One of the albums from classic reggae crooner Gregory Isaacs, “Night Nurse,” has been certified silver in the United Kingdom by the British Phonographic Industry for sales exceeding 60,000 copies.
The album, which was released in 1982, spawned timeless hits like “Stranger in Town,” “Cool Down the Place,” and “Sad to Know (You’re Leaving),” was given the certification on September 24. It was recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston and released by Island Records.
The biggest hit from the album was the lead track, “Night Nurse.” The album was first released on vinyl and cassette before being released on compact disc in 1990. It peaked at No. 32 on the UK Albums Chart and was re-released in 2002. That version of the album includes four additional bonus tracks, including “Night Nurse Dub 2” and “Cool Down the Pace.”
Sadly, Gregory Isaacs died of lung cancer on October 25, 2010, at his home in Harrow Weald, London. He was 59-years-old. The Jamaica Observer caught up June Isaacs, the widow of the singer, once described by the New York Times, as “the most exquisite vocalist in reggae”.
She shared that the certification for the album was a beautiful reminder that people are still listening to and enjoying his music. She added that she believes his music was relevant then and now and that a new generation of fans is beginning to appreciate his work.
June, who is the founder/director of The Gregory Isaacs Foundation, continued on to say that she was very happy about the news and that she shared the joyous achievement with family members as well as members of the foundation.
She also revealed that her late husband put his all into creating the album. According to her, he spent an enormous amount of time working on it. She also shared that he enjoyed the process of making the classic album.
“It was his first for Island Records and it was the album that he had the most fun doing. He also toured everywhere, mostly in Europe, to promote the album after it was released,” she said.
The title track, which was a hit globally, was produced by Errol “Flabba” Holt, who played the bass guitar on the project. Errol Brown is also credited as the engineer, with Lincoln “Style” Scott on drums, Wycliffe “Steelie” Johnson on keyboards, Dwight Pinkney as the lead guitarist, and Eric “Bingy Bunny” Lamont on rhythm guitar.
The track has been given several facelifts, and the most successful one was a cover done by Sly and Robbie. That cover featured British group Simply Red and peaked at 13 on the UK chart in September 1997. It got to No. 44 in New Zealand and No. 84 in Germany. It is believed that the cover helped the band to cop the Grammy Award in 1999 for Best Reggae Album.
Gregory Isaacs has been recognized for his contribution many times for helping to push reggae globally. His unique voice attracted many new listeners to the genre. His native home of Jamaica recognized his efforts in 2016, and he was posthumously awarded the Order of Distinction (Officer Class).
He is credited as the creator of the subset of reggae known as lovers rock. His career began as an early teen when he topped several talent contests that regularly took place in Jamaica. His first official recording was In 1968 when he released “Another Heartache” under the name Winston Sinclair.
That track, which was produced by Byron Lee, did not do well, but he found success with his first massive hit called “My Only Lover,” which is believed to be the first lovers rock track ever recorded.
He went on to record for many of Jamaica’s top producers in the 1970s, including Winston “Niney” Holness, Gussie Clarke Lloyd Campbell, and Glen Brown, to name a few.