Taken from various sessions cut in the late '60s and early '70s, Early Years spotlights the emerging talent of one of reggae's soon-to-be biggest stars. While Isaacs newcomers might want to start with later classics like the Night Nurse and Cool Ruler albums, those already in the mix will find much to enjoy on this "Trojan" roundup. Isaacs wrote all but one of the songs here (a cover of Dobby Dobson's "Loving Pauper"), and his sultry and seductive voice is heard coming into its own. This is especially true on such Romeo-sighing gems as "Lonely Lover" and "Love Is Overdue." Reflecting his later m.o., Isaacs balances those romantic concerns with several rootsy cultural sides. Topped off with fine production work by Alvin Ranglin, Niney the Observer, and Sydney Crooks, this sampler of some of the "Lonely Lover's" first sides makes for excellent vintage reggae listening.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook