Bob Marley

Duppy Conqueror

Song Review by

Duppy is patois for ghost, and producer Lee Perry and The Wailers conquered not just evil spirits, but much of the reggae world with this phenomenal number. But first Perry had to overcome his financial problems. He owed The Upsetters money, and understandably they had downed their tools until they had cash in hand.

So once again, the Soul Syndicate band were brought in in The Upsetters' stead, but Perry felt their rhythm didn't cut it (it did however, prove perfect for "Mr. Brown"), and making amends with the Upsetters, the backing was redone.

Play "Brown" and "Duppy Conqueror" side by side, and you can see the producer's point. The Syndicate's rhythm was forceful, but the Upsetters brought a razor sharpness to their sound that every conqueror needs. Overhead, Bob Marley strides forth, shaking off the chains that bind him, he is an uncontrollable force, nothing and no-one can stop him as he makes his way to Zion. Behind him, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston harmonies swoop and swirl around him, at times they twitter and coo like birds. Phenomenal!

Surprisingly, the band changed little about the arrangement when they recut it in 1973 for their Burning album, even the twittering harmonies remained the same.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Soul Revolution, Pt. II 1971 Jad / JAD / Universal 0:00
Tighten Up, Vol. 5 1971
Various Artists
Trojan / Universal
Burnin' 1973 Tuff Gong 3:44
Soul Revolution, Pts. 1-2 1988 Trojan 3:25
Bob Marley and the Story of Reggae 1992
Various Artists
Trojan 3:00
Reggae Fever 1994 Madacy 2:40
Reggae's Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 1995
Various Artists
Heartbeat Select / Heartbeat 3:02
Tighten Up, Vol. 5-6 1995
Various Artists
BMG / Trojan 3:19
Collector's Edition 1996 Double Play Records 3:29
Roots of Reggae 3 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 3:32
The Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers [Excelsior] 1997 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:34
Dreamland 1998 Cleopatra 3:46
The Roots of a Legend [Charly] 1999 Charly Records 3:42
Trojan Box Set: Tighten Up 2000
Various Artists
Trojan 3:16
Bob Marley Meets Lee "Scratch" Perry, Vol. 2 2001 JVC Compact Discs 3:39
The Best of the Early Years 2001 Sanctuary 3:15
Trenchtown Rock: The Anthology 1969-78 2002 Sanctuary / Trojan 3:44
Tighten Up, Vol. 1-6: Trojan Reggae Classics 1968-1974 2002
Various Artists
Trojan / Sanctuary 3:16
The Complete Upsetter Singles: 1970-1972 Plus Dubs 2002 Purple Pyramid / Cleopatra 3:23
Anthology: 1968-78 2002 Culture Press 3:15
Babylon by Bus/Catch a Fire/Burnin' 2003 Universal Distribution 3:47
Upsetter Revolution Rhythm 2004 Hip-O / Jad 3:25
Classic Bob Marley & the Wailers 2005 Spectrum Music 3:50
The Essential Bob Marley and the Wailers 2005 Trojan / Sanctuary 3:45
Soul Revolutionaries: The Early Jamaican Albums 1970-1971 2005 Trojan / Sanctuary 3:26
Keep On Skanking 2005 Pazzazz 0:00
Gold: 1967-1972 2005 Island 3:48
Africa Unite: The Singles Collection 2005 Universal 0:00
Trilogy [Music Brokers] 2006 Music Brokers 3:27
Roots, Rock, Remixed 2007 Rock River Records / Tuff Gong 4:28
Best of the Early Singles 2007 Cleopatra 3:25
Reggae Chartbusters, Vol. 2 2009
Various Artists
Sanctuary 3:44
Reggae with Soul: Roots of Bob Marley & the Wailers 2010 Music Club Deluxe 3:27
Lively Up Yourself: Roots of a Revolution 1967-1971 2017 Wewantsounds 3:41
Crucial Reggae: Bob Marley & The Wailers Fontana / Sanctuary / Sanctuary Fontana / Sanctuary Records 3:43
Kings of Reggae [Box]
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 3:46
Reggae Fever, Vol. 2 Madacy 3:34
No Image Spectrum Music