A study in effective recycling, Version Like Rain
collects 16 Lee Perry-produced songs built around only three riddims. First is the "Musical Shower": "Want a Wine" by Leo Graham
, a DJ version by U. Roy, and an Upsetters dub. Then comes the "Fever Storm": male and female vocal versions of the Peggy Lee classic "Fever, " an instrumental version featuring Augustus Pablo
, an alternate-lyric version, and another dub. Last is the "Babylon Deluge, " eight (!) versions based on the backing track of Junior Byles
' "Beat Down Babylon." This formula has a high annoyance potential, but fortunately the material is of an excellent quality. The "Fever Storm, " in particular, has as its foundation a powerfully deep bass groove that never gets old. Only toward the end of the "Babylon Deluge" does the concept start to run out of steam; eight versions of anything is a lot. Parts of Version Like Rain
must have been mastered from vinyl because the scratches and pops are audible. If you can ignore these surface imperfections, however, the sound quality is quite acceptable, with crisp highs and booming lows. This album will find a happy home in the collections of Lee Perry
partisans, but due to the lack of variety isn't a good introductory choice.