“Dread is me culture, know wha’ I mean? Me could not a sing reggae music and really be a man that trim. Ha fe be a dread. When I say dread, a Rastaman, know wha’ I mean? I ha fe dread because every song that I sing is dread. The way I sing it is dread. Yeah, the music itself dread… Just I way deh. One o’ the humble, one o’ de meek, one o’ de cool, but very vicious when I deal with music… A real reggae singer ha fe be forceful. A forceful reg¬gae singer will always survive. Reggae music, man—it might look simple, but it naw so simple, you know. You ha fe ready and you ha fe ready with the punch. You ha fe ready to attack and very swift. You see a karate man punch a man, you know, and move again. Well it’s just same way reggae. You ha fe tense your body to sing reggae.”
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.
On 1982’s Symbol Of Reality, their first for the Nighthawk Records label, they revisited their own catalog of songs re-recording their classics, “Dreadlocks The Time Is Now” (appearing here as “Streets Of Gold”), “Watch Out” and “Big Boo Boo Deh” (returning retitled as “Cheater”) while also paying homage to The Wailers with covers “Small Axe” and “Stand Alone,” both written by Bob Marley.
The reissue has been overseen by original Nighthawk Records’ producer Leroy Jodie Pierson and Grammy® Award-winning producer, Cheryl Pawelski, and has been remastered from the original tapes by Grammy® Award-winning engineer, Michael Graves.
The remastered LP contains the original album’s track list with liner notes and a gatefold jacket.