Lee "Scratch" Perry & the Upsetters

Black Ark

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1999's Black Ark is basically a reissue of the quasi-legit 1993 French import collection Black Ark in Dub. Although some of the song titles are different (mostly lengthened from the one-word titles common on the earlier collection), these are the same cuts and mixes as found on the earlier collection, presented with marginally better sound and the same almost complete lack of session information as to when and by whom these dubs were made. The material, as it happens, is uniformly fine '70s-vintage dub, bass-heavy and lacking in the self-conscious weirdness of some of Lee "Scratch" Perry's later work. ("Cool Rockers" does have some good old-fashioned tape trickery, to appease those who feel that listening to dub must approximate being blasted on potent herb.) This is completely redundant to anyone who owns the earlier collection, but by stripping four minor tracks and coming out on a U.S. label to avoid the onerous import costs, Black Ark is the better choice for those weighing which to get.

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