Lee ‘Scratch The Upsetter’ Perry – Cloak & Dagger

by Jul 31, 2020Artist, Reviews

Lee 'Scratch The Upsetter' Perry - Cloak & Dagger
Lee 'Scratch The Upsetter' Perry - Cloak & Dagger

Release Info

Lee ‘Scratch The Upsetter’ Perry – Cloak & Dagger

Label:  Music On Vinyl | Format: LP | Street date:  July 31, 2020 | Website label

Tracks

  1. Cloak & Dagger
  2. Hail Stone
  3. Musical Transplant
  4. Liquid Serenade
  5. Retail Love
  6. Creation
  7. Iron Claw
  8. Rude Walking
  9. Cave Man Skank
  10. Pe We Special
  11. Sunshine Rock
  12. Wakey Wakey
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry

Living reggae legend Rainford Hugh Perry, better known as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry (or Pipecock Jackson, The Gong, Upsetter) is one of the most important and influential figures in the history of Jamaican popular music. He made his initial impact performing at Studio One in the ska era, was instrumental in Joe Gibbs’ early success, and made radical impressions with the most innovative work of Bob Marley & The Wailers.
He built the Black Ark studio in 1973 behind his family’s home in the Washington Gardens neighborhood of Kingston. Not hindered by the somewhat rudimentary set-up and its basic equipment, Lee Perry found himself building top-notch productions, known for their creative, experimental production and recording techniques. His sound became a blueprint and source of inspiration for later generations of music producers. At the end of the decade, during a long-lasting period of increasingly bizarre and erratic behavior, he burned the studio to the ground.
In the 1980’s he kept alow profile, while the world re-discovered the sheer quality and brilliance of his music. The 1990s was a prolific period, collaborating with a diversity of musicians and producers. Although he in his 80s, he’s still busy, recording, and touring all over the globe.

Music On Vinyl

The Dutch vinyl only (high quality 180g LP’s and 7# pressings) reissue label has already earned respect in the reggae scene with superb vinyl reissues of classic albums. Some of their releases are Bob Andy’s 1978 album Lots Of Love And I, Ini Kamoze’s debut set Ini Kamoze and Jezebel by Justin Hinds and The Dominoes. More noteworthy releases sets are Live And Direct from Aswad and African Anthem Dubwise by the late, great Mikey Dread. One of their most recent efforts is the reissue of the Lee ‘Scratch The Upsetter’ Perry – Cloak & Dagger lp.

Cloak & Dagger

The initial release of the album in 1972 was entitled Upsetter – Cloak And Dagger and only released in Jamaica. A year later another version of the album popped up in the UK and the US with some different tracks and variations (tempo!) in the mix. The current reissue LP is the sought after UK set, issued by Rhino Records in 1973. The extravagant, horror-esque, sleeve portraits Perry and his then-wife, Pauline Morrison.
The album sees Perry moving from his early reggae style into experimenting with dub and playing around with dubbed up instrumentals. Not much later he would surprise the world with the totally essential dub lp Blackboard Jungle Dub

The opening track Cloak & Dagger, preceded by a typical Perry spoken intro, is credited to Tommy McCook & The Upsetters. An amazing tight instrumental, dominated by Tommy McCook’s saxophone workout. Later a reconstructed version of the riddim, known as Dub Organizer, was included on Blackboard Jungle Dub. We can hear dub influences on Rude Walking, an adaptation of Horace Andy’s hit tune Skylarking.

Particularly weird is Caveman Skank with it’s an intro of a Native American Chief reading from the Bible in Cherokee. It’s Perry scatting around and it seems he’s splashing and dashing in the bathroom. Keyboard player Winston Wright shines on Hail Stone, a very laid back organ instrumental. The same goes for Liquid Serenade. The B-side opens with a small introduction from Perry followed by Iron Claw with its distinctive bassline and accompanying horn lines by Tommy McCook. Later he released the same tune as Mek It Soon. Also worth mentioning is Pe We Special, an instrumental by the mighty Upsetters.

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