CD / Digital Release date: April 20, 2018
LP Release date: April 10, 2020
Remastered, 1984 roots reggae classic, includes six previously unissued tracks.
Among the great things that I remember about these sessions were the superb players and singers who just showed up. Richard Ace, had been living in England, but dropped in while on vacation in Jamaica and contributed great keyboards to three selections. The Ethiopian showed up and agreed to cut four songs backed by the Gladiators. Joseph Hill, lead singer of Culture, sat in the control room with Sylvan and I for an hour and told me that the Gladiators were his favorite group. The additional highlight of these sessions was watching Sylvan mixing top ranking dub tracks of the Gladiators best riddims. Serious Thing includes a generous portion of these superb dubs.
—Leroy Jodie Pierson
From the liner notes to Serious Thing
Albert Griffiths founded the Gladiators in 1966 after some success on his own. The group scored their first hit, produced by legendary producer Coxsone Dodd, with “Hello Carol” in 1968. During the ’70s the Gladiators made their way through releases on labels like Studio One, Upsetter, Virgin and Groovemaster. 1980 found the Gladiators working with producer, and pre-“Electric Avenue” hitmaker, Eddy Grant on the album Gladiators, which also featured members of the band Aswad lending a musical hand.
After 1982’s Symbol Of Reality, their first for the Nighthawk Records label, the Gladiators added more cultural commentary in their song choices for 1984’s follow up, Serious Thing. Topical songs dominate the album from the title track, “Serious Thing” to “Freedom Train” and “My Thoughts.” Once again, they revisited their own catalog of songs, re-recording, “Rearrange” (originally cut with Coxsone Dodd in the early ’70s) and “Fling It Gimme” (originally a single for the group dating back to 1969). Even though reggae as a style of music was changing in the mid-’80s, the Gladiators played to their strengths and made another classic roots album.
This newly remastered version of the album features the original ten tracks, plus six previously unissued tracks, “Bless Our Soul,” “New Song/New Vibe,” “Serious Thing Version,” “My Thoughts Instrumental Dub,” “Fling It Gimme Version” and “Good Foundation Dub.” New liner notes are included, courtesy of original album producer Leroy Jodie Pierson, who has also overseen the reissue with Grammy Award-winning producer, Cheryl Pawelski. All tracks have been remastered from the original tapes by Grammy Award-winning engineer, Michael Graves.
Serious Thing My Thoughts Fling It Gimme Rearrange Mid-Range Freedom Train Good Foundation After You Bless Our Soul* New Song/New Vibe* Serious Thing Version* My Thoughts Version My Thoughts Instrumental Dub* Fling It Gimme Version* Mid-Range Version Good Foundation Dub*
Serious Thing My Thoughts My Thoughts Version Fling It Gimme Rearrange Mid-Range Mid-Range Version Freedom Train Good Foundation After You