UB40 has announces For The Many, their first record in five years, for March 22nd on CD and LP via Wienerworld. A limited edition 2 CD version will also be available featuring Dub Mixes. Each version contains a 24 page booklet complete with photos of the band and lyrics. The news comes as the group kicks off their 40th Anniversary Tour on March 29th in Portsmouth, England.
For The Many is the Birmingham reggae veterans’ nineteenth studio album – their first since 2013’s Getting Over The Storm. It features UB40’s founding members Robin Campbell (co-vocals/Guitar), Brian Travers (saxophone/keyboards), Jimmy Brown (drums), Earl Falconer (bass/keyboards/vocals) and Norman Hassan (percussion/vocals), alongside long-time members Duncan Campbell (vocals), Martin Meredith (saxophone), Laurence Parry (trumpet) and Tony Mullings (keyboards).
Formed in Birmingham in 1978, UB40 named themselves after the UK government’s unemployment benefit form. Their debut album Signing Off was released in August 1980 and is considered by many to be one of the greatest reggae albums ever released by a British band.
“For The Many is our first original album with Duncan, and a true reflection of where the band are at right now,” states Jimmy Brown. “It gave us an opportunity to go back to our roots and draw on the 1970s-style reggae that inspired us to be in a band in the first place. We intended to make an uncompromising reggae album and I think we have achieved that. There’s lots of dub, various guest toasters and a blend of love songs and political songs. I’m really happy with the final result. We’re really looking forward to playing some of these tunes live on our 40th anniversary tour in spring next year.”
“After ten years of fronting UB40, for us to make an album of our own original material feels like the final hurdle for me,” says Duncan Campbell. “The album and its title reflect how UB40 are all in support of Jeremy Corbyn and The Labour Party. Both of the songs I have written on the album (‘I’m Alright Jack’ and ‘Poor Fool’) also reflect this. We all feel this album is going back to what UB40 was all about and we are all excited for everybody to hear the album and looking forward to touring it.”
“For The Many is a great mix of reggae styles, while the different artists we have collaborated with will appeal to more fans and tastes in reggae – it really is an album for the many,” adds Robin Campbell. “The 2019 UK tour is a continuation of our 40th year celebrations, as well as sharing tracks from our latest album. We’re playing all over the UK instead of a few arenas dates, meaning our fans from all over the UK can get to see us much more locally and up close – truly a tour for the many.”
The album’s artwork was created by Brian Travers, whose abstract canvases have been the subject of several highly acclaimed exhibitions. He comments, “Our 40th anniversary celebrations started earlier last year with our sold out show at the Royal Albert Hall in June, and we had our big hometown concert at Arena Birmingham on December 21st. We can’t wait to finally release For The Many in February and then start our 40th anniversary in March.”
It was the start of a career that led to 100 million record sales worldwide and dozens of hits, including “Red, Red Wine,” “I Got You Babe” and “(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You” which all topped the charts in the UK and in many countries across Europe. The band had a run of hit albums that have spent a combined period of eleven years in the UK’s Top 75 album chart, establishing UB40 as one of Britain’s most successful bands of all-time.
1. The Keeper
2. Broken Man (Feat. Kabaka Pyramid)
3. Gravy Train (Feat. Slinger)
4. I’m Alright Jack (Feat. Pablo Rider)
5. Moonlight Lover (Feat. Gilly G)
6. You Haven’t Called
7. What Happened to UB40
9. Poor Fool
10. All We Do Is Cry (Feat. Hunterz)
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.