Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Lee Perry & His Upsetters Present Roaring Lion
Various
Pressure Sounds
CD / 2LP
December 19, 2013

Track list
  1. Jah Lion & The Upsetters - Truth & Rights
  2. The Upsetters - Upsetters Shuffle
  3. Jah Lion & The Upsetters - Roaring Lion
  4. Augustus Pablo & The Upsetters - Pride
  5. Althea & Donna - Loco Negril
  6. The Upsetters - Big Gal Sally
  7. Jah Lion & The Upsetters - Generation From Creation
  8. The Upsetters - Big Boy Wally
  9. Junior Byles - Beat Down Comrade Man
  10. The Fantels - Stand And Look
  11. The Upsetters - Rocky Road Dub
  12. Bob Marley & The Upsetters - Natural Mystic
  13. The Upsetters - Anasawa Dub
  14. The Upsetters - Dub Dyon
  15. The Upsetters - Emotional Dub
  16. The Upsetters - Dub Stand
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5
UK re-issue label Pressure Sounds keeps digging in the vaults of the legendary producer and mad genius Lee "Scratch" Perry and have compiled an album called "Lee Perry & His Upsetters Present Roaring Lion", subtitled "16 Untamed Black Ark Masters & Dubplates". And although not every album of their previous eight Lee Perry releases was a golden nugget, they certainly were a welcome addition to the collection of the avid Lee Perry fan. Speaking of golden nuggets... this compilation, actually a selection of previously unreleased material recorded/remixed in Perry's Black Ark studio in Washington Gardens -- except "Beat Down Comrade Man", which was recorded at Dynamics Studio -- around 1976, is a golden nugget!!!

"Lee Perry & His Upsetters Present Roaring Lion" features a dozen tracks straight off a single master tape, while the remaining (bonus) tracks are culled from Dub plates and rare vinyl. All these tracks were produced when Lee Perry was at his creative peak. The incomparable feel of the unique Black Ark sound that is widely known from crucial records delivered by artists such as The Congos, Junior Murvin, and Max Romeo, can be fully experienced from the top, to the very last drop.

When recording for "Scratch", the deejay Jah Lloyd became the more dread-sounding Jah Lion, although his approach remained the same as usual. Jah Lion takes care of the opening part with first "Truths And Rights" and then the title track "Roaring Lion". Later on he delivers "Generation From Creation", which utilizes the obscure "Africa" from the Hombres, while "Truth And Rights" comes over Winston Heywood & the Hombres anti capitalist song "Backbiting". "Truth And Rights" and also "Generation From Creation" were rare Jamaica only singles, now luckily available for a wider audience. "Roaring Lion", with its bouncing bass and Augustus Pablo's melodica lines drifting over the top, is a great anthem - quintessential Black Ark. It's followed by an until now unheard Augustus Pablo version called "Pride" - a killer instrumental.

Althea & Donna, the female duo known from their Joe Gibbs produced international hit single "Uptown Top Ranking", get the full Lee Perry treatment on the totally insane sounding "Loco Negril" across a riddim known from Devon Irons' 1977 single "Jerusalem". Definitely the weakest track on this album. Junior Byles' anthemic "Beat Down Babylon" was revoiced as a political tune in support of Michael Manley and re-titled "Beat Down Comrade Man". Next drops in "Stand And Look" by the Fantells. This one is an outstanding roots tune (not the strange UK release that surfaced a while later)... "Babylon kill a Rastaman and don't even know the reason why!" The straight vocal cut is followed by its matching version entitled "Rocky Road Dub". The dubplate mix of Bob Marley's "Natural Mystic", originally cut for Jah Wise's Tippertone Sound, is simply great to hear. The collection is rounded off with four excellent dub versions including "Anasawa Dub", across a relick of Roy Richards' Studio One classic "Freedom Blues", and "Emotional Dub", a dub version of Junior Murvin's "False Teaching".

Without any doubt one of the strongest albums in Pressure Sounds' series of Lee Perry releases. Ignore at your peril!!!