The British reggae band UB40 was formed in 1978 in Birmingham. The letters in the group’s name stand for unemployment benefit and the number 40 denotes one of the forms which must be filled up in order to get this very benefit. UB40’s line-up is quite numerous, and the band’s members create interesting and intensive sound.
UB40 started their professional career playing in small clubs in Birmingham, and during one gig they were noticed by Chrissie Hynde, rhythm guitarist from The Pretenders. She invited them to perform as the opening act for her band, and UB40 agreed without any delays. Many shows were very useful for them: UB40 started gaining the popularity and they got new fans. The group’s first single King/ Food For Thought was released in 1980 and it peaked at number 4 of the British Singles Chart and that fact proves the highest level of UB40’s debut work.
The band’s first studio attempt titled Signing Off appeared in 1980, and its cover looked like the unemployment benefit form that must be filled up to get the UB. The album was enjoyed by the fans and pretty soon it was certified Platinum. UB40’s second long play titled Present Arms was issued in 1981 and it turned out to be as successful as its predecessor: Present Arms got Platinum status as well. The musicians had a lot of new ideas and they really wanted to realize them: as the result, such strong albums as UB44 (1982), Labour Of Love (1983) and others were released. UB40 issued a new studio work every year till 1986, and after the release of Rat In The Kitchen (1986) the group’s fans had to wait for the following long play for two years. Album UB40 (1988) satisfied all the fans’ expectations; however during the career besides their own songs UB40 created interesting cover-versions. The brightest of them are definitely Neil Diamond’s Red Red Wine and Elvis Presley’s (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You.
The band toured a lot, sharing the energy with numerous fans all around the world. Nevertheless, UB40 always had time to work on the new material: they released many compilation albums, albums of cover-versions and, of course, long plays with the original material. In 2005 Who You Fighting For? was released and it got excellent reviews from the critics. In 2008 the band’s discography was enlarged by the new studio attempt titled TwentyFourSeven and two years later the musicians issued their fourth albums of cover-versions Labour Of Love IV (2010). In spite of the long career, the musicians still have plenty of fresh ideas, and the experience allows realizing all of them easily. The fans have been enjoying UB40’s talent for a long time, and all those who are just going to get acquainted with the band’s creativity may start from any album – all the records are really good.