Gregory Isaacs

Let Off Supm

Song Review by

The pressure's getting brutal on this tough number, as Gregory Isaacs is approached by a beggar, who pleads with him to "Let Off Supm" on this potent sufferer's song from 1985.

Producer Gussie Clarke created a taut and tough rhythm that superbly dovetails with the singer's own times are tough theme. It's a incendiary rhythm guaranteed to burn down the dancehalls, the drums crash and boom across the grooves, while the bass thumps heavily along, but the arrangement melds in lusher elements, sweet backing harmonies, pretty pianos riffs, and a sparkling synth that takes its cue from the contemporary disco scene.

But as effervescent as segments of the arrangement are, at its core, its a heavy hitting number, and Isaacs strong delivery insures that the uncomfortable pressure doesn't let up, and a powerful reminder that in the midst of the money grabbing festivities that were the Eighties, millions were falling into poverty, hunger and homelessness.

This was the solo take of the song, there's also a version from this period that paired the singer with Dennis Brown, which was a hit as massive as one would expect. But in retrospect, Isaacs shines brighter here on his own.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Private Beach Party 1985 Greensleeves Records 4:43
RAS Portraits 1997 RAS Records / Ras 4:41