News broke earlier this week that four members of UB40 have been declared bankrupt. That is bankrupt as in debt related rather than artistic bankruptcy I presume. Personally I loved their first album, but after that I thought they became the reggae equivalent of Status Quo and Ronseal. They did exactly what it said on the tin with as few original notes or original compositions as possible.
Their version of Neil Diamond’s song “Red Red Wine” is probably one of my least favourite songs and is nothing more than a poor carbon copy of the earlier reggae version by Tony Tribe. I recognise that the band were in a sense paying homage to their reggae heroes, but frankly how many times can you roll out the ‘Labour Of Love’ identikit covers concept before it becomes stale? In their favour they are clearly more talented than any X Factor contestant, but then I am also more talented than many of those.
Read the story of UB40s money woes here on the BBC, sadly it came about just a week after they had a Music Heritage plaque mounted in their honour at the Kings Heath, Birmingham pub that they performed at in 1979; The Hare and Hounds. I know it’s cruel, but I have a couple of questions;
Will they now have to complete one of their namesake forms; Unemployment Benefit form 40 a.k.a UB40?
In the meantime enjoy a couple of songs from the bands excellent first album;