This is one of those rare moments when everything comes together just right resulting in one of the more memorable live reggae recordings of the past 50 years.
GLADIATORS LIVE WITH ISRAEL VIBRATION
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4TH, 1982
JARRETT PARK, MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA
Gladiators, The – Roots Natty
Israel Vibration – Fight To Survive
Gladiators, The – Stick A Bush
Israel Vibration – Highway Robbery
Gladiators, The – Hello Carol
Israel Vibration – Never Gonna Hurt Me Again
Gladiators, The – Bongo Red
Israel Vibration – Jah Jah Time Has Come
Gladiators, The – Small Axe
Israel Vibration – Friday Evening
Gladiators, The – War
Israel Vibration – Licks And Kicks
Recorded live at the 1982 Reggae Sunplash Festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica, this performance finds both the Gladiators and Israel Vibration in excellent form. Masterfully recorded and mastered by Jim Fox of Lion and Fox Studios in Washington, DC, this performance raised the bar for live reggae recordings when it was released as a live album in 1982. Just listen to the clarity and crispness of the guitars throughout the recording.
Hearing the Jamaican groups side by side, it’s easy to hear the parallels — both use their music to promote a Rastafarian message, and both favor a classic, unpretentious approach to reggae that has a lot more in common with 1960s soul music than the slick urban contemporary recordings that were coming out in 1982. When the Gladiators tear into “Stick a Bush,” “Hello Carol” and “Bongo Red” and Vibration offers “Highway Robbery,” “Licks and Kicks” and “Jah Jah Time Has Come,” it’s impossible not to think of the debt that both acts owe to the great African-American R&B of the 1960s. Another high point of the CD is the Gladiators’ inspired performance of Bob Marley’s 1976 hit “War.” Marley had died the previous year, and the reggae community was still having a hard time accepting the loss.
Very nice to hear Albert singing War. It reminds me Apple Gabriel singing it on Live Again, best of all times!
Yes they sound very much alike. Same vibes also