Cleopatra's Bob Marley repackagings have generally had little rhyme or reason, but 1970-1971: Upsetter Years is a notable exception. The 18 tracks included here -- all original recordings -- focus on the Wailers' seminal collaborations with crazed-genius producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, one of the most important periods in the careers of both artists. The emphasis is on songs released as singles, and one -- the Bunny Livingstone-led "Dreamland" -- appears on neither the Soul Rebels nor the African Herbsman albums. In one form or another, this music is essential listening for any reggae fan, as Perry surrounds the Wailers' soaring voices with organic grooves and an oftentimes druggy-sounding haze. As a single-disc distillation of the Perry/Wailers partnership, 1970-1971: Upsetter Years is pretty hard to beat.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey