October 25, 2010

For most, few words are better apt to describe Gregory Isaacs’ on-record personality than “The lonely Lover”. Despite a career spanning 30 years and containing classic Roots material on par with the masters, Isaacs will first and foremost be remembered as a loverman and a singer of unparalleled romance. Whether backed by the dusty dubs of the 70’s or the squeaky clean digital production of his biggest hit “Night Nurse” (recently referenced by the Lonely Island), Isaacs had the uncanny ability to squeeze every bit of emotion out of a song without ever falling prey to maudlin sentimentality. One of the rare singers able to weather the dancehall revolution untouched, Isaacs released a staggering 500 albums (by conservative estimates) over the course of his 30 year career, practically living and breathing music.

His death today due to liver cancer is a sad, but sadly not shocking one as we continue to lose soul and reggae singers far too quickly. Mixes and retrospectives will be posted in the sidebar as the inevitable tributes pour in, for now let’s remember a man with the rare talent to vocalize the pain and joy of love all in one note. –Sach O

MP3: Gregory Isaacs – Night Nurse
MP3: Gregory Isaacs – Bad Da (via Madlib’s Blunted in the Bombshelter)

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