Gregory Isaacs

Love Is Overdue

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This is the second of the Heartbeat label's releases featuring Gregory Isaacs' mid- to late-'70s work with producer Alvin Ranglin (the other three are My Number One, The Best of Gregory Isaacs, Vol. 1, and The Best of Gregory Isaacs, Vol. 2, with the latter pair since repackaged as a single disc). It's been unnecessarily remixed from the original recordings, and is thus a rather more dubious project than its predecessor, My Number One. Apparently the previous release was aimed more at collectors, and was thus left untouched, while this one was seen as having more widespread appeal, and thus remixed to give it a more modern sound. Regardless of the fixing of what ain't broke, collectors are still going to be drawn by the sublime extended mix of "How Long," plus a previously unreleased version of this same song. The title track and "Financial Endorsement" both appear in their extended forms, and boast absolutely stunning toasts by the legendary U-Roy. Isaacs was swiftly dubbed the Cool Ruler, but in these early days he was far removed from that later smooth operator, and this album is filled with tracks that overflow with emotions. The passionate heartbreak of "If You're in Love," the powerful and soulful delivery on "Far Beyond," and the exuberance of "The Way She Walks" are just some of the notable performances found within, all of which are accompanied by the equally accomplished Soul Syndicate Band. A magnificent album that deserved to remain untouched.

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