Lee Perry has been on the Jamaican music scene ever since its beginnings. He started as a talent scout and secret producer for Studio One, a bouncer for Coxsones Downbeat Sound System and even a singer in his own right. In fact, it was the song "Chicken Scratch" that he recorded for Studio One in the ska days that would give Lee Perry his nickname of Scratch. After leaving Coxsone on bad terms, Perry recorded his revenge song aimed at Coxsone for up-and-coming producer Joe Gibbs called "The Upsetter". This song gave Scratch his other nickname.
It want until the late 1960's though that Lee Perry decided to go on his own and start his own Upsetter label. To do so he needed some serious hard playing musicians to be his session players. This group turned out to be for the most part Glen Adams and Winston Wright (organ), Gladdy Anderson (piano), Alva Lewis (guitar), Carlton Barrett (drums) and Aston Barrett (bass). Collectively they became known as The Upsetters.
This album is named after the song that took the Upsetters to number 5 on the UK music charts and then on a tour of the UK, and it contains twelve sure-fire reggae rockers that are sure to get anyone moving.
"Return of Django" features the sax work of Val Bennett and the hard rhythm section of Jackie Jackson on bass and Hugh Malcolm on drums. This song is a classic and is the best selling reggae single of all time.
other top tracks on this album are the sweet "Soulful I" and especially the rocking "Live Injection" which showcases Glen Adams seriously amazing Organ techniques. "Lve Injection" is definitly one of my favorites ont he album. Other highlights include "Night Doctor" which has a really excellent rhythm provided by the Barrett brothers as well as showcasing more of the extremly talentied organ playing of Glen Adams.
All the songs on this are rocking instrumentals (some of them with eerie opening lines from Lee Perry like on "Cold Sweat" and "Man From M.I.5") and all the songs are filled with old Spaghetti Western imagry with sometimes violent sounding solos. Basically what this album is is just solid rhythms played by an extremly talented band.
I would definitly recommend this one to any fan of early reggae and Lee Perry. Though this record is really different from Scratch's later BLack Ark sound, The Upsetters "Return of Django" is still ahead of its time and is an excellent view of what a figurehead for reggae Lee Perry would soon become.