Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for UB40


Someone said that I was doing the most famous musicians for my theme - nope, not at all. My A-to-Z theme is musicians that I like (or liked) and those that always have a place on my playlist. Granted, it's a pretty huge playlist. 

If you look under "U" (right next to Usher), you'll see UB40.

Reggae met pop in the ethnic milkshake of UB40 and the result was catchy and addictive. The founding members of UB40 were Ali Campbell, Astro, Brian Travers, James Brown, Robin Campbell, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan and Mickey Virtue.

The band started out as friends who knew each other from various schools. "UB40" was a reference to a form used for unemployment benefits in the UK: Unemployment Benefit, Form 40. The front-woman of the Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde, saw them perform in a pub and gave them a shot at opening for her band. 

The first album, Signing Off, was a wink at the unemployment situation - those days were done.

Perhaps I'm not the best fan to sing their praises. Of the 18 albums they recorded, I really like Labor of Love most of all. That album created a fan base in the USA, in my humble estimation. Their cover of the Neil Diamond song "Red, Red, Wine" was fantastic. That same year, I attended a Neil Diamond concert. Neil himself commented on the success of their cover of the song. I had to laugh when Neil rapped, "I don't care if the words are wrong, 'cause I get the money when they sing THAT song."

I'd like to hear Ali Campbell sing once more and see the horns dance in rhythm to that awesome reggae beat. Aw, I miss those boys. A toast to them - red wine for everyone!




Hey, it's Akron's finest - Chrissie Hynde! 




Make sure to visit some of these great bloggers who are participating in the challenge!

36 comments:

  1. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    (If you're wondering why people are slow to comment, it's because, so far, your post is not appearing in the reader.)

    For my "U" band I might have gone with The Uvulas featuring Chevy Chase and Gilda Radner. (Dated reference to another SNL bit - a fake PSA on the proper care of the uvula.)

    Me likey UB40, an innovative English reggae band that borrowed familiar songs made popular by other acts, gave them a unique treatment and made them their own. We played their cover of Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine" on our MTV-style station. Along with one of the other videos you posted, Dusty Springfield's "Breakfast in Bed," UB40 together with Chrissie Hynde also recorded the Sonny and Cher signature song "I Got You Babe."

    Hey, I see you made a cameo appearance on my blog today. Cool! :)

    Have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend Cherdo!

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    1. Good morning, good buddy! I was at your place before I saw this and then I had to go back to see my "cameo."

      It was like "find Waldo;" took me forever!! I laugh out loud when I realized where I appeared. Then, I felt warmed by the picture of this dear lady holding the tablet and reading my post. Now, I'm tearing up. Such a sweet, sweet picture of a sweet lady. I loved the posts about Margaret's birthday.

      I wish you could have seen Neil Diamond strutting around singing "Red, Red Wine" a la UB40. It was a classic moment.

      Have a great day, Shady-man (said like a Jamaican).

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    2. I'm glad you found yourself in my post. You should have heard me squeal with delight when Kathleen sent me that picture last night. It made me cry, too. Margaret and Kathleen both think very highly of you, dear Cherdo, and so do I. God bless!

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  2. Back when they were big, I failed to realize how many of their songs were covers. They deserve a lot of credit for bringing reggae back to the mainstream. The Police they were not, but they were fun.

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    1. Sometimes, it's the fun that draws me in. I loved their covers so much.

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  3. I loved their songs! I am grooving to Red, Red Wine right now. :)

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    1. Their music always makes me smile.

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  4. I'm back under my rock, first I've heard of them too

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  5. Red Red Wine is very familiar but it's been awhile since I've heard it. But I would have never come up with UB40 in a trivia contest.

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    1. You might lose your spot on my trivia team, Mike...careful...fake it.

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  6. Oh UB40!! I used to love them. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Great songs!

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  7. Replies
    1. U2 steals all the "U" thunder, 365 days a year. Throw some UB40's way...

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  8. Not familiar with them. My loss, no doubt.

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    Replies
    1. ...it's like I'm beating you with these choices...

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  9. I always thought that RRW got short changed on the charts. I was glad to see it make a big comeback years later. And this week in 1968, Neil Diamond's original first hit the charts.

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    1. I saw that on the Time Machine! Perfect timing, eh?

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  10. I wish my name were Astro. Or Brian.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Since it has been taken, you can just use JASTRO. Jastro Junebug...or Junerocket.

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  11. >>... the ethnic milkshake of UB40

    Musta been a coincidence. Surely you didn't use that word on purpose, did ya, Shirley? I mean, CHERDO.

    Never owned anything by this band but I heard them via my Sister who liked that 'Red, Red Wine' song and played it... and played it... and played it...

    ~ I'm D-FensDogG and IB55

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    1. What are you implying, sir? Obviously it is coincidental...there's no way it could be in reference to anything else...no way at all.

      IB552
      (this reminds me of the Van Halen album).

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  12. They've been around a long time. Not my style of music, but they have staying power.

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    1. I need the complete Cavanaugh play list to access.

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  13. UB40, one of my faves! Yup, this choice puts you firmly in my tribe. ;-)

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  14. Oh how I remember them:) They were always on the dance play back in the day

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  15. Yes now I know who they are....but bad me, didn't recognize their name at all :(
    Inventions by Women A-Z
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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  16. I once played the Neil Diamond version of Red Red Wine at work and the rest of the time asked me what that awful **** was and whether I had the "real" version :P

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    1. Now, that is a true friend....you "****"-ed for me. Your a gentleman, for sure. Thank you.

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    2. My pleasure :) That was meant to say "team" though, not "time" :P

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  17. Oh My Goodness UB40
    I used to love them. Gosh I can't believe I have forgotten them ?
    But lately I forget everything.

    cheers, parsnip

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  18. I've already used them once on a BoTB bit. I may have to give them another whirl in the future. I had no idea they sang so many covers:)

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo