“In Person” by Gregory Isaacs - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1974Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

“In Person” was the debut album from the 23-year-old, although he was already 6 years in the business by now, and driving his own flash car. Things had really started to happen for the young man in the last couple of years, and his tie-in with producer Alvin Ranglin proved to be very successful commercially and artistically – the Soul Syndicate band could veer effortlessly between the rough and the smooth, as required per song. Gregory was a smoothie like Ken Boothe or John Holt, but wrote all of his own material. All 12 here are from his own pen, including his huge Jamaican No.1 hit of the year, “Love Overdue”. Lovers rock is the general play, although Gregory’s soothing croon aids all sorts of sufferation and boderation. The album starts with a powerful opening statement on “Sweeter The Victory”: “The harder the battle will be, the sweeter the victory” – ghetto strugglers stay strong is the message. The big #1 Jamaican smash hit follows and on “Love Is Overdue” Gregory proves that sweetness can be cool. I personally bore witness to the girls of Jamaica still going wild for Gregory singing that one 30 years later! “Financial Endorsement” finds our man empathizing with the strugglers again: “The babies needs milk and their mother wants clothes, the landlord needs his rent and I only got 38 cents”. Vocalist and band seem to plead in unison – it’s very effective. Lovers rock is soon back on the agenda with “Be Careful” advocating monogamy as the key to happiness – don’t lose what you’ve got. The album is not without its’ weak points – in fact my favourite four are the first four. Inexplicably, “If You’re In Love” nosedives into pop balladry hell at the end of side 1 – apparently there was a market for such conservatism within Jamaican society. I could do without that – but I guess he’s playing the game, and his people clearly love him.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:41] 7.5.png Gregory Isaacs - Sweeter The Victory (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
A2 [02:29] 7.3.png Gregory Isaacs - Love Overdue (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
A3 [02:17] 7.0.png Gregory Isaacs - Financial Endorsement (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
A4 [02:31] 6.8.png Gregory Isaacs - Be Careful (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
A5 [02:47] 6.0.png Gregory Isaacs - Another Heart Ache (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
A6 [03:58] 3.3.png Gregory Isaacs - If You’re In Love (Gregory Isaacs) Pop Ballad
B1 [02:28] 5.0.png Gregory Isaacs - Dreams Come True (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
B2 [02:19] 5.4.png Gregory Isaacs - The Way She Walks (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
B3 [02:59] 6.0.png Gregory Isaacs - Far Beyond The Valley (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
B4 [02:51] 6.4.png Gregory Isaacs - Happiness Come (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
B5 [02:20] 5.8.png Gregory Isaacs - No Forgiveness (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
B6 [02:48] 5.3.png Gregory Isaacs - Love Disguise (Gregory Isaacs) Reggae
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