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Gregory Isaacs: The Cool Ruler of Reggae Music
If you are a fan of reggae music, you have probably heard of Gregory Isaacs, one of the most influential and prolific singers in the genre. Known as the Cool Ruler, he sang hundreds of Jamaican dancehall classics like "Night Nurse", "My Only Lover", "Love Is Overdue" and more. He also appeared on more than 500 albums, both as a solo artist and as a guest vocalist. His smooth, soulful voice and romantic lyrics earned him a loyal following around the world, especially in Britain, Africa, and the United States. In this article, we will explore the life and career of Gregory Isaacs, as well as show you how to download his songs for free.
Early Career: From Talent Shows to African Museum
Gregory Anthony Isaacs was born in Kingston, Jamaica on July 15, 1951. He grew up in a poor neighborhood called Fletcher's Land, where he was exposed to various musical influences, such as mento, calypso, ska, rocksteady, R&B, and soul. He started singing at a young age, participating in talent shows and contests that were common in Jamaica at the time. He made his recording debut in 1968 as Winston Sinclair, with the single "Another Heartache", produced by Byron Lee. However, the song did not sell well, and Isaacs decided to form a vocal trio called the Concords with two friends. They recorded several singles for different producers, but none of them were successful either.
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In 1970, the Concords broke up, and Isaacs pursued a solo career. He began producing his own songs, as well as recording for other producers to finance his projects. He had his first hit in 1973 with "My Only Lover", which is considered to be the first lovers rock song ever made. Lovers rock is a subgenre of reggae that focuses on romantic themes and soft melodies. Around the same time, he also teamed up with another singer, Errol Dunkley, to start their own record label and shop called African Museum. The label became a platform for Isaacs to release his own music, as well as to promote other artists. Some of his early hits on African Museum include "All I Have Is Love", "Lonely Soldier", "Black a Kill Black", "Extra Classic" and his cover version of Dobby Dobson's "Loving Pauper".
International Success: From Front Line to Island Records
By the mid-1970s, Gregory Isaacs was one of the most popular reggae singers in Jamaica, as well as in other countries where reggae was gaining. popularity, such as Britain, where he had a large fan base among the Caribbean immigrants. He signed with Virgin Records' subsidiary label Front Line in 1976, and released two albums, Mr. Isaacs and Cool Ruler, which showcased his versatile style, ranging from roots reggae to lovers rock. He also collaborated with other prominent reggae artists, such as Dennis Brown, Junior Byles, and the Mighty Diamonds. In 1978, he moved to Island Records, another major label that had signed Bob Marley and other reggae stars. He released two more albums, Soon Forward and Lonely Lover, which featured some of his biggest hits, such as "Soon Forward", "Tune In", "If I Don't Have You" and "Night Nurse". The latter song became his signature tune and an international anthem of lovers rock.
Lovers Rock: The Romantic Side of Gregory Isaacs
Although Gregory Isaacs sang about various topics, such as social issues, politics, religion, and personal struggles, he was best known for his love songs. He was one of the pioneers of lovers rock, a subgenre of reggae that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Britain. Lovers rock combined the smooth vocals and romantic lyrics of soul music with the rhythmic beats and bass lines of reggae music. It appealed to both male and female audiences, especially young people who wanted to dance and express their emotions. Isaacs was one of the most successful and influential artists in lovers rock, as he had a unique ability to convey passion, tenderness, sorrow, and joy with his voice. Some of his most famous lovers rock songs include "My Only Lover", "Love Is Overdue", "Number One", "Private Secretary", "Top Ten", "Red Rose for Gregory" and "Rumours".
Legal Troubles: The Downfall of the Cool Ruler
Despite his musical achievements and popularity, Gregory Isaacs had a dark side that threatened to ruin his career and life. He was addicted to cocaine since the late 1970s, and this affected his health, appearance, voice, and performance. He also got involved in several legal troubles, such as possession of firearms, robbery, fraud, and drug trafficking. He was arrested and convicted several times, and spent periods in jail or under house arrest. His drug habit also cost him a lot of money, and he had to sell some of his properties and assets to pay for his debts and fines. His reputation suffered as well, as he was seen as unreliable and unprofessional by some promoters, producers, and fans. He also lost some of his contracts with major labels, and had to record for smaller or independent labels.
Comeback and Legacy: The Last Years of Gregory Isaacs
Despite his problems, Gregory Isaacs never gave up on music. He continued to record and perform until his death in 2010. He also tried to overcome his drug addiction and to improve his lifestyle. He sought help from rehabilitation centers and spiritual counselors. He also became more involved in charitable causes, such as supporting orphanages, schools, and hospitals in Jamaica and Africa. He made a comeback in the late 1980s and early 1990s with albums like Red Rose for Gregory (1988), Private Beach Party (1989), Set Me Free (1991) and Pardon Me (1992). He also collaborated with other artists from different genres, such as Simply Red, Jools Holland, Beres Hammond, Lady Saw, Sizzla, Luciano, Macka B and Shaggy. He also received several awards and honors, such as the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican government, the Reggae Ambassador Award from the Reggae Academy, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Reggae and World Music Awards. He died on October 25, 2010, at the age of 59, from lung cancer. He was mourned by his family, friends, fans, and fellow musicians. He left behind a legacy of timeless music that continues to inspire and entertain people all over the world.
