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UB40 releasing new album to tackle ‘inequality and bigotry’

UB40 are releasing their highly-anticipated 21st studio album ‘UB45’ – which will tackle ‘inequality and bigotry’ credit:Bang Showbiz
UB40 are releasing their highly-anticipated 21st studio album ‘UB45’ – which will tackle ‘inequality and bigotry’ credit:Bang Showbiz

UB40 are releasing their highly-anticipated 21st studio album ‘UB45’ – which will tackle “inequality and bigotry”.

Coming out on 19 April on SRG Records (Universal), the 14-track album from the world’s biggest-selling reggae group features new songs including forthcoming singles ‘Gimme Some Kinda Sign’ and ‘Home’, plus re-recordings of some of the band’s most beloved hits.

Singer Robin Campbell said: “We’re so proud of the new album. We wanted to record UB45 to celebrate 45 years of our music, and also to showcase Matt Doyle’s vocals on the tracks.

“He’s brought a new lease of life to our music, as has the addition of fellow Brummie, “permanent guest” MC Gilly G and my son, Matt Campbell on backing vocals.

“When you play songs over so many years, the arrangements and vocals evolve and change. These updated versions of our hits are still close to the originals, but now reflect how we perform them today and they sound better than ever.”

Over the course of 45 years, UB40 have sold more than 100 million albums, landed 50 UK Top 40 singles and 10 UK Top 10 records.

Their line-up now boasts all but one of the surviving founding members, now bolstered by the presence of vocalist Matt Doyle.

There are a total of seven fresh UB40 recordings on their upcoming LP, with the single ‘Gimme Some Kinda Sign’ a cover of Brenton Wood’s 1967 track ‘Gimme Little Sign’.

A press release for the record said: “The group added a special UB40 flavour to the legendary soul classic. It was chosen by Matt Doyle, who brought it to Robin Campbell, unaware that the song had been on the guitarist and vocalist’s wish list since the ‘Labour of Love (1983)’ days.”

It added: “‘UB45’ sees the band do what they do best, with songs that fearlessly address societal hot button issues and take a firm stand against the injustices of the world.

“This is apparent from the off on opening track ‘Home’, complete with trademark UB40 beats and the powerful themes of inequality and bigotry.”

Other new recording on the album include a rendition of Bill Withers’ 1971 track ‘Hope She’ll be Happier’, as well as ‘Fool Me Once’ and the single “Champion” which was the official anthem of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

UB40’s iconic tunes ‘Food for Thought’, ‘King’, ‘Tyler’, ‘Red Red Wine’, ‘Cherry Oh Baby’, ‘Sing our Own Song’ and ‘Kingston Town’ have all been given a fresh treatment for the record.

In addition to Matt’s vocals, Jamaican keyboard player Jahred Gordon has joined the band’s ranks.

The group’s long-time producing partner Jamie Travers, son of late founding member and legendary saxophonist Brian Travers, also plays keyboards.

Following the release of ‘UB45’, the band will embark on a massive headline arena tour of the UK with special guests Soul II Soul.

‘UB45’can be pre-ordered from 9am on 19 January and tickets for UB40’s UK arena tour, which kicks off in London on 1 November, are available now at www.ub40.global.