The Singles Collection: Anthology 1968-1979 – Lee “Scratch” Perry

“While he just seems to make his own music these days, this exceptional collection acts as a reminder that Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s reputation was partly established as a producer of reggae songs, one who helped push the music through its early years. He was largely responsible for making the Wailers into a band that could go on and conquer the world (just listen to ‘Duppy Conqueror’ or ‘Small Axe’ to understand how he helped them develop), but his work with so many other artists was impeccable — and often very individual, such as the classic ‘Curly Locks’ with Junior Byles. It’s also worth remembering that Perry had a golden touch — most of these singles were Jamaican hits, even the acerbic and hilarious ‘People Funny Boy,’ which featured himself (as well as the sound of a crying baby). Indeed, 1968-1979 was his truly fertile period, when he established his Black Ark studio (which he burned down in 1980), helped birth the sonic genre of dub, and shape the sound of roots reggae, while keeping it very much within the overall realm of pop music — witness the Melodians’ ‘Round and Round.’ Even his own, strange material, like ‘Bush Weed,’ had an appeal. While it’s a shame that some of his best work, like Junior Murvin’s ‘Police and Thieves’ or his glowing productions for the Congos (which many deem his finest work behind the board) isn’t included, there’s enough here to make it a perfect primer, not just on Perry, but on Jamaican music in the 1970s.”

YouTube: LEE PERRY – PEOPLE FUNNY BOY, The Upsetters – Dollar In The Teeth, Bob Marley – Duppy Conqueror (Live), Junior Byles – A Place Called Africa, Little Roy – Don’t Cross The Nation, The Upsetters – French Connection, Leo Graham – Black Candle, Bob Marley – Keep On Skanking, Woman’s Gotta Have It – Bobby Womack, Brent Dowe – Down Here in Babylon


One Response to “The Singles Collection: Anthology 1968-1979 – Lee “Scratch” Perry”

  1. One of the true heroes of Jamaican music. ‘Soul Fire’ may just be one of the most inspiring reggae tunes ever made.

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