Max Romeo – Open the Iron Gate 1973-1977 (1999)

“For reggae neophytes who first encountered Jamaican music in the punk ’70s, Max Romeo seemed like kind of a one-trick pony who rode the big-time rep he deservedly got for the 1976 classic War ina Babylon to legendary status in reggae circles. Open the Iron Gate 1973-1977 shows there’s more depth to that reputation, because these tracks largely drawn from his 1975 Revelation Time are prime examples of simple but creative roots reggae marked by Romeo’s expressive, unadorned singing and further enhanced by exceptional sound restoration that even surpasses Blood & Fire’s usual superb norm. ‘Every Man Ought to Know’ is a Jah-praise song with a nyabinghi tinge and sweet singing with great backing vocals, an unusual bubble-up bassline, plus hints of ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’ and a direct quote from ‘What a Friend I Have in Jesus’ in the melody. …”

YouTube: Open the iron gate (FULL ALBUM)


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