Lee Perry rarity gets a well-deserved reissue

UPSETTERSHot Milk Records, a subsidiary of Cherry Red Records, has recently re-issued an ultra-rare Lee Perry-produced album with a fascinating background story.

The Upsetters’ The Good The Bad and The Upsetters was released by Trojan Records in 1970. And since The Upsetters was sound alchemist Lee Perry’s band one might think he was involved in that particular release, but apparently he was not.

Following the success of Return of Django in the UK in 1969 Lee Perry and The Upsetters were booked on a UK tour that very same year. When the tour ended the musicians in The Upsetters had nothing to do while still in the UK. So Bruce White and Tony Cousins – two former singers that ran the booking agency responsible for the tour – persuaded The Upsetters to record an album, which Trojan then released.

Lee Perry had nothing to do with it, altough it had the Upsetters name on it. It was released without his invovement or permission. Frustrated he issued his own version of the album in Jamaica using the same artwork but with totally different songs and a new stickered tracklist on the back.

And this little known gem is now made available for the masses for the first time ever. The Good The Bad and The Upsetters – The Jamaican Edition collects 14 tracks, of which 13 are instrumentals and one is a deejay cut from an uncredited deejay. Four of the songs are versions of The Wailers material – Mr Brown, Who the Cap Fit, It’s Alright aka Night Shift and Soul Rebel all receive the Lee Perry sonic treatment.

The album is not as cheesy as many other reggae instrumental albums released in the same period. It is darker, sparser and more like a precursor to dub.

Be aware of one thing with this album though. The last track is too short and is abruptly cut-off a few seconds too early.

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