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Serious Thing

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Audio CD, September 30, 1997
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$39.94 $25.00
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Audio, Cassette, November 6, 1990
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Mumford and Sons Concert Sweepstakes Mumford and Sons Concert Sweepstakes

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nighthawk Records
  • ASIN: B000003907
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #510,746 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Serious Thing
2. My Thoughts/My Thoughts Version
3. Fling It Gimme
4. Rearrange
5. Mid-Range/Mid-Range Version
6. Freedom Train
7. Good Foundation
8. After You

Editorial Reviews

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. ~ Jo-Ann Greene, All Music Guide

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ckouts on June 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to reggae for over 20 years and this album has been in my CD player for over 10 of those years. Albert Giffiths vocals are strongly under-rated. The structural integrity of this album is outstanding with a variety of mellow yet happy tracks. If you have most of Bob's albums and a few other reggae greats but feel the need to experience a new group of reggae specialists, I highly recommend this one. It's as serious as reggae gets.
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By Sk8skot on July 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This a a modern roots classic from a band (one of many, actually-- CULTURE, ISRAEL VIBES, ORIGINAL INNER CIRCLE to name a few) that doesn't get as much press or exposure as SPEAR or MARLEY, but has been around for just as long (and still kicking!).
Check out some earlier titles for even more powerful roots (ITES) music!
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