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- Lee Scratch Perry & The Upsetters - Cloak And Dagger
Posted by : Freeskafoundation domingo, 30 de junio de 2013
Lee Perry is a legendary Reggae producer who hit it big in England in October 1969 with a huge chart hit by his Upsetters band with 'Return of Django'. This was the time when the 'Skinheads' had adopted Reggae due to it's fast chugging danceable beat and the hits were mainly 'instrumental' tracks featuring either a horn (sax, trumpet or trombone) or an eerie hammond organ solo.
By 1971 things changed with Bob Marley, and Reggae became more 'roots' orientated with the subject matter changing to that of 'black conscience' and 'going back to Africa'. These subjects did not really interest the white youth of the U.K. and by 1973, both 'Trojan' and 'Pama' records (the two main Reggae exponent record companies in the U.K.) folded soon after.
The Lee 'Scratch' Perry CLOAK & DAGGER L.P. has a short story to tell because it was released in 'two different version issues in 1972'; - the Jamaican issue (featuring a different tracklisting) - and a seperate 'U.K.' issue originally released on the 'Rhino' Records label. The Jamaican issue (where only 300 were originally produced first time around) had the following tracks on it; A-1. Cloack & Dagger; 2. Sharp Razor; 3. Hail Stone; 4. Musical Transplant. 5. Liquid serenade; 6. Side Gate // B-1 Iron Claw; 2. Iron Side ; 3. Rude Walking; 4. Bad Walking. 5. Caveman Skank; 6. Pe-We Special. Sharp Razor, Iron Side and Bad Walking were 'Dub' instrumentals of their preceeding tracks and the album was hailed by some as being the first true 'Dub' album of the Reggae genre. In the U.K. the tracklisting was 'altered' and contained the following 12 tracks. A-1 Cloak & Dagger; 2. Hail Stone; 3. Musical transplant. 4. Liquid Serenade 5.Retail Love. 6. Creation. // B-1. Iron Claw; 2. Rude Walking. 3. Cave Man Skank. 4.Pe-We Special; 5. Sunshine Rock and 6. Wakey Wakey. Apart from the alternate tracklisting, the U.K. album was 'SPED-UP' so that the tracks had a 'faster tempo' to them than the 'slower' JA album release ones. It is probable that this was done for the U.K. market in order to continue the series of 'Upsetter' instrumental albums such as 'Return of Django', 'The Upsetter', 'Clint Eastwood', 'Many Moods of The Upsetter', 'Eastwood Rides Again' and so on. The U.K. version of 'Cloak & Dagger' is in fact the last true full Reggae instrumental album of The Upsetters as 'Blackboard Jungle' in 1973 was a full 'Dub' album. The JA issue of the 'Cloak & Dagger' album is found on the triple "DUB TRIP-TYCH" Double CD issued by Trojan, and is also recommended. My brother bought a copy in 1979, and I loved it ever since (I bought a re-issue copy in the 90's myself).
Incidentally, this ORCHID 'Original 1972 Mix' issue contains 2 tracks which were NOT issued on the original U.K. album (on RHINO) and they are entitled 'Bull Bay Skank' and 'Fish Tea' - which gives the impression that they are two previously unreleased and unavailable tracks. However, to avid followers of Upsetter music, these tracks are actually 'Serious Joke' (masquerading as 'Bull Bay Skank') and 'Ex-Ray Vision' (masquerading as 'Fish Tea') which are both from the 'Many Moods Of The Upsetter' L.P. from 1969 which comes as a dissapointing if one has them already (despite being brilliant tracks). These two added tracks also seem out of place on the rundown of tracks as the rest of the album was recorded and released in 1972.
The only other points of note are that 1; the sound is good - despite seeming to be taken from a vinyl source as their are a couple of cracks (but no pops) on some of the tracks. It is not as bad as that sounds, the tracks are highly enjoyable with good quality sound, and 2; there is no real information with regards to the album except from a repeat of the original back cover notes that appeared on the U.K. album.
It is a great release of a historical album that when originally released on vinyl didn't really sale well and disappeared without making a big impact thus making it an expensive collectors item at one point. This CD release brings all the original U.K. version tracks together on one disc (all 'sped-up' tracks from the original U.K. versions with the exception of 'Cloak & Dagger' and 'Creation' were previously available on two obscure releases entitled 'Heavy Manners' and 'Glory Dub' - but these have long been deleted and very hard to find.
This release by ORCHID is great if you are an avid 'UPSETTERS' fan and like their instrumental work between 1969 - 1972. If you are of a later style fan and like the 'flying cymbal' sound then this is not really for you.
Tommy McCook & The Upsetters - Cloak & Dagger
The Upsetters - Sharp Razor
Winston Wright & The Upsetters - Hail Stone
The Upsetters - Musical Transplant
Winston Wright & The Upsetters - Liquid Serenade
The Upsetters - Side Gate
Tommy McCook & The Upsetters - Iron Claw
The Upsetters - Iron Side
Tommy McCook & The Upsetters - Rude Walking
The Upsetters - Bad Walking
Lee Perry & The Upsetters - Caveman Skank
The Upsetters - Pe-We Special
Producer : Lee Perry
Backing Band : The Upsetters