Music Review

Lee “Scratch” Perry
Chicken Scratch (Deluxe Edition)
Heartbeat Records

Buy it at Insound!

Reggae master Lee “Scratch” Perry is as innovative as they come when it comes to mixing sounds and beats. Now for the first time, his early ska tunes, laid down at the legendary recording house Studio One during the 1960s, have been brought together in a collection of previously unreleased material called Chicken Scratch. The newly released album also includes bonus tracks and original singles mixes. One of Perry’s greatest contributions to the ska genre was the overall jubilant nature of his recordings. Disc-opener “Feel Like Jumping” has a beating brass heartbeat that sets the tone for what feels like a never ending carnivale. The music-maker also gave a voice to the man on the street with his musings on everyday life. On “Mother In Law,” he speaks for generation after generation when he pleads “Mother in law please give me a break.” Whether he was bringing attention to social causes (“Help The Weak”) or just kicking up his heels, the vibrant sounds of Lee “Scratch” Perry are a true treasure.
Amy Wagner

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