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The Upsetters

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Jamaica (1968 – 1986)

There are two bands by the name The Upsetters:

1. “The Upsetters” is the name of the studio backing band of Jamaican Reggae producer Lee “Scratch” Perry, a.k.a. “The Upsetter”. The members most associated with that name included guitarist Alva Lewis, organist Glen Adams and brothers Aston Barrett and Carlton Barrett on bass and drums respectively, a.k.a. The Hippy Boys. As Lee Perry’s studio band, the Upsetters had three distinct line-ups, though, throughout the years 1968-1986.

1968-1969: Gladdy’s All Stars with Gladston Anderson and Winston Wright (keyboards), Jackie Jackson (bass), Hugh Malcom and Lloyd Adams (drums). They recorded the UK hits Man From M.I.5, Return of Django and Live Injection. According to Perry, “in a spectacular case of bad timing, the original Upsetters couldn’t make the trip” for a tour of Britain. He went with the Hippy Boys instead.

1969-1971: The Hippy Boys included Glen Adams (keyboards), Alva Lewis (guitar), Aston Barrett (bass) and Carlton Barrett (drums). They were collaborating with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer a.k.a The Wailers during that time. Even though Marley and Perry didn’t get along very well, musically wise, they laid the foundation of reggae music for years to come with classics like Small Axe, Duppy Conqueror or 400 Years. In the rise to superstardom the bands began to go their separate ways early in 1972. The Barrett brothers, the most creative reggae rhythm section before Sly & Robbie, joined Marley to become known as the new Wailers which Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer left later on for successful solo careers.

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