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Upsetters a Go Go

The Upsetters

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Album Review

Much has been written about the ever-stranger Lee "Scratch" Perry, master of the Black Ark and now off doing it dubwise in Switzerland or somesuch, but the Upsetters themselves have been glossed over to a surprising degree. This is really a shame, because two Upsetters members ended up as the rhythm core of the Wailers, and the legacy of this studio band is a grand one, with some of the best Jamaican music credited to it. This 16-cut collection, assembled from tapes kept by keyboardist Glen Adams, is primarily instrumental, with a few vocal incursions from Glen Adams, Lee Perry and Dave Barker, with the focus being on the Upsetters — without any of Perry's studio twistiness. This is mostly light, entertaining body-rhythm stuff, some of which will sound familiar ("Lock It Up" is a version of "Lockjaw"). The sounds and styles are a trip down memory lane, but that's where the best reggae is sometimes found. Cheerfully unessential, which is why you should get it.

Biography

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Producer Lee "Scratch" Perry's longtime house band, the Upsetters appeared on some of the most legendary records in reggae history, including the early hits of the Wailers. The group was named after Perry's 1968 smash "The Upsetter," and the Upsetter tag was also applied to his record label; although the line-up was mercurial — essentially the roster consisted of whoever was in the studio the minute the tape began to roll — among the key Jamaican musicians who passed through the Upsetters'...
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Upsetters a Go Go, The Upsetters
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