Perry’s pre-Ark period covered in fine style

Producer Lee Perry is probably best known for his work with Bob Marley and for his swirling productions recorded at his own Black Ark studio in the mid to late 70’s.

But Lee Perry was a strong force in reggae music already in the late 60’s and early 70’s. This is the period when he dropped his UK top 5 Return of Django and the raving organ dominated scorcher Live Injection. And this is also the period when he together with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer created classics such as Small Axe, Duppy Conqueror and Sun is Shining.

UK’s finest reissue label Pressure Sounds has dedicated their sixth Lee Perry compilation to this period, and High Plains Drifter – Jamaican 45’s 1968-73 collects 20 obscure and overlooked tunes from his early years as a producer, vocalist and musician. During these five years Lee Perry founded his own Upsetter imprint, toured Europe and released a weighty 280 plus singles and more than 20 albums.

This charming and diverse compilation includes up-tempo instrumentals, jiving deejay chatter, roots vocals and soulful singing. And the sound is a long way from what was created at Black Ark some years later.

Highlights include The Ethiopians rootsy Awake, The Upsetters hip saxophone driven Val Blows In and The Silvertones He Don’t Love You with some fine, yet a little rough, harmonizing.

High Plains Drifter drops on February 14th on CD and double vinyl LP with limited edition artwork. And Pressure Sounds has as usual given the details an extra effort. The sound quality is surprisingly good and the liner notes from Lee Perry aficionado Jeremy Collingwood are well-written and informative.

2 Comments

Filed under Record reviews

2 responses to “Perry’s pre-Ark period covered in fine style

  1. must get this one…thanks for the heads up.

  2. Pingback: Reggaemani

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