The Gladiators

Streets of Freedom

Composed by Clinton Fearon

Song Review by

Although Albert Griffiths was the acknowledged leader of The Gladiators and the group's prime songwriter, occasionally Clinton Fearon also contributed numbers and lead vocals, as he does here on "Streets of Freedom".

Within, the singing bassist awaits the day when his suffering will end, and he can sup on milk and honey instead of a coffee of tears and a bread of sorrows. "When will it be?" he fretfully inquires, impatient for the tables to turn so he can finally pluck the flowers of happiness. Fearon's metaphors are vividly drawn, his tones soulful, his impatience flooding over the piece.

Still, the arrangement is rocksteady slow, and proudly shows its roots in that age via Bobby Ellis, Felix "Deadly Headly" Bennett, and Dave Madden's sumptuous brass. However, Fearon's bass stalks the hypocrites, which the militant beats and

percussion help to drive on their way. Roots reggae at both its most insistent and sumptuous. This fiercely optimistic number was one of the highlights from the group's Back to the Roots album.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Back to Roots 2000 Tabou 1 / Tabou 3:24
Putumayo Presents: Jamaica 2001
Various Artists
Putumayo 3:25