A Brand New George Nooks

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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Early in his career, George Nooks covered You Make Me Feel Brand New, a massive hit in 1974 for soul group The Stylistics. Recently, he did another recording of the song complete with spiritual nips and tucks.

Nooks added a gospel flavour to the lyrics of the Thom Bell-produced slow jam, considered a must-play for lovers at oldies parties. Given his remarkable comeback, he felt it was something that needed to be done.

“It come to mi in a vision an' I said, 'it must be something that I am still doing this (music)'. It mean Father God still looking out for you,” said Nooks.

The singer produced the song which features Bowie McLaughlin on keyboards, Kirk Bennett on drums and guitarist Lamont “Monty” Savory.

You Make me Feel Brand New is expected to be one of the tracks from Nooks's upcoming album which is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2020. For You, his previous album, was released in 2018.

Nooks's 2016 album, Ride Out Your Storm, entered Billboard Magazine's Reggae and Gospel charts. The title track from that set was also a hit in Jamaica.

Known for massive roots-reggae and lovers' rock hits like Tribal War and Left With A Broken Heart, Nooks was one of producer Joe Gibbs' marquee acts during the late 1970s. He was largely forgotten in Jamaica in the 1980s and 1990s, but bounced back in 2000 with God is Standing By, a reggae version of Al Green's popular I'll Be Standing By.

Since then, he has released a number of well-received gospel songs and a tribute album to his mentor, Dennis Brown. Nearly 20 years after his second coming, Nooks is an in-demand act in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

“Wi have to give thanks to the Father, yuh know. I still have dat sense of fulfilment,” he said.


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