Classic Albums: Super Ape by Lee “Scratch” Perry & The Upsetters

So the last few days here in Perth W.A. it’s been something over 30 but it’s not up to 40 yet. Anyway Reggae music is the prefect style of music for this type of weather and this is got to be my most favourite of that style. It’s really called a Dub or Roots record, both sub-style of Reggae but then again it’s far from your normal Reggae/Dub/Roots album. It’s from Jamaica so I should just say Super Ape is my fav album from that part of the world. I’ve included and will keep including albums of all different style of music and parts of the world here. Jamaica has been here before on my list with Grace Jones’ great disco album, she’s Jamaica born but USA, New York state raises. Lee “Scratch” Perry was born and raised there but researching and reading a bit about him for this post, he’s relocated and now lives in Switzerland.

It’s two 70’s albums in a row but you couldn’t find two more different, well maybe you could but I didn’t really think to do it that way. I knew it had to be Super Ape for the first Reggae album on list but it wasn’t until this heat wave I started listening to it again a lot and it seem now the right one to do next now. Do people listen to Reggae in cold countries? I don’t know? I did read this too which says dogs favourite styles of music is Reggae and Soft Rock, judged by the best dog behaviours while or after listening to music. I’m really not a big Fleetwood Mac fan, over rated and boring. It will never be here on my blog, so sorry to all my dog readers. Then again I’m not the biggest Reggae fan, I don’t know any of this matters because I don’t even have a dog, do you?

Perry in The Black Ark Studio in late 70’s

So Lee “Scratch” Perry name isn’t on the album cover and is sometimes only credited to The Upsetters but you see apparently he’s the Super Ape. Perry wrote all the songs, producer it and The Upsetters was his in-house studio band at the time of recording the album. The best description I’ve read it’s like “Scratch playing the mixing board like an instrument.” It’s also one of the very last albums to be recorded at The Black Ark Studio which in just a year or two, Perry himself burn to ground and the leaves the country to England. Perry is pretty well-known for the crazy and eccentric but this does take the cake because everything was destroy, nothing was left. Some reasons have been given for this I guess makes some kind-off sense, maybe?

I can’t believe how Perry work doesn’t feature on any of those big albums list like 500 Rolling Stone mag albums of all-time or 1001 Albums to listen before you drop dead etc. This album is listed in the book 100 Essential CDs by The Rough Guide and then? Maybe I missed something else somewhere? Perry’s influence over Jamaican music and then that over western music from English and American can not be understated. I guess if you’re Rolling Stones magazine he can be totally forgotten, unbelievable. Scratch and The Upsetters does pop up in say Mojo magazine’s greatest 50 Reggae albums so proves they’re so much better. Plus yet another reason to written something like this not that I have that readership but I do thank you personal for reading this right now!

Super Ape track listing and times:

1. Zion’s Blood – 3:59
2. Croaking Lizard – 3:2
3. Black Vest – 4:43
4. Underground – 2:59
5. Curly Dub – 4:15
6. Dread Lion – 4:33
7. Three in One – 3:41
8. Patience – 3:52
9. Dub Along – 3:13
10. Super Ape – 3:50


So that’s a link to all my posts tagged under Classic Albums, so far. It’s a work in progress and the idea is just to simply list all my fave all-time albums. Then to written something, anything about each one because I’m dyslexia it might help to write about something I love. Today I’ve number them all in order of how I’ve written them but it’s NOT rated them in anyway, shape or form, all of them are 5 out of five, 10 out of ten.

  1. Tales From The Australian Underground: Volume 1 & 2 by Various Artists
  2. Station To Station by David Bowie
  3. Unplugged In New York by Nirvana
  4. Rust In Peace by Megadeth
  5. Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs by Marty Robbins
  6. Henry’s Dream by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  7. Whatever You Love, You Are by Dirty Three
  8. Gala Mill by The Drones
  9. Black Monk Time by The Monks
  10. Ex Tropical by Lost Animal
  11. Work (Work, Work) by HTRK
  12. In The Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra
  13. The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd
  14. Songs Of Love And Hate by Leonard Cohen
  15. Warm Leatherette by Grace Jones
  16. The White House by The Dead C
  17. Silence Is Sexy by Einstürzende Neubauten
  18. Lulu by Lou Reed & Metallica
  19. Kaira by Toumani Diabaté
  20. Kings Of The Wild Frontier by Adam And The Ants
  21. Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth by Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males
  22. Aerial by Kate Bush
  23. The Future by Leonard Cohen
  24. Rock For Light by Bad Brains
  25. Last Splash by The Breeders
  26. Sex by The Necks
  27. Emergency Ward by Nina Simone
  28. Paradise by My Disco
  29. Batman by Prince
  30. Sings Christmas Carols by Mark Kozelek
  31. What Are Rock Stars Doing Today by Magic Dirt
  32. Love Of Life by Swans
  33. Big Name, No Blankets by Warumpi Band
  34. Blue Valentine by Tom Waits
  35. In The Pines by The Triffids
  36. Where Joy Kills Sorrow by Various Artists
  37. TV Sky by The Young Gods
  38. King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime by Faith No More
  39. Jean Lee And The Yellow Dog by Ed Kuepper
  40. Law Of Nature by Laughing Clowns
  41. (I’m) Stranded by The Saints

If you’ll like to share something about each album feel free to do so, It would be great to what you have to say on the album here. You can say you love it or hate it or whatever?


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