How to Download Gregory Isaacs' Songs for Free
If you want to enjoy Gregory Isaacs' music on your computer, phone, or other devices, you might be wondering how to download his songs for free. There are many websites that offer free MP3 downloads of reggae music, but not all of them are legal or safe. Some of them might contain viruses, malware, or spyware that can harm your device or steal your personal information. Some of them might also violate the copyright laws and the rights of the artists and producers. Therefore, you should be careful and selective when choosing a website to download free music from. Here are some of the best and most reliable websites that offer free and legal MP3 downloads of Gregory Isaacs' songs:
SoundCloud is one of the most popular and widely used platforms for streaming and downloading music online. It has millions of songs from various genres, artists, and labels, including reggae and Gregory Isaacs. You can find many of his songs on SoundCloud, both official and unofficial versions, remixes, covers, and live recordings. To download a song from SoundCloud, you need to look for a download button below the track. However, not all tracks have a download button, as some artists or labels might disable it for various reasons. If there is no download button, you can still stream the song online or use a third-party tool or website to download it.
Last.fm is another popular and reputable website for streaming and downloading music online. It has a large collection of songs from various genres, artists, and labels, including reggae and Gregory Isaacs. You can find many of his songs on Last.fm, both official and unofficial versions, remixes, covers, and live recordings. To download a song from Last.fm, you need to look for a download button below the track. However, not all tracks have a download button, as some artists or labels might disable it for various reasons. If there is no download button, you can still stream the song online or use a third-party tool or website to download it.
Noisetrade is a website that allows artists to share their music with fans for free in exchange for their email address and postal code. It has thousands of songs from various genres, artists, and labels, including reggae and Gregory Isaacs. You can find some of his songs on Noisetrade, mostly official versions from his albums or compilations. To download a song from Noisetrade, you need to enter your email address and postal code in the form below the track. Then you will receive a link to download the song in your email inbox. You can also tip the artist if you want to support them.
Jamendo Music is a website that offers free music downloads under Creative Commons licenses. It has over 600,000 tracks from various genres, artists, and labels, including reggae and Gregory Isaacs. You can find some of his songs on Jamendo Music, mostly official versions from his albums or compilations. To download a song from Jamendo Music, you need to click on the download button below the track. Then you will be asked to choose a license type, either personal or commercial. If you choose personal, you can download the song for free and use it for non-commercial purposes. If you choose commercial, you will have to pay a fee and get a license to use the song for commercial purposes.
Bandcamp is a website that allows artists to sell their music directly to fans. It has millions of songs from various genres, artists, and labels, including reggae and Gregory Isaacs. You can find many of his songs on Bandcamp, both official and unofficial versions, remixes, covers, and live recordings. To download a song from Bandcamp, you need to click on the buy button below the track. Then you will be asked to name your price, which can be anything from zero to whatever you want. If you enter zero, you can download the song for free. However, you can also choose to pay more if you want to support the artist.
Gregory Isaacs was one of the greatest reggae singers of all time. He had a long and successful career that spanned over four decades and produced hundreds of songs that touched millions of people around the world. He was also one of the pioneers of lovers rock, a subgenre of reggae that blended soulful vocals and romantic lyrics with reggae rhythms and bass lines. He faced many challenges and difficulties in his life, such as drug addiction and legal troubles, but he never gave up on his music and his fans. He died in 2010 from lung cancer, but his legacy lives on through his timeless music.
If you want to listen to Gregory Isaacs' songs on your devices, you can download them for free from various websites that offer legal and safe MP3 downloads of reggae music. Some of the best websites are SoundCloud, Last.fm, Noisetrade, Jamendo Music, and Bandcamp. You can find many of his songs on these websites, both official and unofficial versions, remixes, covers, and live recordings. You can also stream them online or use third-party tools or websites to download them. However, you should always respect the rights of the artists and producers and support them if you can.
We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about Gregory Isaacs and his music. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And don't forget to share this article with your friends and family who love reggae music.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions and answers about Gregory Isaacs and his music:
Q: What was Gregory Isaacs' real name?
A: Gregory Isaacs' real name was Gregory Anthony Isaacs.
Q: When and where was Gregory Isaacs born?
A: Gregory Isaacs was born on July 15, 1951 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Q: What was Gregory Isaacs' nickname?
A: Gregory Isaacs' nickname was the Cool Ruler.
Q: What was Gregory Isaacs' most famous song?
A: Gregory Isaacs' most famous song was "Night Nurse".
Q: When and how did Gregory Isaacs die?
A: Gregory Isaacs died on October 25, 2010 from lung cancer.