After the passing of two iconic reggae artists last year – Gregory Isaacs (July 15,1951–October 25, 2010) and Sugar Minott (May 25, 1956–July 10, 2010) – 17 North Parade, the vintage imprint of VP Records, pays homage to the artists by capturing the essence of their music on two Reggae Anthology releases – Sugar Minott’s Hard Time Pressure (Oct 18) and Gregory Isaacs’ The Ruler 1972-1990 (Oct 24). Each collection contains 2 CDs and bonus DVD along with original deluxe packaging that includes extensive liner notes and exclusive archival footage and photos.
On October 18th, 17 North Parade will release Sugar Minott’s Reggae Anthology: Hard Time Pressure, highlighting his illustrious recording career that bridged three major eras in reggae: from Studio One to lover’s rock and to the digital dancehall era (where he earned the moniker Godfather of Dancehall). The late singer, producer and sound-system engineer made an inevitable mark on the genre with over 60 albums and cherished anthems including “Herbsman Hustling,” “No Vacancy,” “Good Thing Going” and “Never Gonna Give Up Jah.” The double-disc 36-track set is also accompanied with treasured live video footage of Sugar Minott performing at JapanSplash concert in 1986.
Born Lincoln Barrington Minott, Sugar possessed multiple musical talents. The Jamaican native was a prolific songwriter and singer and provided blueprints for the rise of the contemporary dancehall style, where he was equally influential as a producer and his extraordinarily popular sound system and company, Youthman Promotions, that helped launch numerous new djs and artists into the limelight. He worked with Little John, Junior Reid, Tenor Saw, Nitty Gritty, Garnet Silk, Tony Rebel and Johnny Osbourne (to name a few).
On October 24th, 2011, 17 North Parade commemorates the life and music of Gregory Isaacs with Reggae Anthology: The Ruler 1972-1990, an extensive 40-track collection of Isaacs’ timeless hits, plus a special bonus DVD featuring the iconic reggae veteran singing feverously on stage at The Brixton Academy in 1984. The extraordinary set also features detailed liner notes and rare photographs of Gregory Isaacs during his prime.
Gregory Isaacs, dubbed “The Cool Ruler” for his trademark smoothness and wistful crooning matched with a rebel demeanor and dapper style, was a pivotal pioneer of lovers’ rock music and also created some of the most timeless roots and dancehall anthems throughout his 40-year career. During the 1970s and 1980s, he pumped out album after album with a massive string of hits, including “My Only Lover,” “Let’s Dance,” “Soon Forward” and “Night Nurse.” He even made a small cameo in the classic 1978 reggae film Rockers as the locksmith and later performed his song “Slave Master.” He continued to tour across the globe and record throughout the 1990s. This Reggae Anthology chronicles his most crucial hits from 1972-1990 and exudes the essence of this innovative lyricist and exemplifies why he is known The Ruler.