Rob Brunner
July 09, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Open the Iron Gate 1973-77

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Max Romeo
genre
Reissues, Reggae/Ska

We gave it an A-

The infrequent releases from reissue reggae label Blood and Fire are so consistently great that any new album is an event, but Oopen the Iron Gate 1973-1977, its collection of cuts by the underrecognized Max Romeo, is especially worthy. Though his best-known track — the Lee ”Scratch” Perry-produced ”War ina Babylon” — isn’t included, sweetly sung meditations on religion and politics like ”Three Blind Mice” will thrill anyone whose appreciation of reggae goes deeper than Bob Marley. A-

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