind - VP US
¥2180
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CD True Reflections - VP US
¥1980
No Stock
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
¥2980
No Stock
CD Reggae Anthology: Limb By Limb (2 CD) - VP US
¥2880
No Stock
CD Reggae Anthology: Randy's 50th Anniversary (2 CD + 1 DVD) - VP US
¥3080
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LP Greatest Hits: Don't Stay Out Late 1962-1966 - VP US
¥1780
No Stock
LP Skatalites & Friends At Randy's - VP US
¥1680
No Stock
LP One Man Against The World: Best Of Gregory Isaacs - VP US
¥1680
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LP Mr. Budy Bye (Jammys Productions) - VP US
¥1980
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LP Too Experienced: Best Of Barrington Levy (Time One Productions) - VP US
¥1780
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LP Anthology - VP US
¥1680
No Stock
LP Chapter A Day: Song Book (2 LP) - VP US
¥2800
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LP My Crew, My Dawgs - VP US
¥1980
No Stock
LP Riddim Driven: Buy Out - VP US
¥1680
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LP Joy Ride Rhythm (Mad House Productions) - VP US
¥1880
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LP Love & Hate: Best Of Dennis Brown (1972-1984) - VP US
¥1780
No Stock
LP Can't Stop A Man: Ultimate Collection (3 Lp) - VP US
¥3880
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LP Parables - VP US
¥1890
No Stock
LP Terry Linen - VP US
¥1980
No Stock
vinyl 12" True Love - VP US
¥1380
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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
¥600
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vinyl 7" Give It To Her - VP US
¥600
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vinyl 7" Keep It Blazing - VP US
¥600
No Stock
vinyl 7" No Letting Go Remix - VP US
¥600
No Stock
vinyl 7" Girls Gungo Walk - VP US
¥399
No Stock
vinyl 7" So Fine - VP US
¥600
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vinyl 7" Your Smile - VP US
¥600
No Stock
vinyl 7" It's A Pity - VP US
¥600
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vinyl 7" Bun Bad Mind - VP US/Stone Love
¥600
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vinyl 7" Footprints - VP US
¥600
No Stock
vinyl 7" These Streets - VP US
¥600
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vinyl 7" Stay Close (Off Center) - VP US
¥600
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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
¥1980 (US$19.31)
Rating: 123
Genre: Reggae
Sub Genre: Reggae 1974-1980
Produced by: Various
Approx. year: 1975-1989
Date added: Nov 1, 2011
Date re-stocked: Nov 10, 2011
Country: USA
Catalog number: VPRL4186
Music type: Vocal
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>>List all items by Artist: Gregory Isaacs
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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
Customers who bought this item also bought:
Beres Hammond - Can't Stop A Man: Ultimate Collection (3 Lp)
Beres Hammond
Can't Stop A Man: Ultimate Collection (3 Lp) (LP)
VP US
Cocoa Tea - Reggae Anthology: The Sweet Sound Of Cocoa Tea (2 LP)
Cocoa Tea
Reggae Anthology: The Sweet Sound Of Cocoa Tea (2 LP) (LP)
VP US
Mr Beats A.KA. DJ Celory, Various - Master Of Bon Voyage Lovers (Mix CD)
Mr Beats A.KA. DJ Celory, Various
Master Of Bon Voyage Lovers (Mix CD) (CD)
Victor Ent. JPN
Mr Williamz - Raggamuffin Icon
Mr Williamz
Raggamuffin Icon (7")
Reggae Toy Box JPN
El Fata, Diegojah - Raggamuffin Love
El Fata, Diegojah
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RED from Rising Sun - Treasure Muzik
RED from Rising Sun
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Ninja Record JPN
RED from Rising Sun - Dance Hall Classics 80's - 90's Volume 2
RED from Rising Sun
Dance Hall Classics 80's - 90's Volume 2
Ninja Record JPN
 
 
 
Best seller(s) in this genre, same format:
Byron Lee, Dragonaires - Reggay International
Byron Lee, Dragonaires
Reggay International (LP)
Dynamic
Various - Nice Up The Dance: Best Of Studio One Disco Mixies
Various
Nice Up The Dance: Best Of Studio One Disco Mixies (LP)
Heartbeat US/Studio One
 
 
 
Best seller(s) in this genre, other formats:
Gladiators - Re Arrange (Original Stamper)
Gladiators
Re Arrange (Original Stamper) (7")
Studio One
Silvertones - Smile
Silvertones
Smile (7")
Studio One
Horace Andy - Illiteracy (Original Stamper)
Horace Andy
Illiteracy (Original Stamper) (7")
Studio One
Roy Graham - Why Should You
Roy Graham
Why Should You (7")
Pressure Sounds UK/Sunshot
Episodes - Blacker Than Black
Episodes
Blacker Than Black (7")
Don One/Bond Export/Deeper Knowledge US
This artist's best seller(s):
Gregory Isaacs, John Holt - Looking Back (Duet)
Gregory Isaacs, John Holt
Looking Back (Duet) (7")
Moodisc US
Gregory Isaacs - Tune In  (Remastered)
Gregory Isaacs
Tune In (Remastered) (7")
African Museum
Gregory Isaacs - Stick By Me
Gregory Isaacs
Stick By Me (7")
Moodisc US
Ed Solo, Deekline, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs - Ragga Muffin
Ed Solo, Deekline, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs
Ragga Muffin (12")
Jungle Cakes UK
Gregory Isaacs - Work Up A Sweat
Gregory Isaacs
Work Up A Sweat (7")
African Museum
This label's best seller(s):
Beres Hammond - I Feel Good
Beres Hammond
I Feel Good (7")
VP US
Da'Ville, Sean Paul - Always On My Mind
Da'Ville, Sean Paul
Always On My Mind (7")
VP US
Augustus Pablo - This Is Augustus Pablo (15 Tracks)
Augustus Pablo
This Is Augustus Pablo (15 Tracks) (LP)
VP US
Morgan Heritage - Return
Morgan Heritage
Return (7")
VP US
Mighty Diamonds - Hypocrite (Dubplate)
Mighty Diamonds
Hypocrite (Dubplate) (7")
Heavy Duty/VP US
This producer's best seller(s):
PART2STYLE SOUND - Bass Station
PART2STYLE SOUND
Bass Station (CD)
Future Ragga/Part2style
Various - Steppin' Forward Part 1 (2 LP)
Various
Steppin' Forward Part 1 (2 LP) (LP)
Moonshine UK
Various - Steppin' Forward Part 2 (2 LP)
Various
Steppin' Forward Part 2 (2 LP) (LP)
Moonshine UK
Various - History Of Blue Beat: The Birth Of Ska B1-bb25 1960 (180 Gram Vinyl) (2 Lp)
Various
History Of Blue Beat: The Birth Of Ska B1-bb25 1960 (180 Gram Vinyl) (2 Lp) (LP)
Not Now Music UK
Various - Island Records Presents: Rock Steady 1967 To 1968: 40 Soulful Classics (2 CD)
Various
Island Records Presents: Rock Steady 1967 To 1968: 40 Soulful Classics (2 CD) (CD)
Spectrum Music UK/Island UK
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