The hard-hitting Mr Isaacs

By Howard Campbell
Observer writer

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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MR Isaacs, a classic 1977 album by Gregory Isaacs, will be re-released on July 12 by 17 North Parade, a subsidiary of VP Records.

The nine-song set contains several hard-hitting tracks such as Storm, Set The Captive Free, and Slave Master. They feature Isaacs at his militant best.

There are also covers of Smile, originally done by The Silvertones, and The Temptations' Get Ready.

Mr Isaacs was produced and distributed by DEB Records, a company owned by singer Dennis Brown, Isaacs' close friend.

Other songs on it are Sacrifice, Storybook Children, Handcuff and The Winner.

Though songs like All I Have is Love and Love is Overdue announced Isaacs as a soulful balladeer in the mid-1970s, Mr Isaacs is, arguably, his most hard-hitting work.

Within two years of its release, Isaacs became a leading figure in the growing lovers 'rock movement, with radio-friendly hits such as Tune In and Soon Forward.

They set the pace for his “Cool Ruler” era of the 1980s, when Isaacs released a series of ballads including Private Secretary and Night Nurse.

Isaacs died from cancer in October 2010 in London at age 59.

Established in 2007, 17 North Parade distributes albums mainly from VP Records' catalogue. It has released scores of outstanding titles by Dennis Brown, Culture, Jacob Miller, Freddie McGregor, The Congos and Harold Butler.

The company has also reissued albums by producers Joe Gibbs, George Phang and Lloyd “King Jammys” James.

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