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UB40

Named after a British unemployment benefit form, pop-reggae band UB40 were formed in a welfare line in 1978, and their multiracial lineup reflected the working-class community their members came from. The band consolidated its street credibility with political topics appealing to dissatisfied youth and got a boost from fans of the waning 2-Tone ska revival movement. Brothers Robin (lead guitar) and Ali Campbell (guitar, lead vocals) formed the centerpiece of the group, which also included bassist Earl Falconer, keyboardist Mickey Virtue, saxophonist Brian Travers, drummer Jim Brown, percussionist Norman Hassan, and toaster Terence "Astro" Wilson. The band purchased its first instruments with compensation money Ali Campbell received after a bar fight, even though few of the members knew how to play them.

But by the end of the year, the group was invited to tour with the Pretenders. Their "Food for Thought" single reached the U.K. Top Ten in 1980, beginning a long streak of chart appearances. Signing Off and Present Arms were big sellers in Britain, if not America, and addressed the political issues of the day in songs like "One in Ten," a Top Ten hit blasting Margaret Thatcher for the country's unemployment rate. Released in 1983, Labour of Love, an album of reggae cover songs, gave the group its first chart album in America and first number one U.K. hit with Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine." Several albums of original material sold well in the U.K., but only respectably in the U.S., where the group's biggest hit was a Top 30 cover of Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" featuring the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde.

In 1988, the group performed "Red Red Wine" at a Nelson Mandela tribute concert, and a Phoenix radio station trotted the single out for a second go-round. Listener response was far more enthusiastic, and "Red Red Wine" reentered the charts and went all the way to the top. Finally having hit on a way to conquer the lucrative American market, UB40 responded with another covers album, Labour of Love II, which produced Top Ten singles with versions of the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and Al Green's "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)." The group scored a huge hit in America with Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love," which was initially featured in the Sharon Stone film Sliver and spent seven weeks at number one. By this time, UB40 had largely abandoned their trademark left-wing politics and were concentrating more on perfecting their reggae oldies covers than their original material; however, the gimmick resulted in huge sales figures in both the U.S. and U.K., with Promises and Lies reaching number six in the States and number one in Britain.

In the spring of 1998, UB40 released Presents the Dancehall Album in the U.K. A third Labour of Love collection followed a year later. In fall 2002, UB40 bounced back with yet another collection. The Fathers of Reggae, which appeared on Virgin in November, highlighted the band's roots in reggae in a selection of classics. In 2003, the band scored a major hit in the U.K. when its version of the spiritual "Swing Low" with the multicultural choir United Colours of Sound became the official anthem for the 2003 English Rugby team. The song was featured on the 2003 album Homegrown. As their 2005 album, Who You Fighting For?, was being released, an announcement was made that the band would be working with Birmingham's Repertory Theatre to stage a new musical in the spring of 2006. Two years later their album Twentyfourseven became their last with vocalist Ali Campbell and keyboardist Michael Virtue. Their 2010 release Labour of Love IV introduced Ali’s brother Duncan as the group’s new lead singer. They also released a remastered 2CD & DVD version of Signing Off as a 30th Anniversary Special, which the band also toured across America and Europe. In 2011, five founder members -Robin Campbell, Brian Travers, Terence Wilson, Norman Hassan and James Brown - started bankruptcy proceedings against the existing group over debts accrued by their label, DEP International. Alongside former singer Ali Campbell, they were declared bankrupt that year. In 2013, they announced their details of their eighteenth studio album. Entitled Getting Over The Storm, it featured covers of country music songs by the likes of Willie Nelson, George Jones,Randy Travis and many more. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Red, Red,Wine u make me feel so fine
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Nice
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Nice
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Red, red, wine
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How in the heck can they go bankrupt after so many albums?!!
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Don't worry about a thing, why? Three little birds told me.
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The way you do the things u do
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Red red wine
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Now dis is reggae mon!
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Love dis song but "red red wine" is better mon.
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Love it
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Here I am baby.... Come on and take me by the hand
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Nothing in this bio about the song There's a Rat in the Kitchen, released in 1986, which was huge in the US. And the one song from UB40 which sticks in my mind.
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allymada
YASSSSS UB,Taking me back!!!!!
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RED RED WINE
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UB40 ��
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I CANT HELP .. Is that SIN ?? b Etter if I knew
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asbiphone
Love it!
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Nice
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Dancing
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Red red wine is a hit....WILMA S WEST HARBOR AREA SUR13
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edwinbranch1 9 8 8
DVD
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more 80's and 90's
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RED RED WINE YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO FINE YOU KEEP ME ROCKING ALL THE TIME ALL OF THE TIME ALL OF THE TIME
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ALI, ASTRO, MICKEY-----I LUV U, guys. U
will ALWAYS BE THE REAL UB40 2 me!!!!! :-)
"Don't Break My Heart" by stopping now---
As my dear Daddy used 2 tell me: "It'll get
better `fore the cat lays a egg!!!!!":-D
God bless u, u will be in my prayers 4EVER!!!!! :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*
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grace.tinytw i n
I ❤️ this song!!
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Baby u r my red red wine
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Always UB40 Son!
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bren7777
Grooving' (Out on Life)!
Love this song!
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I want to hear red wine
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Red red wine
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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Happy song
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Signing off was the best album imho. Tyler, Medusa. .The list goes on. If you want real reggae, not that radio trash, give sign off a try.
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Bob Marley's music sooths the soul
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I'm young but I love these type of songs ��
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# 1 all time
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There is no Died !! We're here to list yoy
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I know it's you I need baaaaby... ����
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UB40 your music is always like new hits to my ears
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My Jam ��....
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Log fire = rain
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Me encanta su musica!!! Love,love this group
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ron15567
Want
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awesome group
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I love this song!!
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Great group!!
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garytashoy
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this 2 days, now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes . When your done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters . This is so scary it actually works
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I love This song.. me gustaría que sacara este cantante mas música como esta
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Take. My hand
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