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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Alphabet Beats #144: U is for....UB40

U is for....


UB40 Then


UB40 Now
Norman, Earl, James, Robin, Brian and Duncan


UB40 are a band that divide opinion, you either love 'em or you hate 'em. That division though took a further twist when founding members Ali Campbell and Michael Virtue left the band in 2008 followed in 2013 by Astro and from their side came a whole volley of barbed comments regarding their former bandmates. 

The division now is who on earth do you regard as the "Real UB40"? Ali Campbell would want us to believe that he is the real voice of UB40 and that his outfit is actually UB40. Intrestingly that comes from a man who basically said he didn't want anything to with the band anymore once he left them to launch a solo career which has stumbled and spluttered. His solo records sold disappointingly and his tour was cancelled due to low ticket sales. The only way it would seem that people would take an interest in him was to begin using the name UB40 on his tour posters etc and declaring himself as the real voice of UB40. He even stooped low when attacking his own brother Duncan Campbell (who took over vocal duties): "I sat back for five years and watched my brother Duncan murdering my songs." It's a bit funny because most people I've spoken to who have seen Ali's outfit have basically said he seems to do a good enough job murdering the songs himself!

There is of course pending legal action from the five remaining Original members of the band who have continued to tour and to record and release new music.

Personally I come down on the side of the five and have no hesitation about saying that. It pains me though to see this situation. I like to remember them for the music that they made and are still making today rather than say anymore regarding the ugliness of this terrible situation. And that's exactly what we are going to do on Alphabet Beats today. Click on the links to enjoy the music.


The  Music
    Signing Off (1980)
    Present Arms (1981)

Present Arms in Dub (1982)
    UB44 (1982)

UB40 Live (1983)
    Labour of Love (1983)
    Geffery Morgan (1984)
    Baggariddim (1985)
    Rat in the Kitchen (1986)

UB40 CCCP: Live in Moscow (1987)
    UB40 (1988)
    Labour of Love II (1989)
    Promises and Lies (1993)
    Guns in the Ghetto (1997)

UB40 Present The Dancehall Album (1998)
    Labour of Love III (1998)
    Cover Up (2001)

UB40 Present The Fathers of Reggae (2002)
    Homegrown (2003)
    Who You Fighting For? (2005)

Live at Montreux 2002 (2007)
Dub Sessions (2007)
    TwentyFourSeven (2008)

The Lost Tapes Live at The Venue 1980 (2008)
Live at Birmingham Arena 2002 (2008)
Love Songs (2009)
Dub Sessions II Labour of Dub (2009)
    Labour of Love IV (2010)

Dub Sessions III (2010)
    Getting Over the Storm (2013) 



The Soundtrack4Life Top 20
UB40
20. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live.
19. Don't Walk On The Grass.
18. Breakfast In Bed (ft Chrissie Hynde).
17. Riddle Me.
16. Rat In Mi Kitchen.
15. Who Are You Fighting For.
14. Sing Our Own Song.
13. Night of the Living Dub (Burden of Shame).
12. Johnny Too Bad.
11. Little By Little.
10. Don't Slow Down.
09. King.
08. Sardonicus.
07. Tyler.
06. Many Rivers To Cross.
05. Present Arms in Dub.
04. The Earth Dies Screaming.
03. Food For Thought.
02. One In Ten.
01. Madam Medusa.

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