Lee "Scratch" Perry* ‎– Chicken Scratch

Label:
Heartbeat Records (2) ‎– HB-53
Series:
Format:
Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Country:
Released:
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Tracklist

A1 Lee Perry & The Soulettes Please Don't Go 3:12
A2 Lee Perry Chicken Scratch 2:55
A3 Lee Perry Feel Like Jumping 2:28
A4 Lee Perry & The Dynamites Solid As A Rock 2:41
A5 Lee Perry & The Soulettes By Saint Peter 2:24
A6 Lee Perry Tackoo 2:07
B1 King Scratch (3) & The Dynamites Roast Duck 2:31
B2 Lee Perry & The Wailers Man To Man 2:21
B3 King Scratch (3) & The Dynamites Gruma 1:54
B4 Lee Perry Jane Ann & The Pumpkin 1:52
B5 Lee Perry & The Dynamites Just Keep It Up 2:41
B6 Lee Perry & The Soulettes Puss In Bag 2:43

Credits

Notes

No history of Jamaica music could be written without a long chapter being devoted to lee Perry. From his early days at Clement Dodd’s Studio One to his later much acclaimed involvement with the late Bob Marley, Lee Perry has stretched the boundaries of reggae music creating a personal mystique in the meantime that at once overshadows but also enhances his great achievements in the music field.
Born in St. Marys from the kind of place Jamaicans call “weh out de,” Lee “Little” Perry arrived at Mr. Dodd’s Orange Street Shop in the late fifties. Being only five foot and even then having a “strange look” about him, he nevertheless became friendly with Mr. Dood who, unlike Duke Reid whom Perry had first approached, saw ”some-thing in him.” At Studio One he became a jack of all trades, working with the sound system, helping out in the studio, taking the mechanicals to the pressing plants and selling records (much like what King Stitt does for Studio One today), actually learning the business in which he was to have such a great impact.
In those early days Perry was primarily a singer and recorded an astonishing body of work for studio One in the early to middle sixties. Songs that express the rivalry between the different sound systems like “Prince in the Back”/”Don’t Copy” (1963), about Prince Buster (and one of his earliest releases), “Prince and Duke” (1963) about Prince Buster and Duke Reid and “Mad Head” (1963, a reaction to the Prince buster hit “Madness.” There were social commentaries of ”Wishes of the Wicked” (1964), “Give Me Justice” (1966) and the tongue in cheek lewdness of “Roast Duck” (1965) and “Open Up the Cook Book” (1965), both ostensibly about food. All represent works that prefigure many of the themes found in his later music.
By 1968 Lee Perry had left Studio One and moved to Wirl where he cut ”Set Them free,” then to Joe Gibbs Cutting ”The Upsetter” before founding his Own “Upsetters” label later that year. He had started on his own road, finding his own sound with artists like The Wailers (With whom he’d worked at studio One). In the seventies the Upsetter, as Lee Perry was now known, could do no wrong and he hit big with “People Funny Boy,” ”The return of Django” and with almost anything by Bob Marley and the Wailers. But reports from Jamaica, like the story of Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace (the famous drummer) who had come to Perry’s Black Ark Studio to be paid only to find Per5ry searching in the four corners of his building with a hammer looking to give”Ceasar his due,” signalled a decline in productivity (with stories like these enhancing Perry’s reputation still further) and by the eighties his releases had become sporadic.
This album dates from his heyday at Studio One and concentrates on the years 1964 to 1966. Many of the songs feature the female vocals of either The Soulettes or The Dynamites. The Soulettes were Rita Marley’s first group and include her cousin Constantine “Vision” Walker. They sang on quite a few Lee Perry sides including “Rub and Squeeze” (1966), credited to Lee “King” Perry and the Soulettes. Other releases by the soulettes on Studio One include”Opporunity” (1965), “One More Chance” (1965 and “Don’t Care What the People Say” (1966).
Also included on this album are “Man to Man” featuring Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny “Wailer” Livingstone and “Chicken Scratch,” the title giving Lee Perry yet another of his many nicknames-“Scratch.” All tracks on this album are backed by the legendary Skatalites, the premier band of the day. Most of the tracks on this album have been unavailable in any form for over twenty years and some of the cuts are previously unreleased. They are part of the rich legacy of Jamaican music, recorded at the time when American based R & B 78s were being superseded by Jamaican indigenous interpretations. Songs blending an exciting mix of R & B, Jazz and Jamaican folk tradition. Lee Perry, while appealing to sophisticated European audiences, could still capture the essence of Jamaican life. Songs like “Gumma” or “Tackoo” predate the Leo Graham “Black Candle” (an Upsetters mid-70’s cut) with their use of Jamaican language and folklore. In fact the songs on this album are the embryo that Lee Perry brought to life during the Upsetter years when he was in charge of his own musical identify. Chicken Scratch is the latest collaboration between Heartbeat Records and the Studio One label. The record is an important document, a time capsule of the ska era when everything in Jamaica felt fresh, new and exciting. That it sounds fresh and exciting years later is a testament to Studio One and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

-Chris Wilson

(P) & (C) 1989 Poli-Rhythm Ltd.
Jacket made in Canada

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 0 1166-17553-1 4

Other Versions (5 of 5) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
CD-HB-53 Lee "Scratch" Perry* Chicken Scratch(CD, Comp) Heartbeat Records (2) CD-HB-53 US 1989 Sell This Version
11661-7839-1 Lee "Scratch" Perry* Chicken Scratch Deluxe Edition(LP, Comp) Heartbeat Records (2) 11661-7839-1 US 2008 Sell This Version
C-HB-53 Lee "Scratch" Perry* Chicken Scratch(Cass, Comp) Heartbeat Records (2) C-HB-53 US 1989 Sell This Version
HEARTBEAT 11661-7839-2 Lee "Scratch" Perry* Chicken Scratch(CD, Comp, Del) Heartbeat Records (2) HEARTBEAT 11661-7839-2 US 2008 Sell This Version
SOLP 0053 Lee "Scratch" Perry* Chicken Scratch(LP, Comp) Studio One SOLP 0053 US 1985 Sell This Version

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Nostradamus7

Nostradamus7

August 12, 2012
Skip this one. Not very inspiring, recording sounds rough, not so much dub.