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The Upsetters

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 9 months ago

The Upsetters

The Upsetters were a Jamaican Quartet that originated in the late 1960's. The band, not really a band at all, were actually the studio band for [Lee "Scratch" Perry], which he intended to use on a developing label he had started, Upsetter Records, named for his nickname at the time and after his recent hit, I am the Upsetter. That said, The Upsetters history is a confusing one made up of a floating roster.


The Upsetters line-up

The original line-up was an already existing band, Gladdy's All-Stars. The line up is as follows:

Gladdy Anderson and Winston Wright-keyboards

Jackie Jackson-bass

Hugh Malcom and Lloyd "Tin Legs" Adams- Drums

This band had already had a successful tenure playing for many many of Jamaica's producers (Duke Reid on Treasure Isle and more sources also indicate the band may have performed as Beverly's All-Stars for Leslie Kong as well).


Under the direction of Perry, The Upsetters recorded a string of scorching instrumentals including "Man from MI5, Live Injection, and most importantly "Return of Django" which flew up the British charts and instantly became a classic piece of Skinhead Reggae. Due to this hit, the band was invited to tour Europe but for reasons unknown, could not make it. A shame that after such a huge hit the band were not able to enjoy the spoils, however many of them eventually backed Toots and the Maytals and as we all know, the band and the man were unstoppable.


At the time, a band known as The Hippy Boys was playing Bunny Lee. Perry approached them and they became the new incarnation of The Upsetters. This line-up consisted of:

Glen Adams on keyboards

Alva "Reggie" Lewis on guitar

Aston "Family Man" Barrett on bass

Carlton Barrett on drums.


Shortly after the bands return from tour, a relationship between Perry and The Wailers began, with The Upsetters as the backing band. This collaboration, as most know, changed the course of Reggae music.


Well, as so many stories in Jamaican music end, thus does this one. A clash began between Perry and The Upsetters in 1971 over money and song credits, and the Barrett brothers left Perry to become the rhythm section of The Wailers.


The Black Ark Era 1974-1979

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