Lee "Scratch" Perry

Lee Scratch Perry: The Wonderman Years

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There is a period in Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry's long recording history that often gets overlooked simply because of where it falls, and that interval, the so-called "Wonderman" years (from the advent of his innovative work with the Wailers in 1969 through the very early years of his Black Ark recording studio), is covered in this collection. There is wonderful stuff here, with some of Perry's best and most classic rhythms presented in song, dub, and DJ versions. The Wailers are represented by Bob Marley's famous take on Richie Havens' "African Herbsman" and one of Peter Tosh's finest songs, "Brand New Second Hand," but there are many other highlights, including three wonderful tracks ("Beat Down Babylon," "A Place Called Africa," "Fever") done by Junior Byles and the striking, oddball "Mighty Clouds of Joy" by Lloyd Parks. Perry had a special touch with vocal trios, and in addition to the Wailers tracks, there are fine cuts here from the Stingers ("Give Me Power," "Preacher Man"), the Willows ("Cool Iron"), and the Gatherers ("Start Over," "Words of My Mouth"). This two-disc set is probably not the place to start if you are new to Perry's work, but if you're a fan, it is close to essential.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:10 Amazon
2
feat: Big Youth
3:00
3 2:25
4
feat: Junior Byles
2:35 Amazon
5
2:56 Amazon
6 2:59 Amazon
7 3:00
8 2:24 Amazon
9
feat: The Stingers
3:17 Amazon
10
feat: King Iwah
3:10
11 3:16 Amazon
12 3:04 Amazon
13 3:12
14
feat: Lloyd Parks
3:08 Amazon
15
feat: Lloyd Parks
3:27 Amazon
16 3:06 Amazon
17
feat: Junior Byles
2:40 Amazon
18 2:52 Amazon
19 2:50 Amazon
20 2:29 Amazon
21
feat: King Medious
3:10 Amazon
22
feat: Junior Byles
2:54 Amazon
23 3:29 Amazon
24
feat: Jah-T
3:01
25
feat: The Stingers
2:39 Amazon
26 2:42

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
feat: Junior Byles
3:07 Amazon
2 4:08
3 3:04 Amazon
4
2:46 Amazon
5 4:08 Amazon
6 4:02
7 3:04 Amazon
8
feat: The Willows
2:26 Amazon
9 3:19 Amazon
10
feat: Wesley Gems
2:56 Amazon
11 3:36
12 3:46
13 3:28 Amazon
14 3:29
15 3:25 Amazon
16 3:17
17 4:19 Amazon
18
2:54 Amazon
19 3:35 Amazon
20 3:20 Amazon
21 4:05 Amazon
22 3:32 Amazon
23 3:16 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick