January 10, 2014, at 3:59 pm
A Jamaican Edition
So the story goes that in late 1969 Lee Perry and the Upsetters (including Glen Adams, Aston Barrett, Carlton Barrett and Alva Lewis) flew into the UK for a series of dates on the back of the success of the Return Of Django single. After the tour ended Perry disappeared and the band found themselves in the UK with plenty of free time and no money. The tour promoters Bruce White and Tony Cousins took them into the studio and they recorded an LP that was released by Trojan Records as The Good The Bad And The Upsetters credited, of course, to the Upsetters. Perry famously took exception to this and in particular the use of the name the Upsetters so back in Jamaica he released an LP of the same title featuring his own productions, using the original Trojan sleeve with a sticker on the back with the corrected track list.
It’s All In The Game
It is this Jamaican issue that Hot Milk Records have now released on CD. It comes complete with extensive sleeve notes by Lee Perry’s biographer David Katz in a really well designed booklet (though as is often the case with CD booklets the text is too small to read comfortably). Whereas the original Jamaican issue used the Trojan release cover with a great picture of the band posing as cowboys, Hot Milk have gone for a new cover which is decent enough but not as striking as the original. That said, it would make no sense to have two UK releases titled The Good The Bad And The Upsetters with the same cover but a different track list so the change is understandable.
Musically the UK issue was a somewhat pedestrian affair, not terrible but nothing too exciting either. This issue is an altogether more exciting affair. Whilst it’s far from being the most accessible Perry LP ever released the inclusion of instrumental takes of many classic tunes such as Soul Rebel (The Wailers), Mr Brown (The Wailers) and I Wear My Slanders (The Gaylads) plus the superbly jaunty It’s All In The Game featuring Val Bennett on saxophone mean this is unlikely to disappoint any seasoned reggae follower and fans of Scratch’s productions in particular.
Soul Rebel V.4
The Good The Bad And The Upsetters is released on CD only by Hot Milk, a subsidiary of Cherry Red records, on the 27th January.