Back To Roots
The Gladiators
01 - 04 - 2000

Track list
  1. Marcus Garvey Time
  2. God Bless
  3. The Race
  4. Guts
  5. Rich Man Poor Man
  6. No Wrong Idea
  7. Follow The Rainbow
  8. The Warriors
  9. Prayer To Jah
  10. Streets Of Freedom
  11. On The Other Side
  12. Chatty Mouth
  13. Talking Blues
  14. Rude Boy Ska
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5
The Gladiators started their career as a band comprising Albert Griffiths, David Webber and Errol Grandison. They topped the Jamaican charts in late 1968 with 'Oh Carol' for producer Coxsone Dodd. Webber and Grandison were replaced by Clinton Fearon and Gallimore Sutherland. Over the following years they recorded a bunch of popular tracks for Coxsone Dodd, sampled on the 1979 set 'Presenting The Gladiators'. The signed up with Virgin Records, and the result was the release of 4 solid albums. In the 80s they split up, both Clinton Fearon and Albert Griffiths concentrating on a solo career.
The album 'Back To Roots' was recorded and mixed at the legendary Channel One studio and released in 1982. It's the first album following the band's Virgin Years. The project was the brainchild of a young Frenchman , Jacky Knafo, who then managed The Gladiators and promoted their very first tour in Europe. According to Jacky Knafo "the last Virgin album had not been well received..fans thought it was too light...we decided to go 'back to roots' as the title suggests'. Every song is a gem and showcases the writing talents of Albert Griffiths and Clinton Fearon. Their songs are superb examples of righteous lyrics and heartfelt melodies.
Tabou1's reissue of the album adds two bomus (live) tracks -Talking Blues and Rude Boy Ska- and shows The Gladiators in fine rootical form. It's also the first album featuring the whole band on every song. Previous albums featured hired musicians like Sly & Robbie, Horsemouth Wallace and Wire Lindo. In addition to Albert Griffiths, who sings lead and backing vocals, plays rhythm guitar and bass on 3 cuts, Clinton Fearon (lead and backing vocals), and Gallimore Sutherland (backing vocals and rhythm guitar), the rest of the formation consists of Barnabas on drums, Clinton Rufus on lead guitar, and Audley Taylor on keyboards. This impressive nucleus is supplemented by percussion master Zoot Sims (aka Scully), Bobby Ellis, Felix Bennett (aka deadly Headly) and David Madden on horns.