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Friday, June 13, 2008

For The Love Of Reggae...

"Gimmie little time, help me clear up my mind..."  UB40 - Red Red Wine

Well as everyone knows I am back in the Tdot doing the damn thing.  I started work on Wednesday and all is a go, however I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I have to slow down and go according to the Toronto flow again.  I will get to it, but most likely by the time I am ready to head back to NYC–and that is JUST fine with me.  :)

So today is album of the week day, the day I look forward to.  Well, I wasn't sure on what to go with today honestly.  But I saw a clip on TV that inspired me, made me reminisce a bit and took me back to a really good place.  I know some of you will think this reggae band is quite syrupy, yet some will agree with me when I say that they are one of the most underrated bands I know.  The album of the week is:

UB40 is one of my favorites for many sentimental reasons.  It was one of the first concerts that I attended at a pretty young age.  My older cousin was the chaperone and we–my brothers, sister and I, accompanied her to one of the best concerts in my life.  And the reasoning is not because it was my "first" concert, the reason is because it was an all around phenomenal show.  The echoing voice of Ali Campbell on the lead, vibrated off of the walls and into my soul.  And the band?  The sound of the brass and percussion, right down to the tambourine–together in unison, meshing throughout the hall...watching all the spectators eat it all up, sway in the groove and continue to be entranced by the music.  UB40 turned the hall into a dancehall and I will never forget that experience or show.  It was all done in accordance to the music that was being provided live by a lil' old multicultural reggae/ska/dub influenced band from Birmingham, England.  

UB40 came to prominence in North America with the release of Labour Of Love.  Their remake of Neil Diamond's song "Red Red Wine" can be found on the song listing at any karaoke bar or on the do not play list at your friend's wedding (depending on what type of wedding you go to of course.)  Either way, the song has been stuck with a sore of a moniker– the cheesy song hardly anyone wants to hear (I don't care, I still love it.)  Nonetheless, Labour Of Love is one of my favorite albums and I must say honestly speaking, the only one that I own from the reggae band.  I know a lot of their singles, but don't know any of their other albums–except this one.  UB40's cover of all of the listed songs are amazing, jovial and cool.  The album's opener "Cherry Oh Baby" is a fun, no fuss tune that you can't help but chant and chill to, "Sweet Sensation" has a deep mellow flow and the synthesizer and brass heavy "She Caught The Train" all add to make the album what it is.  It is one of the albums that I listen to from beginning to end, thoroughly and enjoy every minute of it.

Last I read, there was trouble in the land of UB40 and a couple of the members were not happy at all causing them to leave.  The voice of the band, lead singer Ali Campbell and keyboardist Michael Virtue both took leave after some managing disagreements.  It was said that the lead was being replaced by Ali Campbell's brother Duncan.  Wow,  I wonder how he will take that since they are not exactly in sibling bliss.  If you would like to read more about their plans to continue on without the two major players, you can do so here.  They did release their last album with the original line up called Twentyfourseven recently.  I am not exactly sure what it is about and how it is, but if you are a fan check it out.  I was sad to hear that the original line up was being disrupted, but what can we do?  Give thanks to Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders for bringing this band and their music to the forefront.  If you would like to find out more on UB40, you can check out their website here.

Flashback of the day:  I decided to go with my favorite track on the album.  I love, love, LOVE this track.

Have a great weekend...

Tha Connoisseur 


Vivrant Thang said...

I can't get with you on this one girl but I still loves ya!

Anyway glad to see you made it back safe and sound and are back in stride again. I HOPE you're attending the Jazz Festival. I need video!

Tha Connoisseur said...

LOL...ya it is one of my little quirks that I am not ashamed of.

Hehe nothing attended on this side yet, I am getting on it!!! :)