UB40 – UB44 (1982) – Lp
UB40 are a British reggae and pop band formed in December 1978 in Birmingham, England. The ethnic make-up of the band’s original line-up was diverse, with musicians of English, Irish, Jamaican, Scottish and Yemeni parentage.
Label: DEP International
UB44 is the third album by UB40, released on the DEP International label in 1982. The album reached No. 4 in the UK album chart and the early release of the packaging had a hologram cover. UB44 was the Department of Employment form letter sent to British unemployment benefit claimants when they missed their ‘signing on’ appointment.
This album was effectively the last one in their early musical style, again mixing heavy, doom-laden reggae soundscapes with politically and socially conscious lyrics. In particular, “I Won’t Close My Eyes” and “Love is All Right” use reverb, echoes, and stereo positioning for a shimmering, three dimensional feel indicated by the 3D cover. Droning rhythms- the 4th dimension of time- induce a trance, evoking reggae’s substance behind the muse. “Love is All Right” is a slow number with close sounding, harmonised vocals. Sax and trumpet echo in a huge hall, sounding like some Caribbean band of long ago. A funky, effected, simple guitar twang adds to the old and new feel. The lyrics challenge the listener that “a little more hate” may be needed in polarised racial and class conflicts.
1. So Here I Am (3:54)
2. I Won’t Close My Eyes [Remix] (3:46)
3. Forget the Cost (4:22)
4. Love Is All Is Alright [Remix] (4:57)
5. The Piper Calls the Tune (3:50)
1. The Key (5:05)
2. Don’t Do the Crime (4:12)
3. Folitician [Remix] (4:10)
4. The Prisoner (5:57)