Album review
Selassie I Forever
Max Romeo
Mafia & Fluxy Music / Jet Star

Tracking list

  1. Evening News
  2. Reverend
  3. The More The Merrier
  4. Evil Of The Heart
  5. Jamaica Ska
  6. Africa Destination
  7. Selassie I Forever
  8. Melt Away
  9. No Peace
  10. Me Can't Done
  11. Two In One
  12. No Sinners
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4

Max Romeo, born Maxwell 'Maxie' Smith, 1947 Jamaica, achieved recognation in the late sixties when he recorded the sexually suggestive "Wet Dream" for producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee. Gradually he changed his style and started recording more conscious songs for several producers. He stormed the reggae charts during that periode (1970-1975) with tracks such as "Let The Power Fall On I", "Pray For Me", "Three Blind Mice", "Babylose Burning", "Jordan River", "Macabee Version" and "The Coming Of Jah". He also had a soundsystem called "Ro Max Hi Fi" and produced his own records on his Romax label. In 1975 he released a strong album entitled 'Revelation Time', soon followed by the classic 'War Ina Babylon' set. This 1976 album was produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry and got rave reviews. After Perry and Romeo split up he teamed up with the New York based Wackies label. In the eighties he more or less faded into obscurity, but resurfaced in the 90s with two heavy roots albums for Jah Shaka - "Ta Fari Captain Of My Ship" and "Our Rights".
At the end of the decade he's back with a vengeance, with a new album for the Heywood Brothers, better known as Mafia & Fluxy. The album contains twelve great songs mostly concentrating on cultural and conscious themes, except for Jamaica Ska which is a pleasant and uplifting ska medley, comprising tunes like 'Wings Of A Dove' and 'Sammy Dead'. Africa Destination, Melt Away and No Sinners are the only songs that are backed by The Romax All Stars (and probably recorded years ago). All other tracks are backed by Mafia & Fluxy and The Matic Horns.
The album opens with Evening News a smooth and swinging song, followed by Reverend, an outstanding track warning for the false teachings of the reverend. Repatriation is the main theme of The More The Merrier and Africa Destination. The heavyweight roots and culture sound on the title track Selassie I Forever -a masterful reworking of the Horace Andy tune 'Zion Gate'- makes this track an instant roots 'n culture classic. Max Romeo's long lasting commitment to Rastafari dominates the tracks Me Can't Done, No Sinners and Evil Of The Heart. There's the superb reworking of his own No Peace, a song which is included on his 1975 album 'No Revelation' and Melt Away, one of the most impressive songs -both lyrically and musically- on the album.
This album harnasses Max Romeo's unique reggae talents as well as Mafia and Fluxy's qualities as the UK's foremost rhythm section, resulting in a sparkling showcase of contemporary roots music.

Teacher & Mr. T.