This is probably my favourite Lee Perry compilation. Although Arkology was really thorough, and has some stupendous music on it (notably Junior Murvin's 'Tedious', which has the incredible dubbed out section that isn't on the current cd), it was just a bit overwhelmingly large. What makes this one so good is the strength of the individual songs as much as Perry's studio wizardry. The production varies from the economical and punchy, to the spacious and weird, as you would expect, but every song is excellent, with some superb horn arrangements and vocal harmonies. The vocalists on here range from well known acts like Junior Murvin and The Heptones, to more obscure names like Winstone Heywood and King Burnett. I can't help thinking of the fantastic film Rockers when I listen to these lesser known artists - they knew they had a great song, probably had to fight to get it recorded, and made bugger all money out of it. The lyrical subjects runs the gamut, from relationship traumas, to problems with the police, to politics, and serve up a brilliant snapshot of Jamaica in the mid 70s. Of course, there is a dub for every song, but I think the great element of Perry's genius demonstrated on this disc is his ability to complement the vocal versions with perfect backing tracks.
Also, this one is worth downloading for the utterly amazing 'Guide Line' by George Faith. Apparently this was from an album which he recorded in 1978, just before Lee Perry lost the plot in a big way and burned down the studio. Most of this album was never released, which is a terrible shame.
Worlds made from nothingness.
1 week ago