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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

Love how laid back it is perfect song to relax 2 a follow for a follow please people's :-*
ricker213231 0
It's laid back
They don't include the rap in the lyrics?
TechCrunch charts staggered
Binging h g :-/n jig
By ft gygftfyyhtdy y t g f g g g h
By h y guy f2f guy vgccvghvhg
"Red red wine" I love you all UB40!
All love 2 UB40, & may God bless & keep u 4 all time!!!
Great music
I LOVE UB40
Here I am. Live at montreux 2002. Is an incredible recording. I was taken back in time. Sooooo much fun :-)
ron15567
Wan
ron15567
V4bo
ron15567
Wan
This B**ch is free flowing & smooth. I love her.
THERE IS A GHOST
WHO WANDERS IN THE NAME
THOSE WHO HAVE NO NAME sm.



SIMON ~!~ MESSENGER
SIMONMESSENG E R . C O M
COPYRIGHT 2014

STEPHEN SIMON
Remambering Imperial valley in the 90's back in calexico high school?
chilloutslut _
Michellerodr i g u e z
UB 40 helped bring reggae to the masses. Very pop vides later on. Signing off was IMO their best album. The cover was a welfare form. You can always count on UB40 ( the name of the welfare form) to bring a slow moving crowd into a dancing state :-)
..<3...
I CANT HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU
<3...<3...<3 . . . < 3 . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Awww ..
Red red wine.... <3 one of my favorite songs.
volunteered for many shows, but I bought this ticket and I was not about to miss a minute of these guys. They came to Humboldt twice that year second time was for Reggae On the River. AMAZING! And I have seen many bands.
Saw them in concert years ago and they were and are still a great band. Their music will last the test of time.
Sad no one makes music like this anymore...
Love their music.
Listen 2 this song and its great!
Keep on fightin the good fight, y'all--- U R LOVED!!! Itll get better b4 the cat lays a egg!!! God bless,& thanx 4 the great music!!!
kemoybriscoe
Rock on bros!
Luv this luv song
gusdlgarza
1993 is when this in40 song came out
gusdlgarza
Love these guys
♥u guys :)
I love this band, they sound very nice and they are very romantic. UB40 and Big mountain and Bob Marley Are my favorite reggae bands and songs.
Seen UB40 twice in Honolulu,Haw a i i . I have to say both times they awesome.
Looooove all their songs...Neve r wrong with some UB40 ;-)
He is a will neg i love h'is music so much
It stinks
Best UB40 song!
michelle0919 4
Kiss your hand 10 times
Say your crushes name 15 times
Post this twice
Look at your hand
Im Mexican but i realy love this music,its so bomb...
Can't Help Falling In Love
love'em
Awesome song!
pckers4
So chill
vic_dlg
This song from in40 jams love beat and the begining of the song it's so cool to listen to
vic_dlg
Love
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
vic_dlg
Love in40
vic_dlg
I love
Love hearing this song
Love this song!!!!!
vic_dlg
Love
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