Lee "Scratch" Perry

Dry Acid

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AllMusic Review by

Lee "Scratch" Perry's mid- to late-1970s productions at his Black Ark studio have been much lauded and admired, and justly so, but his work from a decade earlier, before that studio was built, is no less striking, albeit in different manner. The tracks collected on Dry Acid come from 1968 and 1969, when Scratch was still scrambling around to record in studios like Randy's, and they exhibit a wonderfully rough and ragged funkiness, with crisp, hard rhythms and often goofy, offhand lyrics that sparkle with vitality and freshness. Among the many highlights on this fine Trojan compilation are two unrelated songs by the Ethiopians (a duo at the time, of Leonard Dillon and Stephen Taylor), "Not Me" and "Cut Down," both voiced over the same chugging rhythm. Ernest Wilson's buoyant "Freedom Train" also shines, as does Pat Kelly's interesting cover of James Carr's "Dark End of the Street." There are also several (frequently loopy) instrumentals by Perry's house band at the time, the Upsetters, who bring a distinctly Jamaican version of R&B to the table in tracks like "For a Few Dollars More." Countless legal and not so legal anthologies of Perry's work are available on the market, drawn from all stages of his long history, and quality can vary considerably from disc to disc, but Dry Acid is all killer and holds up wonderfully.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Denzel Laing
1:53
2
feat: Val Bennett
1:52
3 2:16
4 2:31
5 1:55
6
feat: Mellotones
2:35
7 2:30
8
2:00
9
2:34
10
2:13
11
feat: West Indians
2:47
12 2:26
13
feat: Carl Dawkins
2:41
14 1:57
15 2:08
16
feat: Pat Kelly
3:16
17
feat: Pat Kelly
2:39
18 2:52
19
feat: David Isaacs
3:03
20
feat: Peter Tosh / U-Roy
2:28
21 3:15
22 2:19
23
feat: Busty Brown
2:29
24 2:54
25
feat: Reggae Boys
2:51
26
feat: Mellotones
2:23
blue highlight denotes track pick