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UB40 Biography

Home > Music > U > UB40 > Biography

Birth Place: Birmingham, England, UK
Years Active: 1978—present
Genres: Reggae Fusion, Reggae, Dub

UB40 are a British reggae band formed in 1978 in Birmingham. The band has placed more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and has also achieved considerable international success. One of the world's best-selling music artists, UB40 have sold over 70 million records.

Their No.1 hit singles include two U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number ones with "Red Red Wine" and "Can't Help Falling in Love", while "I Got You Babe" also topped the UK singles chart.

UB40 caught their first break when Chrissie Hynde noticed them at a pub and gave them an opportunity as a support act to her band, The Pretenders. UB40's first single, "King"/"Food for Thought" was released on Graduate Records, a local independent label run by David Virr. It reached No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart.

Their first album was titled “Signing Off,” as the band were signing off from or closing their claim on the unemployment benefit. It was recorded in a bedsit in Birmingham and was produced by Bob Lamb. ”Signing Off” was released on 29 August 1980, and entered the UK Albums Chart on 2 October 1980. It reached as high as No. 2 in the UK and spent 71 weeks in total on the chart. “Signing Off” is now a Platinum album.

After great success in the UK UB40's popularity in the United States was established when they released “Labour of Love,” an album of cover songs, in 1983. The album reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 8 on the Billboard 200 in the US. The album featured the song "Red Red Wine", a cover version of a Neil Diamond song that stayed on the charts for over a hundred weeks.

Their most successful worldwide single release is the cover of the Elvis Presley ballad "(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You" which was the main title to the 1993 Sharon Stone movie “Sliver” and was a number one hit across Europe and in the US.