Ken Boothe, Max Romeo at Wackies

Ken Boothe’s 1977 song titled “Stop This World” is a powerful tune.  Written by Boothe, arranged by Lloyd “Bullwackie” Barnes, produced by Maurice Jackson, and played brilliantly by the Bullwackies All-Stars, “Stop This World” showcases the raw power of Boothe’s voice as he laments living in a world full of bad-minded people, even yearning to take his mother out with him. The lyric sounds so simple, almost as if a child was singing it, but the pain in Boothe’s voice tells you otherwise.  The lyric is so great because it is something that every man, woman, and child has felt some time in their lives.  very heavy vibes here, and one of my favorites of all time.

“Stop this world,
because I want to get off,
the people in the world ain’t too good,
ain’t too good
ain’t too good.
And if you see my mommy standing out there,
tell her for me I wanna drag her along,
I wanna drag her along
I wanna drag her along”

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Max Romeo’s “I Love My Music” is an interesting listen as well.  A protojé of Lee “Scratch” Perry, Romeo moved to NYC in 1976 to work on a broadway play about reggae starring Ras Karbi.  He ended up staying for more than 15 years.  During that time he recorded a bunch of songs and an album for Bullwackie and Sonny Ochai, the Wackies Japanese syndicate also known as Tachyon.  The opening riff sounds like a shout to the Beatles, who influenced many Jamaican musicians during the golden age of reggae.  Though I’ve never been a fan, there is no doubt that the band contained 3 musical geniuses, each of whom had very successful solo careers (and Ringo too!).  Sounds a bit like another groundbreaking band from Jamaica which contained 3 musical geniuses, each of whom had very successful solo careers.  Difference is The Beatles got paid, The Wailers got robbed.

By the way, Romeo’s LP of the same name is excellent.  A very underrated reggae/soul album.

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