Various Artists

The Complete UK Upsetter Singles Collection, Vol. 2

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Between 1969 and 1973, the Trojan label released over 200 singles on its Upsetter imprint, a subsidiary label dedicated to music produced and/or performed by the great Lee "Scratch" Perry and his house band, the Upsetters. This two-disc set is the second in a series of reissue compilations; Volume 1 consisted of 50 tracks originally released between 1969 and 1970, and this one concentrates on releases from 1970. There are a number of essential tunes, including the immortal "Django Shoots First" (here titled "Bronco," as it was on its original single release), "The Thanks We Get" (featuring the young Junior Byles as a member of the Versatiles) and a fun, slightly psychedelic reggae version of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye." Dave Barker shows up on many of these cuts, and while he can be something of an acquired taste, once it's acquired his singing can be addictive -- "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" is, hands down, the best track in the program. But ultimately, that's rather faint praise. Too much of this stuff (including the pointless pastiche of "Kill Them All" and a wretched and inadvertently polytonal version of Bunny Wailer's classic "Dreamland") will appeal strictly to Perry completists. Historically important as they may be, not all of the Upsetter singles are worth reissuing.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:37
2 2:58
3 2:32
4 2:43
5 2:45
6 2:42
7 2:48
8 2:55
9 2:53
10 2:46
11 2:50
12
2:51
13 2:48
14 3:05
15 4:05
16 3:10
17 3:18
18 3:21
19 2:40
20 3:30
21 2:22
22 3:30
23 3:07
24 2:49
25 3:33
blue highlight denotes track pick