Welcome to Eternal Thunder, the original web site dedicated to the works of Lee "Scratch" Perry. First launched in 1996, Eternal Thunder is the only Lee Perry fan site to get official approval from the Upsetter. The site includes a discography, biography, library, podcast and magazine, all with exclusive and upsetting content. Stay red and enjoy your visit.

Give Thanks to Jehoviah

Give Thanks to JehoviahAugust 20, 2016 | Lee Perry teams up with Max Romeo for Max's new album and in a wonderful, stop-motion animation video.

Max Romeo's new album Horror Zone is yet another triumph for Max and producer Daniel Boyle. After Dan's outstanding work with Lee Perry on Back On The Controls, he teamed up with reggae hero Max Romeo for a new album that is rich and heavy with a sound that conjures up memories of the Black Ark studio. Even though it comes 40 years after Max's landmark album War Ina Babylon, you can think of Horror Zone as a direct sequel to that incredible recording.

Lee Perry appears on two tracks, "What If" and "Give Thanks to Jehoviah", the latter of which has been rendered as a delightful video directed by Adam Cutts where Max and friends embark on an interplanetary adventure with the Upsetter.


Aura Lewis 1947 - 2015

Aura LewisFebruary 6, 2016 | Aura Lewis – who played a small but crucial role at the Black Ark – has passed away at the age of 68.

Aurelia Lewis was born in South Africa and experienced a turbulent youth due to the strain of apartheid. The Lewis family fled South Africa, and spent time in Rhodesia, Botswana, and Congo before eventually settling in Sierra Leone. In 1968, at the age of 21, Aura relocated to New York to attend college. In 1973, she saw the Wailers perform and was suddenly inspired to pursue a life in music.

Lewis began writing music with her American friend Pamela Reed, and a chance meeting with Jimmy Cliff led to the two of them joining Cliff as backing vocalists on a tour of West Africa. Passing through London at the end of the tour, Lewis and Cliff met up with Lee Perry, who was recording some tracks with Bob Marley. It was then that Lewis met Candy McKenzie, a British singer who was providing backing vocals to Marley's epic "Punky Reggae Party."

Soon after, Lewis found herself in Jamaica, working with Jimmy Cliff on his Give Thankx album. Lewis was reunited with Reed and McKenzie, and the vocal trio Full Experience was born. The trio's first recordings included the landmark Heart of the Congos album as well as Lee Perry's feverish "Disco Devil."

While a Full Experience album was planned and recorded with Lee Perry at the Black Ark, the finished tracks never saw the light of day. Some unfortunate tension between Lee Perry and Jimmy Cliff resulted in a game of hide-and-seek with the master tapes. Lewis was given a poor quality tape with only five songs, which she eventually got released via the French Blue Moon label in 1990 and quickly became a collector's item. Aura Meets Lee Perry at Black Ark Full Experience was re-released on the Sunspot label in 2012.

After her frustrating experience in Jamaica, Lewis continued her nomadic life, moving back to the United States, then France and Belgium, and continued to work in music with a variety of artists. She eventually returned to her South African homeland in 1997. It was there that she suffered a stroke on Christmas morning in 2015 and died a few days later.

Read an interview with Aura Lewis at Smokey Room and David Katz's detailed obituary at FACT Magazine.


Fire at Scratch's home

Lee Perry FireDecember 3, 2015 | Sad news out of Switzerland: Lee Perry's home has been severely damaged in a fire.

As The Upsetter himself reported on his Facebook page, he forgot to extinguish a candle, and it led to a fire. According to Scratch's anguished Facebook post, "MY WHOLE LIFE COLECTIONS, ARTS, MY MAGIC HATS, MY MAGIC BOOTS, ALL MY CRAZY SHOW OUTFITS AND COSTUMES: KING, POPE, GENERAL, MAGICIAN... ALL MY ELECTRONICS AND STUDIO EQUIPMENT AND MY MAGIC MIC, BOOKS, MUSIK, CDS... EVERYTHING GONE!!!!"

The good news is that Scratch and his wife Mireille are alright. The Facebook post doesn't explain whether their entire home was destroyed, or only the area that Scratch refers to as his "secret laboratory."

In happier news, a new series of 7" singles from Reggae Fever looks upsetting. Titles include "Open The Gate" by Watty Burnett, "Street Walking" (AKA "Walk The Streets") by Rajah Ruffin & The Upsetters, "Norman" by Max Romeo, and more. Let's hope there are more on the way!

