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Lee “Scratch” Perry Chicken Scratch: Deluxe Edition

  • Words: David Ma
  • Label: Rounder
  • XLR8R Rating: 7/10

Kooky dubmaster Lee Perry is a living icon. His storied career, from working with Bob Marley to his famous Black Ark studio, is well documented. Chicken Scratch: Deluxe Edition is a collection of early recordings from his pre-dub years (mid-to-late ’60s) recorded at Kingston’s renowned Studio One. Perry croons over early ska rhythms on “Just Keep It Up” and “Madhead,” and on “Mother in Law” he gets playful and funny. Overall, the 18 tracks (most on CD for the first time) have great harmonies, hints of doo-wop and soul, and are pleasant listens. “Run Rudie Run” is a soulful tune one might not expect from Scratch, and it’s but one surprising gem of many in his prolific career.

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