War Ina Babylon cover

War Ina Babylon


Although he made his name on the Jamaican charts with a silly and bawdy novelty song called “Wet Dream,” Max Romeo was always a roots-and-culture guy at heart. And on this, his best-ever album, he had two major things going for him: the backing of the mighty Upsetters band, and the even mightier Lee “Scratch” Perry behind the mixing board at the Black Ark studio. The trademark Black Ark sound — murky, echoey, splashy — is in full effect here, and it creates a slightly incongruous but thoroughly effective sonic environment for Romeo’s rich, sweet voice. Lyrically, the album title and cover tell you exactly what to expect: songs of suffering, conflict, and godless oppression. And Romeo makes you feel every crack of Babylon’s whip.

Rick Anderson

Recommended by

Redlight cover


The Slackers
Retouched cover


International Observer
Bleeds cover


Roots Manuva
Dreaming in Sanskrit cover

Dreaming in Sanskrit

Marti Nikko, DJ Drez
Broken Beats cover

Broken Beats

Horace Andy
Meditation cover


Touched cover


International Observer
Cumbolo cover


In Dub cover

In Dub

Lustmord, Dread
Blue Lines cover

Blue Lines

Massive Attack
Glory to God cover

Glory to God

Ras Michael