Update (December 5): Lee and Mireille talk to CBC Radio about the fire.


Max Romeo come again

Daniel Boyle & Max RomeoSeptember 15, 2015 | Reggae veteran Max Romeo is back with a new album – and he needs your help to finish it.

Not content with producing a massive, Grammy-nominated album with the legendary Lee Perry, UK producer Daniel Boyle is at the controls again with Max for an exciting new album project.

Daniel describes the album as "recorded 1970s style and featuring some legendary singers and players, including some of Scratch's Black Ark brethren." Using the same vintage equipment and ace production style that he employed for Back On The Controls, Daniel has once again crafted something very special.

"I'm an independent producer," says Daniel. "Max is an independent artist. We don't want any big record label involvement in this project, we want to do it ourselves. This is an album by the people, for the people, and so once again I'm asking the Kickstarter community to get involved."

Last time Daniel asked for Kickstarter support, the results were incredible, enabling Scratch's dynamite album to be released on double vinyl and CD, with gorgeous packaging and lots of incentives for backers. He wants to do it again with this Max Romeo project, so be sure to check out his Kickstarter page and consider a donation!


History lesson from Rock A Shaka

HistoryOctober 4, 2014 | Rock a Shaka Records does it again!

The latest single from Rock A Shaka is an alternate take and alternate dub of Carlton Jackson's excellent "History" on a crisp new 10" single.

This alternate take is straight from the master tape and apparently previously unreleased. The B-side is another unheard gem from the Black Ark vaults, an unknown song presented simply as "Upsetting Rhythm". Both dubwise tracks are literally straight from the master tape, as you can hear the musicians warming up and Scratch giving instructions before the song begins!

Currently the record only seems to be available from the Rock A Shaka web site, but will most likely hit shops in the UK, USA, and France before long. Don't miss your chance to get a copy of this crucial platter.


Two upsetting projects soon come

Daniel Boyle & The UpsetterApril 12, 2014 | Two eagerly anticipated Lee Perry projects are soon come.

First of all, we have Back On The Controls, the Kickstarter-funded album from Scratch and UK producer Daniel Boyle. Daniel decked out his Rolling Lion Studio with vintage equipment in an effort to recreate the sound of the Black Ark in his own productions, and that vibe certainly is in full effect with Back On The Controls. The Kickstarter campaign was so successful that Daniel was able to release both a CD and an LP version along with some bonus tracks. The album is now at the pressing plant, and so it should be available very soon.

The next interesting project is a collaboration with Pura Vida, a Belgian reggae combo who will be releasing a song on their Lost Ark label called "Heaven Gate". Several years ago, Pura Vida singer Bregt De Boever met Scratch at a festival in France and then later reconnected at another festival in Belgium. The meeting led to De Boever creating a Black Ark-esque rhythm track that was custom made for Lee Perry, who added a mystical vocal and created "Heaven Gate".

After too many "collaborations" where Scratch has phoned in his vocals for a project, it's refreshing to hear some material that's been well-crafted with deep vibes and attention to detail, resulting in something special instead of something forgettable.


Play On Mr. Music

Play On Mr. MusicMarch 24, 2014 | One of the most sought after Lee Perry productions – which never really existed – will soon be available.

"Play On Mr. Music" by The Upsetter Revue will at long last be available on a crisp 10" single from Rock A Shaka Records in Japan. This wonderful tune has intrigued every Lee Perry fan who has seen the wonderful documentary Roots Rock Reggae: Inside The Jamaican Music Scene by Jeremy Marre. For years, fans have wondered if this recording was ever released, but it was improvised on the spot for Marre's camera crew and was never released. The tapes were rolling, however, and the song was included as a bonus feature in the DVD release of Roots Rock Reggae.

However, what we really want is the song on record! Reggae heavyweights Rock A Shaka will be pressing the tune along with an alternate Jamaican mix of "Dread Lion" on the B-side. Although it's terrific for us to finally have this song properly released, the choice of label is decidedly odd: Emidisc, which was a label dedicated to test pressings in the UK; why not create some nicer-looking Black Art or Upsetter artwork?

"Play On Mr. Music" will be released on February 22.


The Good The Bad and The Upsetters

Good Bad UpsettersDecember 12, 2013 | Cherry Red Records will be releasing the Jamaican version of the infamous The Good, The Bad, And The Upsetters.

