The Sensational Extra Classics consists of tracks recorded by Gregory Isaacs with various producers between 1972 and 1984, and is essentially made up of two albums, The Sensational Gregory Isaacs and Extra Classic, that were originally released by Echo/Vista Sounds in the early '80s. While the music here certainly isn't central to an understanding of Isaacs (the epicenter of his canon remains his classic Night Nurse album), it is remarkably solid stuff, featuring him in a conscious roots mode for the most part, with his signature lovers rock persona toned down considerably. Given that the tracks here are widely random productions from Ossie Hibbert, Rupie Edwards, and Pete Weston, there is a surprising coherence of tone and style, all bound together by Isaacs' cool, easy, and relaxed singing style. One of the best tracks here is the opener, "Mr. Cop," which was recorded at Lee "Scratch" Perry's legendary Black Ark studio (although apparently without any assistance from Perry) and features the signature late-era Black Ark "watery" sound. Other highlights include the intriguing and experimental rhythm track that backs "Rasta Business," the sensitive workingman's ballad "Lonely Man," and "Warriors," which offers intelligent insight into the seemingly inescapable cycle of violence in the Kingston ghettos. Isaacs' calm, gentle voice is a constant throughout this album, and the high percentage of human rights tracks makes this a fine supplemental purchase to Night Nurse. Listeners should be aware that much of what is here has also been issued by Sanctuary/Trojan under the title Reasoning with the Almighty.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett