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UB40: Greatest Hits

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Album Review

Taking the two volumes of The Best of UB40 and skillfully whittling them to the size of a single CD, Virgin's 2008 set Greatest Hits is unarguably truth in advertising, even if fans of the English reggae band will still tussle over whether or not the pop hits are pandering numbers well below the group's capabilities. The whole span of UB40's career is displayed in the first two tracks with the opening cover version of "(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You" representing the ultra-slick, easy to swallow side of the band while "One in Ten" fights for the underdog with roots reggae attitude and dubby production. 'Course track three, the cover of Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine," is the big divider as it crops up at weddings, frat houses, and every pool party held since the single's release in 1983. If you think it reggae's "Don't Worry Be Happy," you probably won't enjoy the take on "I Got You Babe" with Chrissie Hynde, or the band's squeaky clean version of "The Way You Do the Things You Do," but there are 21 tracks here so you can take whatever stance you want on the "sellout" issue and still be left with plenty of greatness. Whether you never heard it or just forgot about it, the inclusion of "If It Happens Again" is a horn-driven highlight, and even the sourest UB40 fan sports a smile when the high-stepping "Rat in Mi Kitchen" gets a spin. Then there's the great "Kingston Town," its wistful melody so beautiful Paris Hilton's people lifted it for her "Stars Are Blind" single. Unfortunately, the set stops at 2003 with the rugby anthem "Swing Low," and seeing how lead singer Ali Campbell left the band in 2008 this is just five years short of being the definitive word on UB40 Mach 1. A smaller complaint is the everyday artwork and not one picture of the band included, but otherwise this is the one-disc, nonjudgmental document of UB40 done right.

Customer Reviews

Classic Reggae/pop

Just buy it and chill!

Songs

One of the best reggae songs and voices youll ever hear. The one and only ub40

UB40's Best

Incredible album. One of the greatest Reggae groups of all time!

Biography

Formed: 1978 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Named after a British unemployment benefit form, pop-reggae band UB40 were formed in a welfare line in 1978, and their multiracial lineup reflected the working-class community their members came from. The band consolidated its street credibility with political topics appealing to dissatisfied youth and got a boost from fans of the waning 2-Tone ska revival movement. Brothers Robin (lead guitar) and Ali Campbell (guitar, lead vocals) formed the centerpiece of the group, which also included bassist...
Full Bio
UB40: Greatest Hits, UB40
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Pop/Rock, Reggae, Alternative, College Rock, Adult Contemporary
  • Released: Sep 30, 2008

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