Lee Perry & The Upsetters ~ High Plains Drifter
Pressure Sounds
CD / 2LP
February 8, 2012

Track list
  1. Val Bennett & The Upsetters - Val Blows In
  2. Count Sticky & The Upsetters - Boss
  3. The Upsetters - High Plains Drifter
  4. Busty Brown & The Upsetters - It's Growing
  5. The Upsetters - The Man With No Name
  6. The Upsetters - Don't Want To Lose You
  7. The Bleechers - What's Wrong With You
  8. The Mellotones - What A Botheration (Pan Mix)
  9. The Silvertones - He Don't Love You
  10. Dave Barker & The Upsetters - Next To You
  11. Dave Barker & The Upsetters - Sitting & Waiting
  12. The Ethiopians - Awake
  13. The Upsetters - Amigo
  14. Jimmy & The Inspirations - Ain't No Love
  15. Count Sticky & The Upsetters - Rockfort Psychedelion
  16. Lee Perry & The Upsetters - A Big Joke
  17. The Inspirations - Buttoo Girl
  18. The Versatiles - Thanks We Get
  19. The Faithful Brothers - Iniquity Workers
  20. Junior Byles & The Righteous Upsetters - Rub Up Festival '71
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 4
Lee Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry) entered the music business in the 1950s as a record seller for Coxsone Dodd, which then led to performing a variety of important tasks at Dodd's legendary Studio One. After disagreements between the pair due to personality and financial conflicts, he left Studio one and started working for Joe Gibbs' Amalgamated Records. But also Perry his working with Jooe Gibbs didn't last very long and in 1968 Lee Perry founded his own Upsetter record label. His first single "People Funny Boy", which was an insult directed at Joe Gibbs and also is held by many to be the first ever single with a 'Reggae' beat, sold well with 60,000 copies sold in Jamaica alone. The next five years were truly extraordinary for Lee Perry. Not only had he founded his own Upsetter imprint, he also had UK Top 5 chart success, toured the UK & Europe, and released a staggering 280 plus singles and over 20 albums.

Pressure Sounds' sixth Lee Perry compilation covers this pre Black Ark period. This compilation gathers 20 tunes from obscure Jamaican 45s -- most of them never released in the UK -- ranging from instrumentals such as The Upsetters' "Val Blow In" and "Amigo" to vocal cuts like The Silvertones' "He Don't Love You" and Busty Brown's "It's Growing", both being real gems. But there's more to enjoy like for example Dave Barker's "Sitting And Waiting", The Ethiopians' roots tune "Awake" (also issued on 7" vinyl by Pressure Sounds), The Bleechers' "What's Wrong With You", and "Iniquity Workers" by the Faithful Brothers. The various tracks provide a good overview of the musical styles that Lee Perry took as a starting point for his production works in that period of his career. It's mainly a Reggae sound inspired by US R'n'B and Soul that you will hear here, although there are also a few tunes included here (Count Sticky's "Boss", and The Upsetters' "Val Is Blowing", "High Plains Drifter" and "The Man With No Name") that are inspired by the then popular 'spaghetti' westerns.

This is a very fine collection of tunes and an opportunity for those who are not familiar with Lee Perry's productions from the days before he started to work in his Black Ark Studio to get a good impression of the man's earlier works.