This article is about the UB40 album. For other uses, see Labor of Love. Labour of Love is the fourth studio album by British reggae band UB40, and their first album of cover versions. Following the record’s success, UB40 have since released three further albums of cover versions under the Labour of Love title. The album consists of cover versions of ten of the group’s favourite songs by reggae artists from the period 1969 to 1972. Guitarist Robin Campbell drew up a list of possible tracks which were then whittled down to a final choice of ten following discussion among the band members. The group were apparently unaware during recording that the most famous track on the record had not originally been a reggae song. The band defended their decision to make an album of cover versions, stating that they had always wanted to make reggae for a wide audience. Robin Campbell said, “We actually set out in the first place to popularise reggae. His brother Ali added, “What we want to do is play heavy dub reggae. But if we came straight out doing that, it would never have gotten on the radio.
The album was accompanied by a 30-minute film shot in black and white, also entitled Labour of Love and released on VHS video. It was directed by Bernard Rose and written by Rose and the group’s saxophone player Brian Travers. Reviews of the album in the UK were generally positive. Considine of Rolling Stone also gave the album a positive review: while criticising the vocals, he also noted that “UB40’s ingenuity and unmistakable affection for the material keeps the comparisons from being too lopsided” and felt that each song “retains the spirit of the original while also capturing a modern feel”. Reviews of the 2015 deluxe edition remained positive, but lamented that Labour of Love didn’t have the intensity of the band’s earlier, more political, records. Ian Harrison of Q said of the album, “It’s still quality, but it’s hard not to mourn the earlier militancy”. Signing Off or Present Arms, instead relying on the surefire hit potential of further cover albums”.
In 1989, it was ranked number 98 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Albums of the Eighties”. Fire: The Autobiography of the UB40 Brothers. 100 Best Albums of the Eighties”. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Labour of Love in the “Search BPI Awards” field and then press Enter. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. Jump to navigation Jump to search For the World War I German submarine, see SM UB-40.
UB40 are an English reggae and pop band, formed in December 1978 in Birmingham, England. The band has had more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and has also achieved considerable international success. The band’s line-up was stable for nearly 29 years, from March 1979 until January 2008, when frontman Ali Campbell left the band, followed shortly thereafter by keyboardist Mickey Virtue. Another member, Astro, remained with the band until November 2013, when he departed the original band to team up with Campbell and Virtue in a new version of UB40. I lived in Balsall Heath in South Birmingham which was a predominantly immigrant area. UB40 vocalist Ali Campbell interview with the BBC in 2018. The band members began as friends who knew each other from various schools across Birmingham, England.
The origins of what would become UB40 began when in mid-1978 guitarist Ali Campbell, together with the rhythm section of drummer Jimmy Brown and bassist Earl Falconer, began rehearsing charting reggae songs in addition to some of their own original compositions. They were soon joined by several of their friends, firstly percussionists Yomi Babayemi and Norman Hassan, and then saxophonist Brian Travers and keyboardist Jimmy Lynn. Hounds pub in Kings Heath in February 1979 and one other, before the band underwent its first lineup change in the form of Babyemi and Lynn leaving the band and Mickey Virtue joining in place of Lynn. A month later UB40’s classic lineup was rounded out with the inclusion of percussionist and vocalist Astro. Hounds Pub in Kings Heath, Birmingham for a friend’s birthday party. This was commemorated in October 2011 by the unveiling of a plaque at the venue, indicating the band receiving the Performing Rights Society’s Music Heritage Award. The title of their first album, Signing Off, indicates the band was signing off from, or ending, their claim for unemployment benefits. It was recorded in a bedsit in Birmingham and was produced by Bob Lamb.