This is about 78 minutes of Sufferers music-a combination of spirituality, oppression, and a message to the people. All these tracks (made up of Singles and Dub Plates) have that Lee Perry magic, and were recorded at Dynamic Sounds, Randy's, and The Black Ark Studio, with "Scratch" at the controls. The sound is definitely from that period-the 1970's. Several of these tracks aren't what you'd call high fidelity. There's some slight sonic distortion here and there, but the music takes precedence over recording issues.
Perry was known for using the best musicians he could find, and this collection is no different. Musicians include Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, Willie Lindy, Ernest Raglin, Augustus Pablo, Winston Wright, Sticky Thompson, Bobby Ellis, and a few others.
The first track, "Oppression", by Delroy Butler sets the tone for this set. It's aimed directly to those suffering in the ghetto or just plain down and out. But there's up-lifting tunes as well, like "Do Good", by Al Maytone. A number of these songs are fairly rare or by little heard singers. Bobby Floyd's "Sound Doctor", Dillinger's "Wam-Pam-Pa-Do", "Grandfather Land", by Jah T (with great piano chords and percussion), and a few others. Tinga Stewart does a great version of The Temptations' "Smiling Faces", along with it's counterpart "Smiling Version", by the Hux Brown Group.
Speaking of versions, there's a couple more here, including The Upsetters' "Dub Message", from Tony Fearon's "Message To The Nation", "King Of Kings Version" by The Upsetters, from "King Of Kings", by Pat Francis. Also worth mentioning is "Be Prepared", by Keith Poppin, with a good rhythm and great vocals. And U Roy does a good "006", with Augustus Pablo. This is the original Jamaican mix, without the cluttered overdubs.
The Ethiopians turn in a wonderfully soulful "It's Impossible", with it's loping organ led rhythm. And "Water Your Garden", by The Flames, is great-and pretty rare today. "Standing On The Hill", by Chenley Duffus (sic), has a great rhythm along with some soulful background vocals. And check out "Horny Train", from The Upsetters, which is actually the classic "Roots Train No. 1", found on several collections.
This is yet another good collection of Lee Perry's music from the 70's, when he was (arguably) at his best at The Black Ark. The 7 page booklet contains concise notes on the music, plus a couple of b & w photos of Perry and Bob Marley, along with some record labels from the period. If you liked the previous Perry collections from Pressure Sounds, chances are you'll like this too. It's yet more evidence as to Lee Perry's genius in the studio.