The unconventional and revolutionary producer, and musician Lee “Scratch” Perry passed away on Sunday at the age of 85. There was no cause of death mentioned.
Jamaica’s prime minister, Andrew Holness, tweeted a message and confimed the news.
“My deep condolences to the family, friends, and fans of legendary record producer and singer, Rainford Hugh Perry OD, affectionately known as ‘Lee Scratch’ Perry,” Holness wrote.
“Perry was a pioneer in the 1970s’ development of dub music with his early adoption of studio effects to create new instrumentals of existing reggae tracks. He has worked with and produced for various artistes, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Congos, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, and many others. Undoubtedly, Lee Scratch Perry will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music fraternity. May his soul Rest In Peace.”
Perry had worked with some extraordinary reggae artists and made a name for himself as a Grammy winner in 2003 for the best reggae album (Jamaican E.T.).
The famous band called The Mountain Goats tweeted “Few more important figures in the music of the 20th century. He expanded the vocabulary of studio sound, lived a long life & leaves a lasting legacy. Play his music for your kids, see how instantly they love it. It’s universal. Safe travels home to God.”
In an interview with Rolling Stones, Keith Richards said “You could never put your finger on Lee Perry – he’s the Salvador Dali of music. He’s a mystery. The world is his instrument. You just have to listen. More than a producer, he knows how to inspire the artist’s soul. Like Phil Spector, he has a gift of not only hearing sounds that come from nowhere else, but also translating those sounds to the musicians. Scratch is a shaman.
In 1976-77, Perry produced a few tremendously good reggaeton albums ever like, Max Romeo’s “War Ina Babylon,” the Heptones’ “Party Time,” George Faith’s “To Be a Lover” and Perry’s original “Super Ape.”
However, after a year, Perry started getting mentally unstable, mostly because of heavy alcohol and drug abuse.