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UB40|Signing Off

Signing Off

UB40

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So ubiquitous was UB40's grip on the pop-reggae market that it may have been difficult for younger fans to comprehend just how their arrival shook up the British musical scene. They appeared just as 2 Tone had peaked and was beginning its slide towards oblivion. Not that it mattered, as few would try to shoehorn the band into that suit. However, the group was no more comfortable within the U.K. reggae axis of Steel Pulse, Aswad, and Matumbi. Their rhythms may have been reggae-based, their music Jamaican-inspired, but UB40 had such an original take on the genre that all comparisons were moot. Even their attack on the singles chart was unusual, as they smacked three double-A-sided singles into the Top Ten in swift succession. By rights, the second 45 should have acted as a taster for their album (it didn't, coming several months too soon), while the third should have been a spinoff (it wasn't, boasting two new songs entirely). Regardless, both sides of their debut single -- the roots-rocking indictment of politicians' refusal to relieve famine on "Food for Thought" and the dreamy tribute to Martin Luther "King" -- were included, as well as their phenomenal cover of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" off their second single. The new material was equally strong. The moody roots-fired "Tyler," which kicks off the set, is a potent condemnation of the U.S. judicial system, while its stellar dub, "25%," appears later in the set. The smoky Far Eastern-flavored "Burden" explores the dual tugs of national pride and shame over Britain's oppressive past (and present). If that was a thoughtful number, "Little by Little" was a blatant call for class warfare. Of course, Ali Campbell never raised his voice -- he didn't need to. His words were his sword, and the creamier and sweeter his delivery, the deeper they cut. Their music was just as revolutionary, their sound unlike anything else on either island, from deep dubs shot through with jazzy sax to the bright and breezy instrumental "12 Bar," with its splendid loose groove transmuted later in the set to the jazzier and smokier "Adella." Meanwhile, "Food" slams into the dance clubs, and "King" floats to the heavens. It's hard to believe this is the same UB40 that later topped the U.K. charts with the likes of "Red Red Wine" and "I've Got You Babe." Their fire was dampened quickly, but on Signing Off it blazed high, still accessible to the pop market, but so edgy that even those who are sure there's nothing about the group to admire will change their tune instantly.
© Jo-Ann Greene /TiVo

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Signing Off

UB40

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1
Tyler (2010 Digital Remaster)
00:05:51

Jim Brown, ComposerLyricist - Robin Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Travers, ComposerLyricist - Michael Virtue, ComposerLyricist - Norman Hassan, ComposerLyricist - Bob Lamb, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Terrence Wilson, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

2
King (Remastered)
00:04:33

Jim Brown, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Robin Campbell, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, Guitar, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Travers, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Virtue, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Norman Hassan, ComposerLyricist - Bob Lamb, Producer - Norman Lamont Hassan, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Terrence Wilson, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

3
12 Bar (2010 Digital Remaster)
00:04:22

Jim Brown, Composer - Robin Campbell, Composer - Ali Campbell, Composer - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, Composer - Brian Travers, Composer - Michael Virtue, Composer - Norman Hassan, Composer - Bob Lamb, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

4
Burden Of Shame (2010 Digital Remaster)
00:06:28

Robin Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Travers, ComposerLyricist - Michael Virtue, ComposerLyricist - Norman Hassan, ComposerLyricist - Bob Lamb, Producer - Terence Wilson, ComposerLyricist - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Stephen Brown, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

5
Adella (2010 Digital Remaster)
00:03:25

Robin Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Travers, ComposerLyricist - Michael Virtue, ComposerLyricist - Norman Hassan, ComposerLyricist - Bob Lamb, Producer - Terence Wilson, ComposerLyricist - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Stephen Brown, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

6
I Think It's Going To Rain Today (2010 Remaster)
00:03:42

Randy Newman, ComposerLyricist - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Lamb, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

7
25% (2010 Remaster)
00:03:31

Jim Brown, Composer - Robin Campbell, Composer - Ali Campbell, Composer - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, Composer - Brian Travers, Composer - Michael Virtue, Composer - Norman Hassan, Composer - Bob Lamb, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

8
Food For Thought (Remastered)
00:04:09

JAMES BROWN, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Brown, ComposerLyricist - Robin Campbell, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Travers, ComposerLyricist - Michael Virtue, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Norman Hassan, ComposerLyricist - Bob Lamb, Producer - Terence Wilson, Percussion, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Lamont Hassan, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Terrence Wilson, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

9
Little By Little (2010 Remaster)
00:03:40

Jim Brown, Composer - Robin Campbell, Composer - Ali Campbell, Composer - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, Composer - Brian Travers, Composer - Michael Virtue, Composer - Norman Hassan, Composer - Bob Lamb, Producer - Terence Wilson, Composer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

10
Signing Off (2010 Digital Remaster)
00:04:26

Jim Brown, ComposerLyricist - Robin Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Travers, ComposerLyricist - Michael Virtue, ComposerLyricist - Norman Hassan, ComposerLyricist - Bob Lamb, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Terrence Wilson, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

DISC 2

1
Madam Medusa (2010 Digital Remaster)
00:12:56

Jim Brown, ComposerLyricist - Robin Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Travers, ComposerLyricist - Michael Virtue, ComposerLyricist - Norman Hassan, ComposerLyricist - Bob Lamb, Producer - Ray "Pablo" Falconer, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Terrence Wilson, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

2
Strange Fruit (2010 Digital Remaster)
00:04:06

Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Lamb, Producer - Ray "Pablo" Falconer, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lewis Allan, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

