The Upsetters

Upsetters a Go Go

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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.

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