Original Format: mp3
Yesterday I picked up David Katz’s People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee “Scratch” Perry to look something up, and found an old post-it with this LSP quote written on it:
I am sure Jesus Christ is black, because Jesus Christ is my sweet cock.
The man certainly had a way with words. Sound too. As for power, well, he had some. Remember:
It was four tracks written on the machine, but I was picking up twenty from the extra terrestrial squad.
Hmmm, “Extra Terrestrial Squad” would be a hell of a band name… though hard to live up to.
Anyway, let’s listen to some music.
Music Is the Only Comforter Lee “Scratch” Perry
He’s right, you know.
The Ark of the Covenant The Congos
“Picasso paint, Mohammed Ali fight; Mad Lee Jackxon Perry drop RHYTHM. Over 30 years still one of the hardest tunes.” —YouTube commenter Myles Ejegi-Memeh
Abendigo The Abyssinians
That should be “Abednego,” but Rastas are not generally sticklers for correct spelling.
Tedious Junior Murvin
In this context “tedious” is a good thing, apparently.
The Great Gig in the Sky Easy Star All-Stars
When I first heard that someone was doing a full-length reggae version of Dark Side of the Moon, I thought it was the dumbest idea I’d ever heard. Then I got curious and actually listened to the thing, and was blown away. It’s the best cover of a complete album that I can think of.
Dub Along The Upsetters
Because it appeared on the legendary album Super Ape, this dub is much better known that the original version, which is not bad either:
Get on the Right Track Phyllis & Hopeton
They make it sound so easy.
X-Ray Vision The Upsetters
Searching the title of this song brought me to a book on Amazon that is apparently part of a series called Planet of Women. I now present, without comment, the unedited text from that product page:
Joshua Miller’s Overlord wife Iris came to see him and upgraded his abilities. He could bring people back that had died. He could also heal people who had serious injuries or illnesses. One of his favorite things was he could roll back women’s ages so they were in their mid-20s again. He looked and felt like a 30 year old man although he was twice that age. Josh could perform sexual feats far beyond what a normal man could do. He had young wives that included governors, directors of reproduction, and the wives that he selected personally. He was the Governor of Texas and had a huge estate house on his ranch that some of my wives lived in with him. He was also the President of the University of Texas. His newest gift from Iris was x-ray vision so he could look under the clothes of women and see them nude. He rarely used his x-ray vision though since he respected attractive women’s privacy and didn’t want to violate it. Sometimes he was tempted though and looked anyway. It didn’t always work out the way he wanted it to and got him in trouble.
Death Trap Jackie Mittoo
“Death Trap” is also a book:
And a “silent text parser adventure game” from the 80s:
Fat Man Jah Lion
Some might call this fat-shaming, but I prefer to think that the corpulence being criticized is spiritual in nature.
Dub 68 (Excerpt) Horace Andy
Dub in Time Lee Perry & The Upsetters
Jah Jah Jehovah Version King Tubby & the Aggrovators
Rejoicing Skank The Upsetters
555 Dub Street Augustus Pablo
Ark of the Rising Sun The Upsetters
Due to the lack of lyrical content, sometimes there’s not much to say about dub music. Maybe it’s a better idea to just shut up and listen.
Rivers of Babylon The Melodians
“‘Rivers of Babylon’ is a Rastafari song written and recorded by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton of the Jamaican reggae group The Melodians in 1970. The lyrics are adapted from the texts of Psalms 19 and 137 in the Hebrew Bible. The Melodians’ original version of the song appeared on the soundtrack album for the 1972 movie The Harder They Come, which made it internationally known. The song was re-popularized in Europe by the 1978 Boney M. cover version, which was awarded a platinum disc and is one of the top-ten, all-time best-selling singles in the UK.
Babylon Falling The Heptones
I knew that this song reminded me of something, but I could never figure out what it was. And then finally, mercifully, Whosampled.com clued me in:
Israelites Desmond Dekker & the Aces
This series is by no means intended to be a comprehensive history of reggae, but it was still a little alarming to realize I had not yet included any Desmond Dekker. I feel better now.
African Herbsman Bob Marley & the Wailers
Only very recently, after hearing this at least a hundred times, did I learn that it’s based on a song called “Indian Rope Man” by Richie Havens. Far out, man.
I Alone The Maytals
A lovely tune that shows Toots’ introspective side, and a good place to end for now.