Serious Thing

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jo-Ann Greene
The Gladiators get serious on this 1984 set, their second for Nighthawk. Their previous album for the label, Symbol of Reality, was a bit more adventurous and actually found the group dipping their toes tentatively into dancehall. However, the group apparently found those waters too cold for comfort and now return with a solid roots record. Albert Griffiths is certainly in a serious mood, filling his songs with thoughtful, cultural lyrics. "My Thoughts" is part prayer and part sermon, the title track condemns gossip, "Good Foundation" prods listeners toward righteousness, while "Rearrange" is a heartfelt cry to stop the violence. This latter number, boasting a classic ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jo-Ann Greene
The Gladiators get serious on this 1984 set, their second for Nighthawk. Their previous album for the label, Symbol of Reality, was a bit more adventurous and actually found the group dipping their toes tentatively into dancehall. However, the group apparently found those waters too cold for comfort and now return with a solid roots record. Albert Griffiths is certainly in a serious mood, filling his songs with thoughtful, cultural lyrics. "My Thoughts" is part prayer and part sermon, the title track condemns gossip, "Good Foundation" prods listeners toward righteousness, while "Rearrange" is a heartfelt cry to stop the violence. This latter number, boasting a classic Studio One rocksteady rhythm, was initially cut by the group for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd in the early '70s. Its release in 1975 was prompted by the Mighty Diamonds' own version of the rhythm, "Have Mercy," the single which debuted the group in Britain that same year. The Gladiators also resurrect "Fling It Gimme," a bouncy single dating from 1969. Although the song is given a rootsier arrangement, it still sounds a bit out of place on this set. "Freedom Train" fits much better; this free adaptation of "I Shall Be Released" was initially cut in 1971 and the group does a fine job reviving here. Serious Thing may confront serious issues, but the Gladiators occasionally liven up the mood, as on "After You," where the brass section sassily reels out an old '50s melody overhead. Even though the arrangements are all firmly roots based, there's a lovely lilting quality to the whole set and, in places, an almost rural mood. Although by this time Jamaicans had turned their back on roots, losing themselves to the dancehall DJs, the Gladiators refused to pander to the new fashion. Griffiths' pen is as sharp as ever, the melodies are strong, the harmonies incandescent, and the musicianship superb. The perfect roots album.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/30/1997
  • Label: Nighthawk Records
  • UPC: 043024030820
  • Catalog Number: 308

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Serious Thing (2:46)
  2. 2 My Thoughts (7:39)
  3. 3 My Thoughts Version (7:39)
  4. 4 Fling It Gimme (3:01)
  5. 5 Rearrange (3:42)
  6. 6 Mid-Range (3:18)
  7. 7 Mid-Range Version (6:00)
  8. 8 Freedom Train (3:18)
  9. 9 Good Foundation (3:43)
  10. 10 After You (2:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Gladiators Primary Artist, Track Performer
Richard Ace Keyboards
Andy Bassford Guitar
Glen DeCosta Saxophone
Deadly Headley Saxophone
Bobby Ellis Trumpet
Clinton Fearon Vocal Harmony
Dean Fraser Saxophone
Albert Griffiths Guitar, Vocals
David Madden Trumpet
Nambo Robinson Trombone
Clinton Rufus Guitar
Scully Percussion
Audley Taylor Keyboards
Gallimore Sutherland Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Stanley "Barnabas" Bryan Drums
Technical Credits
Leroy Jodie Pierson Producer
Albert Griffiths Composer
Sylvan Morris Engineer
Bob Schoenfeld Producer
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