Various Artists

The Complete UK Upsetter Singles Collection, Vol. 3

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The third instalment in Trojan's series of singles from Lee "Scratch" Perry's Upsetter label picks up in late 1970, where Volume 2 left off, and takes the series into 1971. As with the first two volumes, the two-disc digipack includes a booklet with lots of very cool photos and extensive notes on each song; and also like the others, this one is chock full of great songs by artists both famous and obscure, all of them colored by Perry's trademark brilliant (if always quirky) production style. The 47 tracks include some familiar favorites, such as Junior Byles' strangely moving "Place Called Africa," Bob Marley's epochal herb anthem "Kaya," and the inevitable four or five takes on the "Small Axe" rhythm. But there are also some wonderful obscurities, including Hortense Ellis's delightful rock steady renditions of "Take a Little Piece of My Heart" and "Suspicious Minds," and Stranger Cole's scornful "Run Up Your Mouth." The Upsetters' dub version of "Dreamland" is, thankfully, not the horrendous organ showcase previously featured on Perry's Africa's Blood album. Like the other two volumes in this series, this one should be considered an essential purchase for Perry aficionados, but any reggae fan will get lots of pleasure from it as well.

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