Various artists album review
The Complete UK Upsetter Singles Collection Volume 4
Double CD set & 48 page booklet
10 - 05 - 2001
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 fourth and the concluding volume of this very collectable series. It comprises 48 tracks which were recorded on Trojan's subsidiary Upsetter label and originally released in the period 1971 to 1973. Here you'll find nearly 2 & 1/2 hours of music,
featuring some of the greatest names in reggae music, and containing very rare material on compact disc for the first time. Included is a 48 page book with many previously unseen pictures, the Upsetters Single Records Discography and a biography.|
The album opens with two tracks across the 'Beat Down Babylon' riddim, the original vocal cut by Junior Byles and Dennis Alcapone's lick, entitled Alpha And Omega. Bet You Don't Know by Chenley Duffus licks the same riddim and on the flipside of the 45' was a powerful version (Babylon Chapter 5) with Ron' Trammy' Wilson's trombone playing providing the main focus of the track. More of the riddim is found on Babylon Burning, featuring Max Romeo, Niney and Lee Perry contributing lead vocals, with Earl Morgan and Barryb Llewellyn of the Heptones pitching in on the chorus. Bass player Lloyd Parks delivers his interpretation of Mighty Clouds Of Joy, followed by the instrumental version. On Public Enemey Number One Max Romeo expresses his strong Rastafarian beliefs that have since then provided the focus for much of his work. On Neville Grant's Black Man's Time the serious subject matter of racial and social quality is off-set by a melody incorporating segments of a childrens' nursery rhyme. The version, Black Supreme, is an organ led instrumental featuring Ansel Collins.
Back Biter by Dennis Alcapone is an updated version of 'People Funny Boy' from 1968. From 1972 dates the release of Bob Marley's Keep On Moving. The group had long since left Perry's stable of artists. Big Youth's Moving Version is one of the artist's earliest recorded works. African Herbsman is a song based on 'Indian Ropeman' by Richie Havens. The Wailers' superb reworking of the song transforms its perspective from telling the plight of native Americans to that of black Jamaicans. The Stingers' Preacher Man is a biting commentary on the hypocrisy of many of those who preached the Christian faith. The installation of new, state of the art recording facilities at Dynamic studios allowed Lee Perry to finally begin creating music that matched his imagination and ambition. Jungle Lion is a romping instrumental version of the Al Green classic 'Here I Am Baby'. The semi dub version of the track-Freak Out Skank, features Perry's creative use of compression and reverb effects. Former lead vocalist with the Bleechers, Leo Graham launched his solo career in early 1973 with News Flash. The dub version of the song illustrates how quickly dub was developing during this time. The album closes with David Isaacs' soulful version of Acker Bilk's Stranger On The Shore. On John Devour a young Dillinger licks the David Isaacs' 1968 version of Stevie Wonder's 'A Place In The Sun'.
The tracks were recorded at Dynamic, Randy's and King Tubby's studios, Kingston, Jamaica, 1971 to 1973.
Just as the 3 previous volumes the presentation is faultless with Laurence Cane-Honeysett once again providing excellent sleeve notes - parts of which we used for this review. Strictly essential and not to be missed !