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4.5 out of 5 stars13
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 24 June 2003
I only give 5 stars to utter classics like Perry's Blackboard Jungle Dub or Pablo & Tubby's 'Meets Rockers Uptown' and this compilation contains some comparable and seminal work from the Black Ark era.
Diverse influences and musical innovation mean that Jamaican music, Ska, Roots, Dub, etc has in turn had an influence upon the likes of soul, rap, techno and other diverse genres that is hard to overstate. Perry was at the forefront of the 'Dub' era in the 70s using drum machines before anyone else and creating sounds (upon a two-track tape deck) the likes of which had never been heard before. His distinctive sound, e.g. his 'flying hi-hat' set him apart from other producers in a fiercely competitive market and he worked with all of the best Jamaican artists e.g Bob Marley, Max Romeo, The Meditations, The Mighty Diamonds, Junior Murvin, the list goes on.
Never mind that there are some 'fillers' here (though perhaps not as far as hardcore fans are concerned), the genius of the man is well in evidence and there are enough classics to make it well worth the price for any Reggae newbies: Life Is Not Easy - The Meditations, War Ina Babylon - Max Romeo, Chase the Devil - Max Romeo (sampled by the Prodigy!), Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin.
In addition there are plenty of tracks that will make you bounce or just stop and listen: One Step Forward - Max Romeo, Dub Revolution, Pt. 1, Why Must I [Version] - The Heptones, Vibrate On - Augustus Pablo.
As one reviewer points out this concentrates on the late 70s Black Ark work and doesn't overlap with other compilations. It's a well-thumbed and well-loved part of my collection and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 4 July 2000
Sorry, but I hate to see the lazy 'madman' label stuck on Lee Perry for the umpteenth time, like his music is eccentric, obscure or esoteric. The music on this 3-CD set betrays no evidence of insanity, only a relentless exploration of the possibilities of rhythm and dub. All these tracks were recorded 1976-79 and I've heard complaints that there's no coverage of earlier work, but I think that's irrelevant; this isn't a greatest hits compilation, but an in-depth collection of Perry's production work from the Island archives. The important thing is that there's not much overlap with other compilations. And this isn't entirely dub - including fine A-side vocal cuts from the likes of the Congos, Max Romeo, Junior Murvin, The Heptones, & others. There seems to be a common misunderstanding that confuses dub with roots reggae. The dub is the (mainly) instrumental remix version.
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on 22 January 2002
The definitive Lee Perry selection, filled with the best of his production for other artists and his own output. Worth it alone almost for the quality of the remastering of the Roast Fish & Cornbread tunes as the only available release of this album sounds as though it was mastered from a record left behind a radiator for 20 years.
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on 13 August 2013
totally essential .buy it! so many awesome
tracks here..if you buy one reggae album..
this is it.lee perry..the high priest of reggae
with the most sublime bass and rhythm
grooves ..mixed with vocal goldust and laden
with outlandish effects ..vast selection of
his productions coupled with their dubs.
a total gem..these tracks are solid gold.
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on 8 July 2006
JUST BUY IT - This IS HIS BEST, all things considered. Yes there are some 'big' tracks missing so your quest in finalising your collection is probably not yet over.

If you have not heard any/much of Lee Perry's work this album just about sums him up, this is some of his finest works all wrapped up into three disks. If you do not like it after having listened to it, then leave this Artist (and his 'friends') well alone - forever.

If you have the odd album of his and not impressed do not dismiss it as there is allot of 'junk' albums out there!! I personally love his work through the mid seventies and i do not go much on his work beyond the mid 80's. I prefer him producing with quality vocalists at the front. Saying that, his vocals on 'Dreadlocks in Moonlight' are chillingly great....but thats just me. Here are other albums of 'his/friends' I would also rate highly:

The Heptones - Party Time
The Congo's
Open the Gate/Build the Ark - Lee Perry & Friends
Junior Murvin - Police and Thieves
Scratch Attack (2 solid albums in 1)
The Upsetters 'Super Ape' 'return of the Super Ape'
George Faith - To be a Lover, Max Romeo and others.

This album has a good array of tracks/versions from many of the albums listed above so buy this one and go from there, and save yourself a small fortune in the process.

It is of course all a matter of personal choice. You decide.
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on 8 January 2005
Along with the brilliant King Tubby, Sscratch must lay claim to being one of the most influencial persons of the whole Reggae, Ska, Dub, Rocksteady thing. This album highlights the essense of the man. A man who smoked so much Ganja that he burnt down his own studio in a fit of paranoia.
The only perceived weakness could be the repeativeness of the tracks, however this reflects upon the scene surrounding the soundsystems of Jamaica, and not scratch's ability to produce original material (and original his material was).
A personal favorite song is Roots Train by Dillinger, which climaxes in what would now be called a rap, and gives us a tangible link to modern day music. However the songs aim is to highlight the plight of the Rasta, who suffered in a Jamaica where Ganja was illegal.
All in all an exception introduction to the world of Dub Reggae and more than that it highlights that Reggae exists, moreover is waiting to be discovered, beyond its figurehead Bob Marley.
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on 19 August 2001
Alongside Marleys 4 CD box set, Songs of Freedom, this is the starting point for anybody wanting to build a deeper love for reggae music. This is the platform from which to explore all the featured artists included in this seminal 52 track, 3 CD set. For hardcore and long-term purists take the chance to grab 15 previously unreleased versions. This is not only a cornerstone to any collection but also a perfect guide to move forward into loads more crucial reggae sounds. Many of these tracks are also to be found on essential albums such as the Congos newer CD package of 'Heart of the Congos', the wonderous 'To Be A Lover' by George Faith, and 'War Inna Babylon' by Max Romeo just for starters... and lest we forget, it also serves as a breathtaking insight into the genius of Mr. Perry.
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on 14 January 2000
A fantastic opportunity to look into the world of Lee Scratch Perry, a man of obvious talent and dubious sanity. This dub compilation trips along with apparent glee, making use of both innovative dub lines and very innovative sounds. perfect listening for when the sun is out and bound to make you smile and tap your foot when it isn't. Quite simply a really good fun album from a fantastic (and fantastical) musician - bennett
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on 5 September 2014
Excellent!! Perry is the godfather of dub in my book.A truly great collection & one of THE best introductions to an artist.None of todays artists will be still producing such fine albums so late in life.Perry is hard to beat.10 stars needed!
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on 11 March 2016
Brilliant, with so many great artists, Max Romeo, Junior Murvin, the Upsetters (obviously), the Congos to name but a few. Just great when you want to relax and hear some great melodies and rhythms.
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