UB40 is an English group formed in 1978 in Birmingham by Ali Campbell, Brian Travers, Mickey Virtue, Astro, James Brown, Robin Campbell, Earl Falconer and Norman Hassan. A group that can boast of having sold around 70 million records worldwide and having placed no less than 50 singles in the UK Singles Charts.
The name of the group would actually be a reference to the administrative document Unemployment Benefit, Form 40 which is used to apply for social security coverage for the unemployed.
The group’s first notorious performance took place on February 9, 1979 in a Birmingham pub for a friend’s birthday. And it was a year later in 1980 that their first single "Food for thought" was released. Single which will be a hit upon its release, to the point of touching the top of the English Charts.
Their first album "Signing off" was released in the process and in turn was a hit. He will remain classified 71 weeks in the end.
Another success in 1983 when the album "Labor of love" was released, an album of covers which notably produced the enormous "Red red wine", a cover of a title by Neil Diamond.
They did it again two years later in 1985 with the title "I got you babe" which they performed with Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders which became a huge global hit. Flagship title taken from the album "Baggaridim".
It took them 5 years and the year 1990 to find success at the same level with the single "Kingston town" in 1990, produced from the album "Labor of love II".
The ultimate consecration came in 1993 with the title "(I can’t help) Falling in love with you", a flagship title that is part of the soundtrack of Sharon Stone Sliver's film. Flagship title that will remain as their biggest commercial success to date.
Thus making them definitively return to the legend, supreme reward for this unique group with such a particular musical signature and which will have profoundly marked the 80s.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
Food for thought 1980
I think it’s going to rain today 1980
Don’t slow down 1981
One in ten 1981
I won’t close my eyes 1982
Love is all is all right 1982
Red red wine 1983
Please don’t make me cry 1983
If it happens again 1984
I got you babe 1985
Don't break my heart 1985
Sing our own song 1986
Rat in my kitchen 1987
Breakfast in bed 1988
Where did I go wrong 1988
Homely girl 1989
Here I am (Come and take me) 1990
Kingston town 1990
The way you do the things you do 1990
Impossible love 1990
I'll be your baby tongith 1990
(I can’t help) Falling in love with you 1993
Higher ground 1993
Until my dying day 1995
Tell me is it true 1997
Always there 1997
Come back darling 1998
Holly Holy 1998
Cover up 2002
Kiss and say goodbye 2005
1980 ... a start with fanfare carried by a style particularly atypical for the time. Here they surely sign one of the most striking songs of the beginning of the decade
1980 ... the confirmation of an obvious talent. A second title which already says a lot about the potential of the group. And there is potential !
1981 ... an omnipresent reggae fashion that will become the indelible mark of the group's Fabrique. A style almost unique in its kind across the Channel ...
1981 ... a year 1981 a notch below the previous one. But whatever, the melodic quality is always present, that's the main thing !
1982 ... the start was sensational but the group struggles to confirm all the good that we thought of them. There is always good but the brilliant inspiration of the beginning is somewhat lacking ...
1982 ... hope is reborn with this much more inspired title. And when we see what is on the horizon, we have every reason to hope ...
1983 ... then arrives the Masterpiece, in truth a revisited version of the title of Neil Diamond dating from 1967. A revisited title which will change everything, explode their notoriety and make them definitively return to the musical legend of the 80s . MAS-TER-FUL !
1983 ... the group takes advantage of the incredible aspiration phenomenon generated by the previous title to establish their dominant position
1984 ... now it's a top hit per year. For the year 1984, the top hit will be this one ...
1985 ... when 2 big names of the moment meet, the result is necessarily up to the task. They sign here their 2nd biggest hit, just that !
1985 ... a particularly inspired year 1985 which saw the group venturing into melodic lands that they weren't necessarily used to exploring. A little change doesn't hurt, on the contrary !
1986 ... a dynamic which does not weaken despite the weight of the years. And always this inimitable style, unique among all and which continues to make the difference ...
1987 ... the top hit of the year 1987. The group lives its life quietly and aligns the hits, year after year, with obvious ease and constant inspiration
1988 ... as soon as Chrissie Hynde is part of the adventure, the sales scores literally soar. A beneficent fairy who allows the group to transcend each time !
1988 ... another title outside the melodic standards of the group. And again, it works perfectly. Like what !
1989 ... a beautiful end to a decade. They surely sign here one of their most emblematic titles
1990 ... one would have thought that the 90s would see the band die out slowly but surely. Oh no. On the contrary !
1990 ... a HUGE 1990 that allows them to deliver near perfect copies every time. And in particular this title which will remain as one of their biggest successes !
1990 ... a decidedly exceptional year with a 3rd top hit on the clock. The group is literally walking on water at the start of the decade !
1990 ... it's a hallucinating wave of very big caliber titles which shows that they still have a hell of a lot under the pedal ...
1990 ... a new luxury partnership which once again allows them to give the best of themselves. It must be said that with Robert Palmer as Guest star, we suspected that the result would necessarily be up to par !
1993 ... after 2 years more or less empty, we find them in Olympic form in this year 1993. All thanks to a sumptuous cover of the title of Elvis dating from 1961
1993 ... a year that was particularly successful for them with a second top hit in the wake. Admittedly, this title will not know the same level of success as its predecessor but will still remain as their last major success
1995 ... 15 years after their debut and still there. Only the greatest will have lasted so long ...
1997 ... an adventure that lasts, lasts, lasts. And especially who sees them stay in contact with the competition without too many problems ...
1997 ... always there as they say ! A desire to move forward which commands respect and which will inevitably lead them to the next decade, that's for sure ...
1998 ... of course, the drop in speed accelerates and their fame will no longer exceed England from now on, but when we see what they are still capable of offering, we take !
1998 ... an astonishing title which sees them exploring new tones. It is clear that they will have to review their fundamentals in order to be able to hope to exist even a little in the next decade ...
2002 ... the bar of 20 years of career is crossed. Who would have thought in 1980 that they would still be there in 2002. Not many people, that's clear ...