Lee Perry

Pressure Sounds * PS19 * 1998

Produced & Directed by the Upsetter

Produced & Directed by the Upsetter

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Information

Lee Perry is one of the very select few... a Producer/Performer whose works carry the unmistakable imprint of the auteur - the clear and instantly recognisable evidence of one man's musical signature. In a long and remarkable career all Lee Perry productions can be recognised aurally, which given the multiplicity of record labels issuing his music without identification, makes researching and collecting a fascinating adventure. In this compilation, as in the previous Pressure Sounds release 'Voodooism', we retrieve some more highly sought after gems from the early to late seventies.

This compilation opens with a tune from King Burnett, later to contribute to the Congos, an easy going skank with the trademark Perry imprint. The version in a suitably mysterious dubwise fashion credits "organist G Adams". The lead instrument is of course, a trombone.

'Zion' by The Flames is one of those songs which slide in and hook the listener with a seemingly effortless groove (The Flames are thought to be an early incarnation of Winston Jarrett and The Righteous Flames). The dub floats along on a tugging bass-line with typical Upsetter style keyboard embellishments.

'Bike No License' by Easton Clarke employs a harder rhythm under a lyric dealing with the perils of bike riding during a night curfew. Again the familiar Upsetter keyboards are to the fore. The dub features a retreating echo so beloved by Lee Perry fans.

The Heptones, in a long and illustrious career, issued some of their finest works under the direction of The Upsetter. Their great classic 'Sufferer's Time' the original Black Art 7" of which has yet to be re-released, stands as one of my all time favourite Perry productions. Here we have a the original Upsetter 45 version of 'Crying Over You' recorded at the same sessions that gave us 'Mr President' and 'I Shall Be Released' with the distinctive horn section which marked that particular group of releases.

The Silvertones, probably best known for their Perry-produced 'Rejoicing Skank', contribute the little known 'Financial Crisis' complete with matching dub version. The rhythm track is an exercise in stark simplicity which still carries the strong imprint of a Lee Perry creation.

Perry gives Winston Heywood and The Hombres their own distinctive sound on 'Backbiting' a plea for an end to violence and war with a superb dub. Taken at a slower tempo than 'Africa' on the 'Voodooism' compilation (Pressure Sounds 009) this is serious Black Ark treasure of the highest rank. The sound changes for the Meditations' 'Houses Of Parliament' a rare 7" on the Black Art label, with a magnificent dub featuring the abrupt vocal shut-off that featured in much of Perry's works at that time. "Serious heavy roots tune" as Nathan The Terrible would say!

George Faith's classic album 'To Be A Lover' is well known to Jamaican enthusiasts here we feature a scarce 33rpm 7" on the Black Art label called 'Guide Line'. 'Scratch' has given the singer a big sound under the vocal complete with strange bubblings, a female chorus, a locomotively heavy backbeat and once again his own unmistakable signature.

Junior Murvin, thanks to the essential 'Police and Thieves' album, is one of the best known artists to emerge from Lee Perry's studio. This is yet another version of the title track which has strangely remained largely unknown. Here the lyrics deal with an escalation of the situation found in the original - now its nuclear weapons we are dealing with - with Junior's beautiful soaring vocals set to a heavyweight rhythm, coupled with a dub known by the unfathomable title of 'Bingo Kid'. His 'False Teachings' (a different version from the one on the 'Police and Thieves' album) is another gem from this highly collectable singer. The dub is delightful.

This has been another excursion into the Black Ark vaults - a voyage into the buried treasure of the man with many names, all of them identified by the revolutionary sounds produced by the man Jesus Rainford Perry - auteur extrodinaire.

Roger Eagle
March 1998

Reviews

  • Black Uhuru/Chronixx - I Love King Selassie/versionBlack Uhuru/ChronixxI Love King Selassie/version

    Nice mix of the classic Black Uhuru tune with the added input of Chronixx. Works well.

    7"
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  • Michael Rose - African QueenMichael RoseAfrican Queen

    Michael Rose's distinctive tone gets on a re-working of Yabby's a King Pharoah's Plague rhythm. Nicely done by King Jammy and comes with a nice dub on the flipside. Excellent.

    7"
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  • The Inturns  - Nothing is Impossible (extended mix)The Inturns Nothing is Impossible (extended mix)

    An excellent extended mix by Phil Pratt of The Inturns 'Nothing is Impossible'. First released on a Chanan Jah 12' in the mid nineteen seventies. The Inturns recorded an album and several singles for Phil Pratt before returning to the their original name The Viceroys. Extended mix of 'Detour' on the flipside. Comes in a hand stamped bag. Crisp.

    10"
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  • Junior Brown - What a disasterJunior BrownWhat a disaster

    Three cuts of Junior Brown/ Phil Pratts 'What a disaster'. The rhythm was recorded in Jamaica by Sly and Robbie and was part of the Dial M for Murder lp. The Junior Brown vocal was voiced in the UK and released on The Mystic label. We have an extra mix added to the Pressure Sounds release by The Disciple. A killer release that comes in a hand stamped bag made out of re-cycled card.

    10"
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  • L. Crosdale  - Reggae MusicL. Crosdale Reggae Music

    Really uplifting vocal from Lloyd Crosdale. Bit of a pearl this one. Nice tune on the Studio One imprint 'London Records'. Backed by Drumbago and the Rebel Brothers on the flipside. Nice spacey dub. Original JA pressing so check the soundclips.

    7"
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  • Don Drummond  - ReloadDon Drummond Reload

    Genius from the master Don Drummond. Ably backed by Lennie Hibbert on vibes on 'Reload' on the A side. On the flipside the more frantic 'Little Willie' by Clue J & his Blues Busters. A pretty good pressing but check the sound clips before you buy.

    7"
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