The bulk of these songs have been anthologized on a number of compilations over the years, including, with a couple of substitutions, The Upsetter: Essential Madness from the Scratch Files collection. Like that set, Archive too draws its material from the decade running from 1968-1978, leaning heavily towards the late '60s and early '70s. Far from a best-of or greatest-hits collection, this set is determined to show the full breadth of Lee "Scratch" Perry's genius, and illustrate virtually every facet, shade, and nuance of his work. Attempting to lay bare the Upsetter's world, fans are introduced to the weird ("Yakety Yak"), the wonderful ("What a Botheration"), the serious ("Justice to the People"), the silly ("Kimble") and even the surreal ("Cow Thief Skank"). Along the way we visit the Upsetter's obsessions and his personal peccadillos -- Westerns, lyrical innuendo, bashing former friends on vinyl, as well as his impassioned interest in larger cultural concerns. Beyond the diverse themes is the equally vast stylistic range of his music, as Perry explores funk, soul, R&B, and pop, and delves into all that reggae and roots have to offer, with the set also highlighting the producer's studio experimentation. An excellent introduction to the Upsetter's oeuvre, this is a sparkling clear window into Perry's very special world.
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AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene
feat: Charlie Ace
feat: Bob Marley