Tuesday, 17 May 2022

I Called You On The Phone But You Started Talkin' 'Bout The Weather

Listening again to Lee 'Scratch' Perry's "final creative act", a remix of Love Died In Our Arms by Dot Allison, I was reminded - as I am, hearing any of his work - of his enduring musical genius. 

I'm inevitably drawn back to 1969 album, The Upsetter, a showcase for Perry's production skills and mostly featuring his studio band The Upsetters, along with a couple of guest spots from Busty Brown (aka Clive Smith) and The Muskyteers (better known as The Silvertones). A 2003 CD reissue was bolstered by 8 bonus tracks, including more of The Upsetters plus Carl Dawkins and David Isaacs, also known to his folks as Bruce Bennett.

The original and expanded album is a mix of instrumentals, cover versions and vocal tracks and is guaranteed to put a smile on my face and spring in my step. I love reggae and dub all year round, but it seems especially apt as spring arrives with the promise of summer to come. 
Looking outside, I don't think the weather got the memo, so today's selection of cuts from The Upsetter's 2003 edition - 10 songs in under 30 minutes - should bring some sunshine into your life, whatever the conditions outside.

1) Thunderball: The Upsetters
2) Endlessly (Cover of Brook Benton): The Muskyteers
3) Hard To Handle (Cover of Otis Redding): Carl Dawkins
4) Tidal Wave (Cover of 'He'll Have To Go' by Jim Reeves): The Upsetters *
5) Untitled Instrumental: The Upsetters
6) Soulful I: The Upsetters **
7) Night Doctor: The Upsetters
8) Slow Motion Version 2: The Upsetters
9) Since You Are Gone: David Isaacs
10) Kiddy-O (Cover of 'Kiddio' by Teddy Randazzo): The Muskyteers
* The vocal version of He'll Have To Go, featuring David Isaacs, features on the 2003 expanded reissue.
** Soulful I is an instrumental version of track 9, Since You Are Gone.
The Upsetter (1969): 1, 4, 6, 7, 10
The Upsetter (2003 reissue): 2, 3, 5, 8 ,9


  1. Mr Perry was clearly a Brook Benton fan, as 'Kiddio' was one of his tunes as well. Back in my days as a university radio DJ I used to do a sort of remix of Brook's 'Endlessly' myself after I discovered it sounded even better if you put an album of sitar music I found in the archives on the other turntable and opened both channels. That's what passed for experimentation back in 1983.

    1. Ah, I did wonder! Kiddy-O was one of a couple of songs that didn't name the composer and the 'research" I did on Discogs threw up that it was written by Lee Perry. A little more digging and I can see that The Muskyteers tracks were released together as a 7" in 1969, so a proper tribute to Mr. Benton's consummate writing skills. Fitting that Kiddy-O's lyrics also lent today's post title. Every day's a learning day!

      I long to hear that remix of Endlessly, sound like a winner. Thanks, Ernie!