UB40 Biography (BBC)
UB40 are a reggae band, formed around the Campbell brothers, Ali and Robin, and their mates from Balsall Heath, South Birmingham. They have sold more than 70 million records since they formed in 1978. Facing a future with scant job opportunities, they opted to name the band after the form used to sign on to unemployment benefit and wrote sharp-edged, political hit singles, such as One in Ten, King and The Earth Dies Screaming, all of which was music to the ears of John Peel, who became an early champion, offering them a Radio 1 session and helping pave the way towards Top of the Pops.
The band’s career shifted up a notch when they recorded the 1983 album Labour of Love, a collection of cover versions of beloved songs that contained their first No.1 single Red Red Wine, which also went to No.1 in America, albeit five years later. The popularity of their cover versions led to three Labour of Love sequels, a hit cover of I Got You Babe featuring Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, and a worldwide No.1 in 1993, performing Elvis Presley’s (I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You.
They continued to have hit singles with their own songs, If It Happens Again, Don’t Break My Heart and Sing Our Own Song all cracked the Top 10 in the 1980s. Ali Campbell later explained how their songwriting worked, as part of his contribution to BBC Four’s Reggae Britannia in 2011.
Ali left the group in 2008, causing a split in the ranks with the result that two groups record and perform with the name UB40 and sing their hits (as Ali did for Sarah Cox on BBC Radio 2), with Ali’s place in the original band being taken by his brother Graham.
UB40 Biography (Wikipedia)
UB40 are an English reggae and pop band, formed in December 1978 in Birmingham. The band has had more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and has also achieved considerable international success. They have been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984 were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group. One of the world's best-selling music artists, UB40 have sold over 70 million records. The ethnic make-up of the band's original line-up was diverse, with musicians of English, Irish, Jamaican, Scottish and Yemeni parentage.
Their hit singles include their debut "Food for Thought" and two Billboard Hot 100 number ones with "Red Red Wine" and "Can't Help Falling in Love". Both of these also topped the UK Singles Chart, as did the band's version of "I Got You Babe". Their two most successful albums, Labour of Love (1983) and Promises and Lies (1993), reached number one on the UK Albums Chart.
The band's line-up was stable for nearly 29 years, from March 1979 until January 2008, when frontman Ali Campbell left the band; followed shortly thereafter by keyboardist Mickey Virtue. Another member, Astro, remained with the band until November 2013; when he departed the original band to team up with Campbell and Virtue in a new version of UB40. In 2014, legal advice was sought by the original band (now consisting of remaining co-founding members drummer Jimmy Brown, guitarist Robin Campbell, bassist Earl Falconer, percussionist Norman Hassan, and saxophonist Brian Travers, along with new vocalist Duncan Campbell) against the group containing Campbell, Virtue, and Astro over usage of the band name, due to it being used by both parties.
- UB40 play their reggae classic 'Red Red Wine'https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02ndd0r.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02ndd0r.jpg2015-04-03T12:14:00.000ZA very special acoustic version of their timeless track had the whole studio grooving!https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02ndd1k
UB40 play their reggae classic 'Red Red Wine'
- Ali Campbell Live in Sessionhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p024yt9x.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p024yt9x.jpg2014-08-17T13:57:00.000ZAli joined Terry to perform two songs live in the studiohttps://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p024ytbh
Ali Campbell Live in Session