Best Of…Vols. 1 & 2
It is difficult to condense a career spanning twenty plus years, yet Heartbeat does a commendable job of encapsulating the works of venerable reggae icon Gregory Isaacs. The two CD set was taken from recordings made with producer Alvin “G.G.” Ranglin.
While twenty songs only scratch the surface of material released by Isaacs, there have been periods where his music was released at such a pace that the results weren’t always stellar. Here we have no filler, simply classics like the swaying “Willow Tree” and the smoothness of “My Number One.” “Border,” “Breaking Up,” and “Tumbling Tears” all reflect the soothing vocal style of Isaacs that has made him one of the most recognized figures in reggae.
Also a force in Isaacs’ career is the background musicians who provide the beat and rhythms. Names like Sly and Robbie, Dean Fraser, and Scully have lent their talents over the years, but ultimately, it is Issacs who gives each song its soul.
This greatest hits compilation is an essential to any reggae collection. Let the voice of the “Cool Ruler” take hold and enjoy the vibe.
Heartbeat Records, One Camp Street, Cambridge, MA 02140, www.rounder.com/heartbeat