Various artists album review
The Complete UK Upsetter Singles Collection Volume 3
Double CD set & 48 page booklet
25 - 06 - 2000
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 3/4||Sleeve : 5|
This double CD collection is the third and last volume of the Complete UK Upsetters Singles Collection series. It comprises 47 tracks which were recorded on Trojan's subsidiary Upsetter label and originally released over a twelve-month period from december 1970. These tracks were recorded at afternoon and evening sessions held at Randy's Studio 17 at North Parade.|
The album opens with Tight Spot from Dave Barker, who was a key figure in Lee 'Scratch' Perry's operations troughout the early seventies, recording material ranging from soulful ballads to raunchy deejay tunes. Next comes the vocal group The Untouchables (aka Inspirations) with a version of Eddy Floyd's soul classic Knock On Wood. The Upsetters were Lee Perry's backing band for the majority of his sessions. Zig Zag is a tune across The Wailer's 'Duppy Conqueror' riddim.
U Roy imitator Teddy recorded a few tunes such as Elusion but he failed to make a decent impression and he went back to the day job as a printer at the Graphic Arts company. The version includes tenor saxophonist Val Bennett. The same riddim is used on Confusion and its version. Bob Marley and The Wailers recorded some of their best tunes with Lee Perry. Mr. Brown illustrates the potential of the band. Kaya refers to to superior quality ganja and shows Bob Marley in relaxed mood as he shelters from the pouring rain with the help of some collie weed. The version opens with Peter Tosh in conversation with an unknown stranger enquiring as to whether he has any herb on offer. Small Axe is considered by many to among The Wailers' finest work for Lee Perry. The B-side is the All In One Medley featuring sections of nine of the group's hits. Deejay Charlie Ace quickly established himself as one of the islands's most popular deejays in the early seventies. Alongside Dave Barker he delivers a good tune and his solo effort The Creeper illustrates his undoubted deejay potential. U Roy briefly re-united with Perry to cut a handful of songs including Copasetic on which his contribution was limited to an opening introduction. Little Roy (aka Earl Lowe) attented a one-off session with Lee Perry at which he cut the impressive Don't Cross The Nation in which he appealed for black Jamaicans to find strength in unity.
The opening track of Disc two is the superb outing from Dave Barker and Bunny Wailer called What A Confusion. Keith 'Junior' Byles achieved major success as a performer with Place Called Africa, a recording which is also notable for the melodica playing of Horace Swaby, better known as Agustus Pablo. Veteran Stranger Cole cut the impressive Run Up Your Mouth after he'd returned from an one year stay in the UK. The version of the song has added percussive effects, most likely provided by Issiah 'Cool Sticky' Thompson. Keyboard player Glen Adams shows his vocal qualities in a wonderful version of Stevie Wonder's hit Never Had A Dream Come True. Carl 'Ras' Dawkins covers Freddie McKay's hit Picture On The Wall, on which backing vocals were provided by the Wailers. More Axe is the lesser known version of 'Small Axe' and shows the group's willingness to experiment with material in search of achieving the right feel. Bunny Wailer is both a songwriter and singer of note als clearly illustrated by the wonderful haunting Dreamland. Eric Donaldson's 'Cherry Oh Baby' riddim is used by Dennis Alcapone on Well Dread.
Hortense Ellis was one of Jamaica's leading female vocalists throughout the sixties. Her brief sojourn with Lee Perry resulted in cover versions of Suspicious Minds and Piece Of My Heart. The disc closes with The Stingers' impressive Give Me Power. They made their recording debut towards the latter part of 1971 and the song hinted at the group's strong Rastafarian beliefs.
Just as the first and second volumes the presentation is faultless with Laurence Cane-Honeysett once again providing excellent sleeve notes - parts of which we used for this review. Not to be missed !