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War Ina Babylon
Max Romeo & the Upsetters
War Ina Babylon
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

Max "Romeo" Smith came into the world on November 22, 1947, in St. D'Acre, Jamaica. Romeo's early work with The Emotions gave no indication of the salacious and political directions his music would take later in his career...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Max Romeo & the Upsetters
Title: War Ina Babylon
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Hip-O Select
Release Date: 3/27/2007
Album Type: Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop
Styles: Disco, Caribbean & Cuba, Jamaica, Reggae, Vocal Pop, By Decade, 1970s
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 602498621820

Synopsis

Product Description
Max "Romeo" Smith came into the world on November 22, 1947, in St. D'Acre, Jamaica. Romeo's early work with The Emotions gave no indication of the salacious and political directions his music would take later in his career. And after the shock value of songs such as "Wet Dream" and "Pussy Watch Man" wore off, the singer established a reputation for being one of the most influential artists in the roots scene.
Hooking up with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry and the studio collective loosely known as the Upsetters proved to be a wise move for Romeo. Perry's swampy production sounds complemented Romeo's vocals perfectly.

In the early 1970s, Romeo got involved with the socialist PNP party, which opposed the conservative JLP party, which had run the country since independence from Britain in the Sixties. Much of the reggae music produced at the time, particularly songs with lyrics that made reference to the biblical Old Testament, was political code to rally the Rastafarians' socialist troops.

Fast forward a few years, during which the two political parties have had a variety of violent spats and the PNP's power is consolidated in a second electoral victory. During this era, the Romeo-Perry team issued a variety of singles with potent political undertones, such as "Sipple Out Deh," and "Three Blind Mice." At this juncture Romeo came to the attention of Island Records, who dropped a remixed version of "Sipple" into the marketplace as "War in a Babylon."

The single had as massive an impact in Britain as it had in Jamaica, reverberating across two island nations experiencing economic and political turbulence. The album War Ina Babylon marked the zenith of the Perry-Romeo relationship, as well as being a career-marking record for both elements of the team. Unfortunately, the duo had an artistic parting of the ways following the album's release, which absolutely had a detrimental impact on Romeo's career thereafter.

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CD Reviews

Classic
The Astonishing Ant-Man | Renton, WA, USA | 05/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is some seriously classic roots, people! The fun starts with the powerfull one step forward and never really lets. Stealing in the Name of Jah is beathtaking - the first time I heard I couldn't believe a song this good could exist. I Chase the Devil, War ina Babylon and One Step Forward see the album at a fierce boil threatening the incinerate an unattended iPod. I walked into a public restroom belting out the "ahhhhhh's" in the begginning of Tan and See and I swear I was about the get stomped on by some mean looking biker dudes.

Pick this one up at the same time you get Junior Murvin "Police and Thieves."

The albums are companions from one of Lee Perry's strongest periods as Producer and deserve to be heard together."