Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ivory Madonna....

I've finally just managed to watch some of the Reggae stuff on the iPlayer that was recently aired on BBC4 and after watching Ali Campbell it jogged my memory that at one time, albeit briefly,  UB40 were a bloody good band.

Of course I am referring to the first 2 albums both of which are remarkable in their songwriting and musicianship, all the more so considering the guys were barely out of shorts. I was listening to both albums recently but for me debut album, Signing Off has the edge.

I would have been about 11 when I first heard Signing Off and obviously at that age would not have been paying too much attention to the highly politicised lyrical content but fell in love instantly with the quality of the songs and Ali Campbell's unique vocal style.

Classic songs abound such as Tyler, Food For Thought and King, making this for me one of the essential early 80's albums and over the years I have come to appreciate the thought provoking lyrics with tracks about Martin Luther King, Britain's Imperialist past in Burden Of Shame and Madame Medusa's vivid description of Thatcher's rise to power.

Brilliant first album full of energy and sincerity that sadly was never bettered by the Brummie boys.


  1. Cant believe this Mr M. I, too, have been on a UB40 re-assessment in recent weeks as well. Found some very early 12"ers in t'loft. Fantastic. So good in fact, that have ordered S.Off, Pr.Arms, and P.A. In Dub from Amazon all for £13! Dub bargain.

  2. All 3 are tremendous albums. I am working my way through the Reggae stuff from BBC4 and am on a bit of a Reggae kick at the moment. There may be a few more Reggae postings coming up....