This past Sunday, October 25th, marked five years to the date that reggae, Jamaica and the world at large lost one of its great voices, Gregory Isaacs. The usual rememberance posts popped up on social media, capturing the attention of many who weren’t paying attention five years ago, leading quite a few media outlets to pronounce the Cool Ruler’s death five years after it actually occurred. Apparently, not everyone missed Gregory as much as we have.
One person who hasn’t forgotten about Gregory is long-time Jamaica resident Keith Richards, who recently covered the singer’s “Love Overdue” on his newly-issued Crosseye Heart album. “I love the song ‘Love Overdue,’” Richards told the Wall Street Journal. I mean, I could have chosen many others from that man’s catalog.”
We’re glad he made this choice, though. Gregory’s got endless classics, but “Love Overdue,” (also known as “Love is Overdue,”) from his second album In Person, is due for a close-up. Now, you can still here this staple coming out of kitchens and rum bars on just any given night in Jamaica, but it’s far from the first song people think of when Mr. Isaacs comes to mind. Maybe now, for new fans of Gregory first learning of him from Keith Richards, it will be.
If you’re one of those people, this one’s for you: Here’s Gregory performing “Love Overdue” at Independence Park in Black River, Jamaica in 1987. The performance is classic Gregory, full of that un-clonable Cool Ruler swagger. Rest in peace and love.