The Upsetter - "The Upsetter", Trojan

If there is a term to describe the overlooked musicians or the ones that deserve more recognition, Lee 'Scratch' Perry's name would be amongst the headliners. However, at the same time, much of the world outside of Jamaica simply overlooked and ignored Lee ‘Scratch' Perry for way too long. When his debut was released back in 1969, it must have raised a stir. I mean bass groove this deep was a rarity. These instrumentals had soul, power, passion, drive and most of all rage written all over them. This was music that could be as much "happy" as it was "mad". There was an equal amount of both. The music is a revelation, and is cleaned up very well. This re-issue is prepared lovingly with in-depth liner notes, photos and overall, just a beautiful package. The producers went deep into the vaults to come up with 8 bonus tracks from the original sessions. Some of these, in fact, turn out to be even better than original release tracks. Take for instance Carl Dawkins' take on "Hard to Handle" as compared to the original instrumental "Heat Proof" [basically the same track]. On "Hard to Handle", Dawkins belts out the lyrics with full raging fire. His vocals are raw, scorching and wailing. "The Upsetter" is one release any serious music fan must own. It only took 34 years to re-issue Lee ‘Scratch' Perry's debut on CD, but it was well worth the wait.

Tom Sekowski

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