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GLADIATORS - TRENCH TOWN MIX-UP
The story of the Gladiators is in many ways a mini-version of the story of Reggae Music and it starts with the name: nobody really knows the man who came up with the idea. 

It was back in the 1960's, when founder Albert Griffiths was talking with someone who had just seen the movie "Ben Hur" and suggested the name "Gladiators" to him.

The Gladiators started recording as a vocal trio, recorded the classic "Hello Carol" for Coxsone Dodd's equally classic Studio One, became a duo, turned into a trio again, and has now been a full-blown band for well over a decade.

The original Gladiators were not just singers, but also skillful musicians who would on a regular basis tour and record for a number of producers and singers. Yabby You used the musical skills of the Gladiators for his "Jah Vengeance" album. U-Roy would ride their riddims very well on Jah Son Of Africa, the list goes on and on.

The group would also be on the forefront of the first major Reggae wave that would hit the UK, back in the 1970's. Labels like Island and Virgin would show more than a superficial interest for Jamaican Music resulting in some superb releases for the European market.

Trenchtown Mix-Up was the result of the Gladiators signing for Virgin's Reggae Frontline label. The label was known for releasing a harder kind of Reggae that would do very well with the upcoming Punk crowd in that time.

Originally released in 1978, the CD re-issue sounds only a little bit better than the original vinyl. This is some great production work!

Cutting edge riddim guitars, Sly and Robbie playing some killer drum and bass, and hey, there's even a little DUB mixing going on.

The album contains a number of re-makes of tracks they did for Studio One (the classic Hello Carol) as well as material that was then new. Additionally, there's a couple of Marley covers on the album too. 

Great compositions, well worked-out and full of deep spiritual lyrics: Trenchtown Mix-Up has it all. 

This is the kind of music that is food for thought as well as nurture of the soul. The kind of music that stays with you. The kind of music that can be reviewed almost 30 years after it's original release and still be relevant.

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