Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

The Best Of Max Romeo And Friends
Max Romeo
Mediacom-Munich
CD
May 11, 2008

Max Romeo Track list
  1. One Step Forward with Prince Jazzbo
  2. Chase The Devil with Kamau
  3. War Inna Babylon with The Viceroys
  4. Uptown Babies with Carl Dawkins
  5. Macabee Version with U Brown
  6. Three Blind Mice with Warrior King
  7. We Love Jamaica with Winston Francis
  8. My Jamaican Collie with Icho Candy
  9. Bearded Come Feats with Little Roy
  10. A Little Time For Jah with The Congos
  11. Tell Jah Seh with Brady
  12. Melt Away with Jallanzo
  13. Let The Power Fall with Devon Blacks
  14. Nobody's Child with Sophia Squire
  15. Wet Dream with Ruffi-Ann
  16. Bun Dem Up (Babylon's Burning) with Eas Murdock
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Essential -Votes: 1-
Very Good -Votes: 3-
Good -Votes: 2-
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Total votes : 7
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 3
Max Romeo left home at the age of 14 and worked on a sugar plantation, cleaning out irrigation ditches, before winning a local talent competition when he was 18; prompting a move to the capital, Kingston, in order to achieve a successful musical career. In 1966, he had his first hit, as part of the group The Emotions, with the Ken Lack produced, "(Buy You) A Rainbow". The Emotions, which was also made up of Kenneth Knight and Lloyd Shakespeare, went on to have several hit singles and by 1968, the singer, by this point known as Max Romeo, felt confident enough to launch a solo career. Working with producer Bunny Lee, the young star recorded a number of pop songs, mainly love ballads, but they failed to be popular and so he returned to The Emotions.

In 1970, Romeo set-up Romax, an unsuccessful record label and soundsystem. Following which, he recorded several singles, mainly with producer Bunny Lee, before going on to work with Winston "Niney" Holness. After this, Romeo recorded a number of religious songs, until he worked with producer "Scratch" again, producing the classic singles, "Chase The Devil" and "Three Blind Mice". A remixed version of his single, "Sipple Out Deh", entitled "War Ina Babylon", was another popular track in the UK. Shortly after this the pair fell out, leaving Romeo to self-produce his follow-up album.

The original idea of re-recording all your best songs but in combination with other artists works great. It gives all the tunes on the album a whole new vibe, but remain still the same in some way or another. Doing it like this you already know all the tunes on the album, but they all sound like new songs. The album opener is One Step Forward with the sweet combination of Max Romeo and Prince Jazzbo. When you listen to the song it sounds like it was originally recorded like this. The always popular Chase The Devil is extended by Kamua, who delivers a nice contribution. The Viceroys are on War Inna Babylon. Carl Dawkins created a good combination on Uptown Babies. Macabee Version is one of the better re-recordings, and U Brown makes it sound like he always was on this track. Warrior King is featured on an other classic, Three Blind Mice.

Winston Francis improved the tune We Love Jamaica, a great contribution to this song. Icho Candy delivers definitely one of the gems with My Jamaican Collie. Bearded Come with Little Roy keeps it a nice roots sound. Even big artists like The Congos appear on this album, on A Little Time For Jah, which almost sounds like a true Congos song now. Very well done. Tell Jah Seh with Brady has a refreshing twist. Melt Away featuring Jallanzo is a bit of disappointing appearance. Sophia Squire and Max Romeo also have a sweet combination together. Nobody's Child maintains the original relaxed sound of the song, but Sophia adds just that little extra which was missing on the original. Ruffi Ann and Max Romeo created one of the gems of the album, the sexually suggestive Wet Dream. Ruffi Ann's voice really comes out on this track. Bun Dum Up (Babylon's Burning) is the only track that has really been changed, a complete different vibe. Think this tune is a bit misplaced on this roots album. Nuff said, it's great for newcomers to Max Romeo. But old time Max Romeo fans should not ignore this album!

Old Roots in a new Jacket.