3
Reefer Madness (2010 Digital Remaster)
00:05:07

Jim Brown, Composer - Robin Campbell, Composer - Ali Campbell, Composer - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, Composer - Brian Travers, Composer - Michael Virtue, Composer - Norman Hassan, Composer - Ray "Pablo" Falconer, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

4
My Way Of Thinking (12" Version / 2010 Digital Remaster)
00:06:50

Brown, Composer - Robin Campbell, Composer - Ali Campbell, Composer - Brian Travers, Composer - Michael Virtue, Composer - Bob Lamb, Producer - Terence Wilson, Composer - Falconer, Composer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Hassan, Composer

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

5
I Think It's Going To Rain Today (12" Version / Remastered 2010)
00:07:31

Randy Newman, ComposerLyricist - JAMES BROWN, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Campbell, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Ali Campbell, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Rafe McKenna, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Virtue, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Lamb, Producer - Terence Wilson, Percussion, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Lamont Hassan, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Neil Black, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

6
The Earth Dies Screaming (12" Version / 2010 Digital Remaster)
00:08:20

Jim Brown, ComposerLyricist - Robin Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Earl Falconer, ComposerLyricist - Michael Virtue, ComposerLyricist - Norman Hassan, ComposerLyricist - Bob Lamb, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Terrence Wilson, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

7
Dream A Lie (12" Version / 2010 Digital Remaster)
00:07:53

JAMES BROWN, Composer - Robin Campbell, Composer - Ali Campbell, Composer - Earl Falconer, Composer - Brian Travers, Composer - Michael Virtue, Composer - Terence Wilson, ComposerLyricist - Norman Lamont Hassan, Composer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 Virgin Records Limited

8
Food For Thought (BBC Radio One John Peel Session)
00:04:48

Mike Robinson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Brown, ComposerLyricist - Robin Campbell, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Nick Gomm, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Brian Travers, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Michael Virtue, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Norman Hassan, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Sparrow, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Jimmy Brown, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alistair Campbell, Guitar, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Terrence Wilson, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 BBC

9
25% (BBC Radio One John Peel Session)
00:04:04

Mike Robinson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Brown, Composer - Robin Campbell, Composer - Ali Campbell, Composer - Nick Gomm, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, Composer - Brian Travers, Composer - Michael Virtue, Composer - Norman Hassan, Composer - John Sparrow, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 BBC

10
King (BBC Radio One John Peel Session)
00:05:37

Mike Robinson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Brown, ComposerLyricist - Robin Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Ali Campbell, ComposerLyricist - Nick Gomm, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Earl Falconer, ComposerLyricist - John Sparrow, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 BBC

11
I Think It's Going To Rain Today (BBC Radio One Kid Jensen Session)
00:04:41

Randy Newman, ComposerLyricist - Dave Tate, Producer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 BBC

12
My Way Of Thinking (BBC Radio One Kid Jensen Session)
00:02:53

Brown, Composer - Dave Tate, Producer - Robin Campbell, Composer - Ali Campbell, Composer - Brian Travers, Composer - Michael Virtue, Composer - Terence Wilson, Composer - Falconer, Composer - UB40, Producer, MainArtist - Hassan, Composer

(C) 2010 Reflex Recordings Ltd under exclusive licence to Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2010 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2010 BBC

Album Description

So ubiquitous was UB40's grip on the pop-reggae market that it may have been difficult for younger fans to comprehend just how their arrival shook up the British musical scene. They appeared just as 2 Tone had peaked and was beginning its slide towards oblivion. Not that it mattered, as few would try to shoehorn the band into that suit. However, the group was no more comfortable within the U.K. reggae axis of Steel Pulse, Aswad, and Matumbi. Their rhythms may have been reggae-based, their music Jamaican-inspired, but UB40 had such an original take on the genre that all comparisons were moot. Even their attack on the singles chart was unusual, as they smacked three double-A-sided singles into the Top Ten in swift succession. By rights, the second 45 should have acted as a taster for their album (it didn't, coming several months too soon), while the third should have been a spinoff (it wasn't, boasting two new songs entirely). Regardless, both sides of their debut single -- the roots-rocking indictment of politicians' refusal to relieve famine on "Food for Thought" and the dreamy tribute to Martin Luther "King" -- were included, as well as their phenomenal cover of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" off their second single. The new material was equally strong. The moody roots-fired "Tyler," which kicks off the set, is a potent condemnation of the U.S. judicial system, while its stellar dub, "25%," appears later in the set. The smoky Far Eastern-flavored "Burden" explores the dual tugs of national pride and shame over Britain's oppressive past (and present). If that was a thoughtful number, "Little by Little" was a blatant call for class warfare. Of course, Ali Campbell never raised his voice -- he didn't need to. His words were his sword, and the creamier and sweeter his delivery, the deeper they cut. Their music was just as revolutionary, their sound unlike anything else on either island, from deep dubs shot through with jazzy sax to the bright and breezy instrumental "12 Bar," with its splendid loose groove transmuted later in the set to the jazzier and smokier "Adella." Meanwhile, "Food" slams into the dance clubs, and "King" floats to the heavens. It's hard to believe this is the same UB40 that later topped the U.K. charts with the likes of "Red Red Wine" and "I've Got You Babe." Their fire was dampened quickly, but on Signing Off it blazed high, still accessible to the pop market, but so edgy that even those who are sure there's nothing about the group to admire will change their tune instantly.
© Jo-Ann Greene /TiVo

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