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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£15.45+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 18 May 2017
I never bother writing reviews normally, but bought this after listening to a couple of other tracks of his...what a brilliant album. ..great vibes...don't think about it...just buy it...I would put it alongside Bob Marleys Legends album in my all time reggae likes :) (and I have only heard 1 and a half discs so far!)
2 people found this helpful
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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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on 8 June 2017
The upsetter at his best.
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on 30 November 2017
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on 7 November 2016
This is the real jelly arkology Lee Perry made me think loved and love it!
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on 17 June 2018
This is a 3CD compilation of roots reggae tracks produced by the legendary Lee "Scratch" Perry and recorded at his own Black Ark Studios in Jamaica.

Although it purports to be a career-spanning anthology, it is not quite so. Most of the material is drawn from the classic roots reggae/punk crossover period of 1975-1979. Perry produced a lot of stuff before those dates, but a lot of that would have been in the vein of Susan Cadogan's "Hurt So Good" - classic 70s reggae singles. The emphasis on here is definitely on the roots - Rasta consciousness material railing against Babylon, praising Jah and warning of weepin', wailin' and a gnashin' of teet', as exemplified on "Rasta Train" by Raphael Green & Dr. Alimantado. That is not a bad thing as that is the period which probably saw the "dub" side of Perry, the master of studio experimentation, at its finest. If you think of Scratch, you think of him as a master of dub and roots cuts - big, bassy, pounding, speaker thumping, echoey, with that jangling percussion sound and innovative instrumentation such as the use of the melodica. "Vibrator" by The Upsetters definitely falls into this category. Notting Hill carnival material, just as darkness is falling and those speakers start to vibrate under the Westway and the atmosphere gets just a little menacing. Another in this vein is the mesmerising "Vibrate On" which features Augustus Pablo on melodica. "Life Is Not Easy Dub" by The Vibrators is an example of a full, powerful, bassy dub, with weird animal noises and some "toasting" style vocals over a skanking guitar and thumping drum rhythm.

The rootsy classics on here are many - Max Romeo's iconic "War Ina Babylon" with its "Sipple Out Deh" refrain and "One Step Forward", also Errol Walker's "John Public". Then there are the several different incarnations of Junior Murvin's "Police And Thieves" riddim - the track itself, plus "Soldier And Police War"; the dub of "Grumblin' Dub" and Glen Da Costa's alluring saxophone version "Magic Touch". Perry's "Soul Fire", "Curly Locks" and the wonderfully atmospheric "Dreadlocks In Moonlight" are excellent contributions from the man himself, as also is the delightful "Roast Fish & Cornbread". Then there is the classic "Congoman" by The Congos, Junior Murvin's tedious and, in case all the roots and Rasta vibe is becoming too much then there is the marvellous, romantic almost "Lovers' Rock" of George Faith's "To Be A Lover(Have Some Mercy)".

A lot of the tracks are dubby versions of vocal tracks from the album, such as "Revelation Dub" which is the dub version of "War Ina Babylon". Rather than plough through all of the compilation, a good thing to do is put it on "shuffle" and play half an hours' worth of righteous roots reggae.
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on 3 March 2017
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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.
19 people found this helpful
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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.
22 people found this helpful
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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
4 people found this helpful
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