UB40is a British band which was formed in 1978 in Birmingham and they played dub/ Reggae style music. The band got their name from a paper form which was issued by the U. K. Governmentís Department of Employment. The form was for those who wanted to file for unemployment and can be translated as Unemployment Benefit, Form 40. The band members met in different schools and colleges in Birmingham. Ali Campbell and Brian Travers travelled around Birmingham promoting the band before they could even play an instrument. They posted posters about the UB40 band. The lead singer would be Ali Campbell and he got 4.000 in compensation money after a bar fight at his 17th birthday party. With the money, he bought instrunments for the band. The group had their first gig in 1979 at The Hare & Hounds Pub in Kings Heath, Birmingham. The gig was for a friendís birthday. The group got their first break when Chrissie Hynde saw discovered them in a pub. She gave them a chance to support her band, The Pretenders.
UB40's first single was called, King / Food for Thought, and it was released with the Graduate Records label, which was a local independent label which was operated by David Virr. The song reached number 4 on the U. K. Singles chart and was the first record to reach the U. K. Top 10 without a major record label. The name of the first album was, Signing Off, because the group was signing off or one could say, closing their claim for unemployment benefits. The album was produced by Bob Lamb. Norman Hassan said the tracks were recorded outside in the garden and he claimed that if the track was stripped down, one could hear the birds in the background. The song was released in 1980. It reached number 2 in the U. K. And spent 72 weeks on the chart. The album is now platinum.
UB40's popularity did not reach the United States until they released , Labour Of Love, which was an album of cover songs. In 1983, the album reached number 1 on the U. K. Album chart and number 8 on the Billboard Top 200 in the U. S..The feature song on the album was, Red Red Wine, which was a cover version of Neil Diamondís song. The most popular single release of theirs was their version of Elvis Presleyís, I Canít help falling In Love With You. The song was a number 1 hit in Europe and the United States. On August 21, 2007, the group performed with Cas Haley on the Americaís Got Talent Season Finale.
UB40 has a total of 29 albums and 56 singles that they have released. There has been a total of 12 band members all together from 1957 to the present. Like other bands the members come and go.
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