Album review
Pray For Me (The Best of...1967-1973)
Max Romeo
Trojan Records

Tracking list

  1. I Don't Want To Let You Go
  2. Careless Hands
  3. Put Me In The Mood
  4. Indeed I Love You
  5. Wet Dream
  6. I've Been Looking Back
  7. Watch This Sound
  8. People Get Ready
  9. Great Lover
  10. Let The Power Fall On I
  11. Don't You Weep
  12. Macabee Version
  13. Words Of Wisdom
  14. Jordan River
  15. Ginalship
  16. Public Enemy No: 1
  17. Babylon Burning
  18. The Coming Of Jah
  19. Beardman Feast
  20. Rasta Bandwagon
  21. Pray For Me
  22. Man In Your Life
  23. Murder In The Place
  24. Everybody Watching Everybody
  25. My Jamaica Collie
  26. No Joshua No
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 4/5

Max Romeo started his career in the mid sixties, forming a band called The Emotions with Lloyd Shakespeare and Kenneth Knoght. The group recorded some fine sides for the Caltone label like I Don't Want To Let You Go and Careless Hands. For Phill Pratt they cut Indeed I Love You. Around the end of 1968 Max set in on a session for Bunny Lee, held at Coxsone Dodd's studios. Bunny had written a tune for Derrick Morgan of Slim Smith, but neither of them wanted to voice it because of its offensive language. He and Coxsone persuaded Max to voice the tune and within a week Wet Dream was issued in the UK, where it was promptly banned by the BBC. Despite the resulting lack of airplay the single sold in huge quantities, spending some 25 weeks in the national chart and peaking at number 10 in the spring of 1969.
By this time Max beame involved with The Hippy Boys, which featured Glen Adams, Alva Lewis, Winston Stewart and the Barret brothers. He started singing with the band just before he went to the UK to promote his hit Wet Dream. Towards the end of 1970 Max went back to Jamaica, were he started recording for almost every producer on the island. Some of his best tunes were recorded for Bunny Lee, Niney and Lee Perry. Some beautiful Lee Perry prodcutions are featured on the album : Public Enemy Number One, Babylon Burning and The Coming Of Jah. Noteworthy Bunny Lee productions are Put Me In The Mood, Watch This Sound and People Get Ready. By this time Max had turned away from his earlier work, which was predominantly romantic in nature, and was becoming one of Jamaica's leading roots performers. Excellent roots tunes like Let The Power Fall On I, Beardman Feast, Rasta Bandwagon and Jordan River, the best track on the album, are proof of his strong spiritual and religious beliefs.
Max took up his recording activities in the early nineties, recording for Jah Shaka, Mafia and Fluxy and Tappa Zukie. His impact on roots reggae music in the seventies was tremendous and the collection of songs gathered here are some of his best tunes ever.

Teacher & Mr. T.