Gregory Isaacs & the Roots Radics (BBC 1981)


“My favorite track by Gregory is ‘Confirm Reservation.’ The tune was written and produced by Gregory Isaacs and, perhaps more than any other tune, it showcases the brilliance of his songwriting. Upon first listen it might sound like several other Gregory tunes that have an overt lovers rock vibe, however, “Confirm Reservation” is one of Gregory’s most honest, personal and deeply spiritual tunes:
I’d really like to make you confirm reservation
So here I am with my application
I wanna be with my friends and family
Where the living is much easier for me
‘Cause in this town I can’t take the vibes no more, ah
No, Gregory is not leaving town.  He is very clearly singing about an eternity in Zion.  By the early 1980s Gregory was losing a battle against a severe cocaine addiction.  It is a demon that would eventually destroy his voice, ruin his career, and leave him dead at 59 years old.  He longs for an eternity in Zion, free from the chains of his illness…Cause in this town I can’t take the vibes no more, ah…’  … It is really such a brilliantly-written tune.  There aren’t many artists who could muster the courage to look in the mirror and tell the world what they see.  That is exactly what Gregory does here.  A very well-known reggae producer once told me that in his 30+ years in the business he met only two true geniuses.  The first is Sly Dunbar.  The other is Gregory Isaacs.  He said Gregory has a perpetual song in his head.  All he has to do is decide to write it down. This version of “Confirm Reservation” comes from the BBC Radio sessions that Gregory did in 1981 backed by the Roots Radics.  I think it sounds even better than the original 7″ mix.  In 1981 Gregory’s voice was still in top form and his vocal performance on this track is phenomenal. …”
Midnight Raver
YouTube: Confirmed Reservation / Sad to Know / Front Door / Substitute

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