UB40 is a popular Dub Reggae and pop band formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England. The band took its name from that of the paper form issued by the British government for citizens to apply for unemployment benefits.
The band is the worlds first most culturally diverse dub reggae band with English, Turkish, Welsh, African and Jamaican parentage musicians, the band were named after the former U.K. Social Security form for claiming unemployment benefit.
UB40 were influenced by the many Blues Party's they attended as teenagers in multiracial Birmingham, their love of Ska and Reggae inspired such original tracks as King, Madam Madusa, Ivory Madona, signing off and 'one in ten' later covered by 808 state.
Their early music style was definitely unique with a heavy influence of analogue synths, psychedelic rock guitar, Saxophone and Dub Reggae producer techniques which were later perfected by the late Pablo Falconer.
Other artists that UB40 have collaborated with include: Pato Banton, Bitty McLean, Chrissie Hynde and Afrika Bambaataa.
Its members include:
- Jim Brown (drums)
- Ali Campbell (guitar, lead vocals)
- Robin Campbell (lead guitar, vocals)
- Earl Falconer (Bass guitar, vocals)
- Norman Hassan (percussion)
- Brian Travers (saxophone)
- Mickey Virtue (keyboards)
- Terence Wilson (percussion, trumpet)
- Astro (toasting vocals)
- Pablo Falconer (producer)
The band purchased its first instruments with compensation money Ali Campbell received after a bar fight, and have had a number of hits, most commercially and to amusement of the band, 'Red Red Wine' (a cover version of a Neil Diamond song in an arrangement similar to that of Tony Tribe's version).
Many of UB40's later recordings were inspired by 1960's ska and early lovers rock songs that would have otherwise been forgotten in the public eye, their new injection of life into so many old Jamaican hits has resulted in many musicians and producers finding a new lease of life and money.
UB40's music has often tackled social issues such as racism and unemployment.
Albums Discography by UB40
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- Signing Off (1980), UK #2
- Present Arms (1981), UK #2
- Present Arms in Dub (1981), UK #38
- UB44 (1982), UK #4
- UB40 Live (1983), UK #44
- Labour of Love (1983), UK #1
- Geffery Morgan (1984), UK #3
- Baggariddim (1985), UK #14
- Rat in the Kitchen (1986), UK #8
- UB40 CCCP: Live in Moscow (1987); Live in Moscow, Russia 1986
- The Best of UB40 - Volume One (1987), UK #3
- UB40 (album)|UB40 (1988), UK #12
- Labour of Love II (1989), UK #3
- Promises and Lies (1993), UK #1
- The Best of UB40 - Volume Two (1995), UK #12
- Guns in the Ghetto (1997), UK #7
- UB40 Present the Dancehall Album (1998)
- Labour of Love III (1998), UK #8
- The Very Best of UB40 (2000), UK #7
- Cover Up (2001), UK #29
- Homegrown (2003),UK #49
Items to buy by UB40
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