Gregory Isaacs - Slum In Dub - CD Album
Format available : CD & LP
1978 Slum In Dub album re-issued on CD and 180 gram vinyl in its original cover.
Gregory Isaacs, the Cool Ruler, or Lonely Lover, the man with the laconic voice and equally laconic delivery who sings as easily of matters of the heart or earthly horrors is well known to all Jamaican enthusiasts, but few realise that he also sat the other side of the studio glass and was a very proficient producer too.
Gregory Isaacs wrote much of his own work and also produced it, so it shouldn’t be any surprise to find that this dub album consisting of mainly Mr Isaacs’s work was produced by him too. Although the mixing, which is of course the major enjoyment factor of any dub album, was done by a talented protégée of King Tubby; Lloyd ‘Jammy’ James who started out as ‘Prince’ but was promoted to ‘King’ a few years later.
Coupled with the succinct Revolutionaries band and Isaacs quality songwriting, the deconstructed cuts weave and flow like any good quality dub album should with some of the track names giving more than a hint of the original song title such as Public Eyes which was one of the major hits off The Cool Ruler as John Public. The dense Slum originated as Party In The Slum, while the brighter Reform Institution began life as Uncle Joe. Word Of The Farmer becomes Croft and Tam Tam began life as One More Time.
One of Gregory Isaacs’s early hits, Black A Kill Black is translated into Leaving while Leggo Beast using an updated old Studio One rhythm, Swing Easy, probably refers to Trevor "Leggo" Douglas who ran the Cash & Carry label with Isaacs. The track Nigger also uses an old Studio One rhythm track updated and this time it’s The Heptones breezy Party Time which gets the Jammy treatment as too Embarrassment which again revitalizes a Studio One gem; Frozen Soul by The Soul Vendors band.
Reworking old Studio One rhythms was in vogue in the mid to late 1970’s thanks to Channel One and it’s resident highly talented musicians. The drum and bass partners, Sly & Robbie, alongside other Revolutionaries like keyboard player Ansel Collins are credited with bringing these wonderful old rhythms back to life as can he heard on a few of the tracks on Slum and it’s vocal companion The Cool Ruler.
Gregory Isaacs will always be remembered as one of Jamaica’s finest singers and a superb songwriter too, but hopefully many will also realize that he was also an accomplished producer as evidenced by his fine records such as this album which he’s left as a lasting legacy not only to his name but as an example of a first-rate dub album – something there’s too few of these days.” – Michael de Koningh
1. Public Ey's
3. Reform Institution
5. Tam Tam
9. Leggo Beast