The Good, The Bad and The Upsetters was originally released by Trojan Records in 1970, but Lee Perry wasn't involved in its conception or production. While touring the UK in 1970 after the success of "Return Of Django", The Upsetters went into the studio with Bruce White and Tony Cousins, two English promoters who were involved with the tour, and quickly recorded an album's worth of material. The music was rather lackluster compared to the band's vibrant Jamaican recordings with Perry, and as a result, the album didn't sell very well.

Angry that an Upsetters album was released without his involvement, Perry issued his own version of The Good, The Bad and The Upsetters in Jamaica using the same album artwork from the Trojan release but with different songs and a new track listing stickered on the back. It was released in very small numbers and has remained a mystery for all but the most dedicated Lee Perry fans. Although some of the tracks are well known, most are otherwise unreleased, making this reissue one to look forward to.

The Good, The Bad and The Upsetters will be released in January 2014.


Reggae legend Junior Murvin passes away

Junior MurvinDecember 3, 2013 | Reggae legend Junior Murvin has passed away at the age of 67.

Everyone knows Junior Murvin for his timeless record "Police And Thieves", but of course his career goes far beyond that famous tune.

Born in Montego Bay in 1946, Junior moved to Kingston as a youth and – like so many others – felt himself drawn to the music scene. He became friendly with Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe, and Alton Ellis, all of whom encouraged Junior to record. Due to his love of American soul (he credits Sam Cooke and Brook Benton as influences), he soon earned the nickname "Junior Soul" and using that name, he cut his first record, "Miss Kushie", for Sonia Pottinger in 1966.

In the early 1970s, Junior recorded a handful of tunes for Derrick Harriott, including the original versions of "Solomon" and "Rescue The Children". While he was recording, Junior also performed live with several bands, including some time in the Hippy Boys, whose ranks included not only the Barrett brothers but another future Black Ark luminary, Max Romeo.

After several years of performing live and recording sporadically, Junior had an idea for a song but knew it needed a producer with special qualities. And so it was that Junior sought out Lee Perry, who had the "heavy hardcore" sound that Junior was looking for. The song, of course, was "Police And Thieves".

"Police And Thieves" is a timeless piece of reggae: whether its political violence on the streets of Kingston or protesters smashing up McDonalds on the streets of Seattle, Murvin's epic tune is just as crucial now as it was in 1976. Almost 40 years later, "Police And Thieves" is still the theme song to a wide variety of world unrest as well as the continuing violence that plagues Jamaica.

An epic album of the same name soon followed, filled with the trademark Black Ark sound. Police And Thieves was the most successful of Island's Black Ark albums, not only because of the strong material and Scratch's distinctive production, but because it really captured the mood of the time in both Jamaica and England. Police And Thieves is more or less a psychedelic blues album: Scratch's smoky sound swirls around Junior's staggering falsetto as he warns off bad women, dismisses hoodlums, and laments a life working in the hot sun.

Junior also recorded some incredible singles with Lee Perry, including two more songs on the "Police And Thieves" rhythm, "Bad Weed" and "Philistines On The Land", both notable for their deep, Biblical imagery. Perhaps the most mind-bending is the hypnotic "Cross Over", where Junior sounds like an Old Testament prophet delivering a dread sermon in the shimmering heat of the desert. A stillborn second album with Lee Perry was recorded, but other than a few songs such as "Childhood Sweetheart" and "Let's Fall In Love", the material remains a mystery.

After the international success of Police And Thieves, Junior Murvin was in demand and went on to record with the Mighty Two – Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson – including one of his anthems, "Cool Out Son". His next album was the solid Bad Man Possee with Mikey Dread in the producer's chair, followed by Muggers In The Street, recorded for Henry "Junjo" Lawes, and Apartheid for King Jammy. Despite strong material on all albums and several hit singles during this time, Junior simply never returned to the same heights as Police And Thieves.

Junior continued to tour and perform throughout the 1990s and 2000s, recording now and again when it suited him. His last album was the wonderful Inna De Yard, a live acoustic album from 2007 recorded in Jamaica with Earl "Chinna" Smith. Over the years, his amazing falsetto voice never deteriorated, no doubt thanks to Junior's clean lifestyle.

A gentle and spiritual man, Junior Murvin died in hospital on December 2 from complications resulting from diabetes and hypertension. His music lives on.

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