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. As a consequence Perry’s Upsetters virtually didn’t exist until he built his own Black Ark Studio.
1974-1979: Black Ark Players of which Boris Gardiner (bass), Mikey Richards, Sly Dunbar and Benbow Creary (drums), Earl “Chinna” Smith (guitar), Winston Wright and Keith Stirling (keyboards) can be considered the core of the band. They developed the new psychedelic sound unique to the Black Ark which was impressively captured on albums like Heart Of The Congos or War Ina Babylon.
Perry himself purports that he deliberately burned down the Black Ark one morning in 1983, to eventually turn his back on Jamaican Reggae for good. The story of the Upsetters ends around 1986 and can be told in various different ways.
2. “The Upsetters” is also the name of Little Richard’s backing band playing R&B and Rock’n’Roll during the 1950’s. One of their instrumental tracks is The Strip
Edited by metawirt on 9 Jun 2011, 14:01
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