Monday, July 12, 2010

'80s Music Monday: UB40

Reggae artist UB40 is still one of my all-time favorite bands. They're a British reggae band, but with a unique sound mixing synthesizers and brass with the usual guitar, bass, and drum. They also have a cool multi-culti vibe, with members with English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni, and Jamaican heritages.

They're known in the US mainly for their cover songs, scoring number-1 hits with "Red, Red Wine" (which you can compare to the original version here) in 1983 and "(I Can't Help) Falling in Love With You" in 1993. But they wrote a lot of great original music too.

Their American popularity peaked in 1993, but they still sell a ton of records in the UK. Anyway, great musicianship, great sound, great songs -- they're just a great band. Here's five of my favorites from the '80s.

"Food for Thought" (1980)
Their first single, it was about famine in Ethiopia (five years before Band Aid).
(The sound's kind of loud on this one, so watch out.)

"One in Ten" (1981)

"Many Rivers to Cross" (1983) A Jimmy Cliff song

"If It Happens Again" (1984)

"Rat in Mi Kitchen" (1987)
Allegedly about Margaret Thatcher.... Anyway, great song and great title (which I once borrowed for one of my favorite blog posts.)


  1. UB40 was the first band I ever went and saw live... It was a cramped and smokey venue, but still a great experience!!


    (Now if only all those video weren't being blocked by my employers firewall...)

  2. Cramped and smokey is the best way to see a band. I'll take that over an arena/festival any day.


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