The Upsetters

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The Upsetters was the name given to the house band for Jamaican reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. The name of the band comes from Perry's nickname of Upsetter, after his song "I Am The Upsetter", a musical dismissal of his former boss Coxsone Dodd.


The Upsetters were originally Gladdy's All-Stars, led by pianist Gladstone Anderson and it was they who originally recorded the international hits "Live Injection" and "Return of Django". The double A-side release of "Return of Django" / "Dollar in the Teeth", peaked at #5 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1969.[1] When other commitments prevented the All Stars from participating, another band named The Hippy Boys were recruited to do the subsequent tour in the UK. This line-up remained the studio band that is most associated with the name, going on to eventually to form the nucleus of Bob Marley's backing band The Wailers.[2]

The band included guitarist Alva Lewis, organist Glen Adams and brothers Aston "Family Man" Barrett and Carlton Barrett, on bass guitar and drums respectively.

When the Barrett brothers became Wailers with Bob Marley by 1972, Scratch brought in other top musicians to fill their void. The main Black Ark Upsetters became Boris Gardiner (bass), Mikey Richards, Sly Dunbar, Benbow Creary (drums), Earl "Chinna" Smith (guitar), Winston Wright (keyboards) and Keith Sterling (keyboards).

In popular culture[edit]

The tracks "Return of Django" and "Dollar in the Teeth" were used in the soundtrack of Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969.

"I Chase The Devil", from the Max Romeo and the Upsetters album War Ina Babylon, is featured in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (playing on the reggae radio station K-JAH Radio West).

"Return of Django" was featured in the film This Is England, and was used on an advertisement for the Inland Revenue on UK television.


Contributing artist


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 576. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ The Upsetters at

External links[edit]