High Plains Drifter
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Though Lee Perry is perhaps most revered for his pioneering ventures into the realms of dub, or for epochal mid-‘70s productions like Police and Thieves and Heart of the Congos, his earlier work is equally worthy of attention. High Plains Drifter collects 20 boxy, eccentric reggae instrumentals from the dawn of Perry’s career. Though contemporary Perry productions like the pugnacious “Return of Django” became minor hits upon their release in the U.K., the material collected here was never issued outside of Jamaica. Nonetheless, these less-heralded tunes are every bit the match for their more famous counterparts. Take “Val Blows In," a storming instrumental featuring tenor player Val Bennett, or the equally heavy “Next to You," a bit of tightly coiled island funk graced by the shouted exhortations of the excitable Dave Barker, who cut the chart-topping “Double Barrel” for Perry and Coxsone Dodd in 1971. High Plains Drifter is a formidable piece of scholarship and boasts a selection of incredible rarities that will surprise even the most devoted Lee Perry fanatic.
Born: March 20, 1936 in Hanover, Jamaica
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s