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UB40 Unplugged + Greatest Hits [double album]

UB40: Unplugged + Greatest Hits “Top of the UK singles chart three
  times, Britain
s biggest reggae band
  UB40 sold 70 million records all over
  the world and has
now released an
  inventive new spin on the band
  previous songs with Unplugged as
  part of a double album with UB40’s
  Greatest Hits

HAVING NEVER TRANSFERRED THE SPIRIT OF THEIR WORK into an acoustic setting, the founding members of Britain's biggest reggae band follow up their years of success by breathing new life into an intoxicating mix of timeless covers and classic UB40 originals with the release of the CD album Unplugged, twinned with the bonus album Greatest Hits.

Unplugged + Greatest Hits:
UB40 confirming they have still got it;
a superb collection
of songs both original
and with a new twist
that are stirring, emotive
and downright
Well done, guys!
Singer Ali Campbell, second vocalist Astro and Mickey Virtue on keyboards reunited three years ago and have developed into a formidable touring outfit. Unplugged sustains the electrifying momentum that Ali, Astro and Mickey built on 2014's Silhouette; the first studio album to feature all three members since Astro signed up in November 2013.

After thirty years with the band, Ali left the original UB40 in 2008, closely followed by Mickey. The reintegration of Astro confirmed UB40's status which has grown into an 11-piece touring ensemble, complete with a three-piece horn section.

UB40 became known for its "smooth yet rootsy" musical blend and the three are justly proud of their accomplishments. "This is the first time we've taken iconic UB40 tunes and done them in an acoustic style," says Ali. "It all sounds very fresh. It's completely unlike anything we've done before."

UB40's huge hits speak for themselves. One of the highlights of the album is a new version of I Got You Babe, the Sonny and Cher 70's hit given a UB40 treatment that the band originally performed with the fabulous Chrissie Hynde when the track topped the UK charts in 1985. The Unplugged version is sung with Ali's 22-year-old daughter Kaya Campbell, who has a sweet, gentle and melodious voice.

Unplugged also features four number one singles given the hip-swivelling, strong reggae beats, including new takes of the all-time favourite (I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You, the compulsive, easy-listening Red Red Wine, complete with a fresh Astro talk-over "in an acoustic style" and a new version of the uplifting Baby Come Back, featuring Pato Banton, the Birmingham reggae star who took the song to the top of the UK charts with UB40 in 1994.


Many Rivers To Cross
is another favourite of mine, a great tune with really good lyrics; along with the wonderful Breakfast In Bed, again with Chrissie Hynde; I Can't Help Falling In Love With You and the 1981 single One In Ten. The lilting That's Supposed to Hurt is a fine track.

Rat In Mi Kitchen has been given a new treatment, with Astro again providing talk-over vocals. Ali says: "That song was based on a real incident. Astro came over to my house in Balsall Heath to talk about lyrics, but I didn't want to talk about the band, as I had a rat hiding behind my washing machine! Some people thought it was about the government of Margaret Thatcher, but it had nothing to do with politics."

With Mickey on upright piano and the arrangements "fleshed out with shuffling percussion and Ali's melodica", other covers given a makeover include Lord Creator's Kingston Town, a ballad style with clear vocals; Eric Donaldson's Cherry Oh Baby; Winston Groovy's Please Don't Make Me Cry and the Chi-Lites ' Homely Girl, a terrific update for a commendable classic.

UB40 world tours have included taking in North and South America, Nigeria, South Africa, Dubai and Papua New Guinea. During 2016 the band has returned to the United States, played Australia and visited the vineyards of New Zealand for a Red Red Winery Tour.

An emotional return to the UK in April included sell-out shows at London's O2 Arena, the Brighton Centre and the Barclaycard Arena in their native Birmingham, performing songs from the first two Labour of Love albums.

Unplugged + Greatest Hits
: UB40 confirming they have still got it; a superb collection of songs both original and with a new twist that are stirring, emotive and downright enjoyable. Well done, guys!

In celebration of the release of Unplugged and Greatest Hits, UB40 has partnered with Eminent Life to launch a limited edition Red Red Wine Bordeaux Supérieur. A delighted Ali comments: "We have always wanted to release our own red wine and we're very excited to be finally doing this!"

Jerome Jacober, founder of Eminent Life adds: "It's been a pleasure and honour working with Ali, Astro and Mickey to create the exclusive wine which is so befitting of the great track Red Red Wine."

UB40 could be forgiven if all these achievements go to their heads. The limited edition Red Red Wine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes and is available to buy now.

UB40's 2CD package Unplugged + Greatest Hits is released on UMC on 18 November 2016.

"Unplugged + Greatest Hits: UB40 confirming they have still got it; a superb collection of songs both original and with a new twist that are stirring, emotive and downright enjoyable. Well done, guys!" ~ Maggie Woods, MotorBar


Disc 1 / Part 1: UB40 Unplugged featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey

1 Kingston Town | 2 Red Red Wine | 3 Many Rivers To Cross | 4 Baby Come Back featuring Pato Banton | 5 (I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You | 6 Purple Rain | 7 I Got You Babe featuring Kaya Campbell | 8 One In Ten | 9 Homely Girl | 10 Please Don't Make Me Cry | 11 Food For Thought | 12 Cherry Oh Baby | 13 Rat In Mi Kitchen | 14 Tyler | 15 You Could Meet Somebody | 16 That's Supposed To Hurt.

Disc 2 / Part 2: UB40's Greatest Hits

1 Red Red Wine | 2 I Got You Babe with Chrissie Hynde | 3 I Can't Help Falling In Love With You | 4 Kingston Town | 5 Food For Thought | 6 Cherry Oh Baby | 7 Don't Break My Heart | 8 Homely Girl | 9 The Way You Do The Things You Do | 10 Please Don't Make Me Cry | 11 Many Rivers To Cross | 12 Higher Ground | 13 One In Ten | 14 Rat In Mi Kitchen | 15 Breakfast In Bed featuring Chrissie Hynde | 16 Here I Am Come And Take Me | 17 King | 18 If It Happens Again | 19 Bring Me Your Cup | 20 Sing Our Own Song.

Check out UB40's Official website