Gregory Isaacs – Out Deh!

by Jan 9, 2020Artist, Reviews

Gregory Isaacs - Out Deh!
Backsleeve Gregory Isaacs - Out Deh!

Release Info

Gregory Isaacs – Out Deh!

Label: Music On Vinyl | Format: LP | Street date: January 10, 2020 | Website label


Side A

  1. Good Morning
  2. Private Secretary
  3. Yes I Do
  4. Sheila

Side B

  1. Out Deh
  2. Star
  3. Dieting
  4. Love Me With Feeling
Gregory Isaacs

Gregory Isaacs recorded for many of Jamaica’s top producers during the 1970s and had string of hits ranging from ballads to roots reggae. By the late 1970s, he was one of the biggest reggae performers, regularly touring the US, the UK and Europe, and only challenged by Dennis Brown and Bob Marley. International stardom seemed assured in 1978 when he signed to the Virgin Records offshoot Front Line Records, and appeared in the cult film “Rockers”, in which he performed “Slavemaster”. However “The Cool Ruler” and “Soon Forward” albums failed to sell as well as expected, although both are now considered among his best work. In 1981 he moved on to the Charisma Records offshoot Pre. They released “The Lonely Lover” and “More Gregory” albums along with a string of increasingly successful singles including “Tune In”, “Permanent Lover”, “Wailing Rudy” and “Tribute to Waddy”.

Island Records

Gregory Isaacs signed to Island Records and in 1982 they released his self-produced “Night Nurse” album that finally saw him break through to a wider audience. It actually was Island who brought in Wally Badarou, whose synthesizer helped sell the album to some of the rock audience. This success for Gregory Isaacs coincided with drug problems with cocaine that saw him serve a six-month prison sentence in Kingston in 1982 for possession of unlicensed firearms. He celebrated his release from prison with his second album for Island, the 1983 released “Out Deh!”. After the release of this album, his contract with the record company ended, and a period of prolific working with various Jamaican producers including Prince Jammy, Hugh “Redman” James, Bobby Digital, King Tubby, Tad Dawkins, “Gussie” Clarke, and Steely & Clevie began.

Out Deh!

Although the aptly titled “Out Deh!”, which partly refers to his imprisonment in Kingston’s notoriously tough General Penitentiary, isn’t as good as “Night Nurse”, this is a solid collection from a supremely confident artist, singing in his well known style over some very solid rub-a-dub backdrops delivered by the mighty Roots Radics band. Just like the “Night Nurse” set, “Out Deh!” was overdubbed with synths in London, this time done by Philip Ramarcon, before Paul “Groucho” Smykle (known as the engineer behind albums from Ini Kamoze, Black Uhuru and others in the ’80s) did the final mixing of the tracks (except for “Love Me With Feeling” which was mixed by Godwin Logie). Lyrically this “Out Deh!” album offers a mix of lover’s pleadings and social commentary. Although the sly “Private Secretary” is an obvious attempt to create a next “Night Nurse” song, it’s a really good and appealing effort to listen to. Other sweet and sexy love songs that provide more than enough listening pleasure are “Yes I Do” and “Sheila”. And last but not least there’s the quietly powerful title track, which all in all is the album’s highlight.

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