Various artists album review
The Complete UK Upsetter Singles Collection Volume 1
Double CD set & 45 page booklet
27 - 08 - 1998
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 3/4||Sleeve : 5|
This double CD collection brings together the first 50 singles that Trojan Records released on their 1969 launched Upsetter label. For the next three years it was the most consistent vehicle for Lee Perry's productions in the UK, issuing just over a hundred 45s during that period.|
The first disc kicks off with Eight For Eight, the single which launched the new label. It's an instrumental probably performed by Gladdy's All Stars. Return Of Django and Dollar In Teeth was a single that spent 15 weeks in the Top 50, becoming one of the best-selling Jamaican produced releases of all time. Vocalist David Isaacs is featured here with 5 tracks. His relationship with Lee Perry lasted well into the 70s. His soulful version of John Denver's Leaving On A Jet Plane was cut at Coxsone's Dodd Studio One, with The Sound Dimension providing the musical backing. He also delivers a fine rendition of the Jim Reeves' classic He'll Have To Go. What A Situation features the lead vocal of Keith 'Slim' Smith - one of Jamaica's most popular performers from the period.
Ten To Twelve is Perry's rendition of the standard Moonlight Bay. Busty Brown -real name Clive Smith- started working with Lee Perry in 1968, resulting in a series of fine singles. To Love Somebody, his version of The Bee Gee's 1967 pop hit, is one of his finest performances for Lee Perry, whilst his King Of The Trombone pays tribute to the legendary Jamaican musician Don Drummond. The track I Can't See Myself Cry About You has a sound more akin to Muscle Shoals than Kingston, Jamaica.
Winston Jarrett, best known as the lead vocalist for The Righteous Flames, recorded the one-off solo effort Mini Dress. The song sunk without a trace and due to the limited number of pressings manufactured, the single is now one of the rarest issued on the Upsetter label. The fine instrumental Night Doctor is the first recording on which Sly Dunbar performed. After The Termites -Lloyd Parks and Wentworth Vernal- cut I'll Be Waiting both singers went their seperate ways, with Parks later performing as vocalist with The Techniques and bass player for bands such as Skin, Flesh & Bones, The Revoltionaries, The Professionals and his own We The People Band.
The Bleechers recorded extensively for Lee Perry and split up around 1971, after which lead singer Leo Graham -father of Daweh Congo- returned to work with Lee Perry as a solo artist. Their most popular cut for Lee Perry was Come Into My Parlour. Their track Pound Get A Blow refers to the historic change over of currency which on Jamaica occured on September 8th 1969, where the pound was phased out in favour of the dollar. Check Him Out is a blatant piece of advertising for Lee Perry's recently opened Upsetter shop on Charles Street. The popular Gaylads cut one 45 for Perry, The Same Things with on the flipside I Wear My Slanders.
The presentation of these first 25 singles (Upsetter US 300 through Upsetter US 324) is faultless ; Laurence Cane-Honeysett provides more than excellent sleeve notes -which we used for this review- , the cover features a Tim Barrow picture of Lee Perry smoking a spliff, and the booklet is filled with nice black and white pictures. A strongly recommended package !