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War Ina Babylon Import


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Audio CD, Import, August 10, 2010
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 10, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Spectrum Eur/Zoom
  • ASIN: B003TOS8TE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,460 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of this classic Reggae album. In 1976, leading UK independent, Island Records secured the services of arguably Jamaica's greatest producer, Lee `Scratch' Perry. This significant event was marked soon after by the release of one of the greatest Reggae albums ever to see issue: Max Romeo's War Ina Babylon. Romeo had been active on the music scene since the Rock Steady era, yet his collection of hard-hitting Roots tracks, spawned in Perry's famed Black Ark studio, was undoubtedly his Magnus Opus, with the title track, `One Step Forward', `Chase The Devil' and `Norman' among its many highlights. Spectrum.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
Foundational music from the infamous Black Ark Studio.
Hannibal Selectaaaah
In fact, they have nearly identical instrumentation tracks... which is remarkable because the feel of the two albums are so different.
Alabaster Sheets
The fun starts with the powerfull one step forward and never really lets.
The Astonishing Ant-Man

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By "beachillen" on November 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I thought surely when I heard this record that it was a "greatest hits" compilation. It was so consistent and sure. Prior to this record, Max Romeo had a reputation for sexually explicit (for the times) and sexually suggestive lyrics. This record shows his socio-political consciousnes with such tracks as "Uptown Babies Don't Cry," "One Step," and the title track.
The only bad thing about this recording is that it makes me wistful for the days when razor-sharp super tight rhythm sections, wonderful harmonies, activist lyrics and good melodies were standard fare in Jamaican music. Sadly, automation and dancehall simplicity have eaten the music.
Nonetheless, Lee Scratch Perry and the Upsetters put a fine gloss on Max's diamond. Complete with rootsy scratch style guitar and the musicality of the Jamaican patois, this record is a classic example of what reggae used to be at its best.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dee Sharp on February 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is the best reissue available of Romeo's classic album. The core album is here, featuring the the title track, "One Step Forward," "Norman" and "Chase The Devil," plus the exceptional (but lesser known) cuts "Stealing In The Name Of Jah," "Smile Out Of Style" and "Tan And See."

This reissue is expanded with the single and dub mixes of "One Step Forward" and "War Ina Babylon" (the single mix doesn't have that annoying synthesizer noodling that appears on the album version), plus the crazy extended mix of "Norman" featuring chatter Jah Lloyd and the card game skit at the opening ("Jack a Clubs, Jack a Hearts, Jack a Diamonds, Jack a Spades." "Ya tief, man!").

The best presentation of this album to date, and the only one you'll need.

For more Max, check 'The Ultimate Collection' on Hip-O Select's parent label (?) Hip-O and Blood & Fire's 'Open The Iron Gate.'

For more on Lee 'Scratch' Perry, who co-wrote and produced this album, check The Upsetters' 'Super Ape' and George Faith's 'To Be A Lover' albums on Hip-O Select, Junior Murvin's 'Police & Thieves' (be sure to get the 2002 reissue with the bonus tracks), and Lee Perry's 'Arkology' and 'Ultimate Collection.'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Astonishing Ant-Man on May 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Max Romeo's team up with the Upsetters is a dynamite mix. Under the tutoring of famed Reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, they combine with songs that are both soulful and contain an almost fervent religious appeal. Max Romeo transcends his earlier "Dirty Boy" stage, showing great maturity over his previous albums such as "Wet Dream". Always insightful and entertaining, "War Ina Babylon" features two of the best Reggae songs in this reviewers opinion: "Smile outta Style, and the title track "War Ina Babylon". While not for the ears of those who have only known reggae threw popular act's ie, UB40 and Big Mountain, those who have bought Bob Marley albums other than just the two Legend CD's are in for a delight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to reggae since 1972, going and coming from Jamaica. I have an old LP of this album. It's definitely a favorite in my collection and one of the best reggae albums I've ever heard. Very "conscious" music--"uptown babies don't cry, they don't know what hungry is like." The music is good but the lyrics are great.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sean M. Kelly on September 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This lp has everything a reggae fan could possibly want- great grooves, pertinent vocals, and Lee "Scratch" Perry.
This is certainly one of the most underrated and consistent efforts I have come across. Romeo's stylings mix perfectly with the tight grooves of the Upsetters. He came a long way from his "Wet Dream" single in the late 60's, and it shows through clearly on the lp.....Of course, Perry's presence is written all over the lp, which just adds to its greatness.
Fans of this lp should also get Perry's amazing "Arkology" 3 cd set for many alternate takes from Romeo, Junior Murvin, etc... It offers incredible insight into the amazing mind of both Perry and Romeo, who made a great team.
"Lucifer, son of the morning, I'm gonna chase you outta earth." -Max Romeo
You did just that, Maxxie. Jah be praised.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this for one reason: UPTOWN BABIES DON'T CRY. In a list of the top 100 reggae songs it probably doesn't show. In a list of the 1,000 greatest songs of all genres in the past 50 years, not a blip. Yet, the personal artistic struggle of the artist, and the message of the growing gap between rich and poor inthe world is incapsulated in this song. No matter what your politics, you could probably see every Middle School or High School social studies class building a course around this song...single moms working...immigrant families doing domestic jobs to survive...poor kids doing without the creature comforts of privileged kids...you see as the song says...the UPTOWN babies don't cry...perhaps because "they have mommies....AND daddies, and toys of their own....."

Max Romeo's more famous songs about war and thoser who wage war or on this album, but since I only own 3 or 4 reggae CD's I am glad to have this back in my collection.
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