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Lee Scratch Perry: The Wonderman Years

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Various Artists 10/13/2009

Review

There is a period in Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry's long recording history that often gets overlooked simply because of where it falls, and that interval, the so-called "Wonderman" years (from the advent of his innovative work with the Wailers in 1969 through the very early years of his Black Ark recording studio), is covered in this collection. There is wonderful stuff here, with some of Perry's best and most classic rhythms presented in song, dub, and DJ versions. The Wailers are represented by Bob Marley's famous take on Richie Havens' "African Herbsman" and one of Peter Tosh's finest songs, "Brand New Second Hand," but there are many other highlights, including three wonderful tracks ("Beat Down Babylon," "A Place Called Africa," "Fever") done by Junior Byles and the striking, oddball "Mighty Clouds of Joy" by Lloyd Parks. Perry had a special touch with vocal trios, and in addition to the Wailers tracks, there are fine cuts here from the Stingers ("Give Me Power," "Preacher Man"), the Willows ("Cool Iron"), and the Gatherers ("Start Over," "Words of My Mouth"). This two-disc set is probably not the place to start if you are new to Perry's work, but if you're a fan, it is close to essential. ~ Steve Leggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Keep on Moving Bob Marley & the Wailers 3:8
  3. 2 Moving Version Various Artists 2:58
  4. 3 African Herbman Bob Marley & the Wailers 2:22
  5. 4 Beat Down Babylon Junior Byles 2:32
  6. 5 Ital Version (AKA 'Babylon Chapter 5' ) The Upsetters 2:54
  7. 6 Informer Men Various Artists 2:56
  8. 7 Alpha & Omega Various Artists 2:57
  9. 8 Babylon's Burning Various Artists 2:21
  10. 9 Give Me Power Various Artists 3:14
  11. 10 Give Me Power No. 2 King Iwah 3:8
  12. 11 Sunshine Showdown The Upsetters 3:14
  13. 12 Tipper Special The Upsetters 3:2
  14. 13 Brand New Second Hand Various Artists 3:8
  15. 14 Mighty Clouds of Joy Lloyd Parks 3:5
  16. 15 Professor Ironside Lloyd Parks 3:24
  17. 16 Iron Curtain The Upsetters 3:4
  18. 17 A Place Called Africa Various Artists 2:39
  19. 18 Africa Stand Dennis Alcapone 2:50
  20. 19 Chapter 3 of Africa (AKA 'Place Called Africa' Verse 3 ) Various Artists 2:48
  21. 20 Jah Rastafari (AKA 'Place Called Africa' Verse 6, AKA 'Wonder Man' ) Dennis Alcapone 2:27
  22. 21 This World Various Artists 3:7
  23. 22 Fever Various Artists 2:52
  24. 23 Hot and Cold Augustus Pablo 3:27
  25. 24 Lick the Pipe, Peter, Pt. 4 Jah-T 2:58
  26. 25 Preacher Man The Stingers 2:39
  27. 26 Preacher Man Version The Upsetters 2:40
  28. 1 King of Babylon Junior Byles 3:5
  29. 2 Master Key Various Artists 4:8
  30. 3 Key Hole Various Artists 3:2
  31. 4 One Love, One Heart Various Artists 2:44
  32. 5 French Connection Various Artists 4:8
  33. 6 French Connection Chapter 2 The Upsetters 4:1
  34. 7 Black Man Time Various Artists 3:1
  35. 8 Cool Iron Various Artists 2:24
  36. 9 Dub Organiser Various Artists 3:18
  37. 10 Whiplash Wesley Martin 2:55
  38. 11 Good Night My Love Various Artists 3:34
  39. 12 At the End (of a Rainbow) Various Artists 3:44
  40. 13 Black Ipa The Upsetters 3:21
  41. 14 Ipa Skank King Tubby 3:26
  42. 15 Jungle Lion The Upsetters 3:24
  43. 16 Freak Out Skank The Upsetters 3:20
  44. 17 Bathroom Skank The Upsetters 4:17
  45. 18 Start Over Various Artists 2:51
  46. 19 Words of My Mouth Various Artists 3:33
  47. 20 Hot Tip Various Artists 3:18
  48. 21 Bucky Skank Various Artists 4:3
  49. 22 Cow Thief Skank Various Artists 3:29
  50. 23 Justice to the People Various Artists 3:12

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