UB40 is a popular multinational reggae and pop band from the UK. The band name is derived from the British application form for unemployment benefit ( Unemployment Benefit). The band had a string of hits including Red Red Wine, I Got You Babe, Can not Help Falling in Love and Kingston Town. Their lyrics often cut UB40 social issues like racism or unemployment.


The band was founded in Birmingham in 1978 by brothers Robin and Alistair "Ali" Ian Campbell and bought their first instruments of the pain and suffering, the singer Ali Campbell after a brawl in a bar was awarded. After half a year in the practice room they recorded a demo tape, which was played on the radio and heard there by the famous DJ John Peel. He was so impressed that he invited to a session on the radio studio UB40.

Chrissie Hynde, the singer of the Pretenders, the band saw at a club concert and offered them to ride as the opening act at the Pretenders Tour 1980. The band agreed, and got her first record contract with an indie label. Even during the tour, they released their first single, Food for Thought, which came into the UK charts at number four. Food for Thought was the first single that made ​​it into the top ten without a major contract.

In the same year the debut album Signing Off, which sold very well in England, and reached number two on the charts appeared. With Signing Off UB40 created a based reggae indie underground sound, which by this time had nothing like it. However, the band at this individual creativity could never build again. Although they have never signed to a major label, UB40 were also dissatisfied with the policies of their indie labels and founded her own label DEP International in order to gain full independence.

In 1983 published UB40 Labour of Love. This album contains only cover versions. The single Red Red Wine, a cover of Neil Diamond, they reached number one in the British charts, and with a space 12 they were the first time in Germany in the charts.

After this success, approximately five years long not much happened. UB40 release six albums, including two live recordings, reached with their self-composed songs, but only in their home country successes.

After the band in 1988 their biggest hit Red Red Wine played at a concert in honor of Nelson Mandela and for that euphoric applause earned to UB40 decided to publish the single again. The single managed to re-enter the charts and was once again a bestseller. UB40 took advantage of the increased level of awareness and took a second album with cover versions, Labour of Love 2, which then sold very well.

After four years, then appeared the next album Promises and Lies. Can not Help Falling in Love, the cover of a song by Elvis Presley (7 weeks number one in England), was responsible for the success of this album. Although it only reached number two in England, but also sixth of the U.S. top 10. An appearance in the film Sliver with Sharon Stone cranked up the sale to continue.

According to Can not Help Falling in Love it was quiet around UB40. In the international charts they hardly played a role. With the 2001 release, Cover Up, they reached only number 29 in England, and in 2005 published album Who You Fighting For? reached a maximum of 20 square

Along with the British singer Hunterz wrote the song Reasons UB40 2005, she, together with Hunterz and The Dhol Blasters on 2 July 2005 Park played in the wake of the global Live8 concerts in London's Hyde.

25 January 2008 announced singer Ali Campbell that he will leave the band after the concerts in February 2008 and will now concentrate on his solo career. Another reason he gave to irregularities in the finances of the band. On 19 March 2008 left keyboardist Michael Virtue for the same financial irregularities the band.

On the Twenty Four Seven Tour 2008 UB40 performed with Duncan Campbell as vocalist ( Robins and Alistair's brother ) and Tony Mullins on the keyboard.

A judge at Birmingham County Court confirmed in October 2011 for Brian Travers, Jimmy Brown, Terence Oswald and Norman Hassan personal bankruptcy after her record label, Dep International is also gone bankrupt.


The band's name stands for one in the UK at that time in use form for registration of his unemployment; " Unemployment Benefit, Form 40, or" UB40 ".


  • Signing Off (1980 )
  • Present Arms (1981 )
  • Present Arms in Dub (1981 )
  • UB44 (1982)
  • UB40 Live (1983 )
  • Labour of Love (1983 )
  • Geffery Morgan ( 1984)
  • Baggariddim (1985 )
  • The UB40 File ( 1985)
  • Rat in the Kitchen (1986 )
  • UB40 CCCP: Live in Moscow ( 1987)
  • The Best of UB40 - Volume One (1987 )
  • UB40 (1988 )
  • Labour of Love II ( 1989)
  • Promises and Lies (1993 )
  • The Best of UB40 - Volume Two (1995 )
  • Guns in the Ghetto (1997)
  • UB40 Present the Dancehall Album ( 1998)
  • Labour of Love III (1998)
  • The Very Best of UB40 (2000)
  • Cover Up (2001)
  • UB40 Present The Fathers of Reggae (2002)
  • Homegrown (2003)
  • Who You Fighting For? (2005)
  • Dub Sessions (2007)
  • Twenty Four Seven (2008)
  • Labour of Love IV (2010)

Chart positions