+ Greatest Hits [double album]
of the UK singles chart three
biggest reggae band
UB40 sold 70 million records all over
the world and has now
inventive new spin on the bands
previous songs with Unplugged as
part of a double album with UB40s
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.
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.
Unplugged + Greatest
UB40 confirming they have still got it;
a superb collection
of songs both original
and with a new twist
that are stirring, emotive
Well done, guys!
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
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
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.
2CD package Unplugged + Greatest Hits is released on UMC on 18
"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,
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
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