Tastes of Music – 03

THE ORIGINAL LINEUP

By

Sumedha Mānābarana
Special thanks to the BBC News, U TUBE, Wikipedia, Moseley School of Art, and UB 40 And the proof reader Andrew Eugene Mānābarana

UB 40
COLLEGE FRIENDS UB40 is a British reggae band of young college friends from Birmingham. Earl Falconer, Brian Travers, James Brown and the lead guitarist Robin Campbell’s Brown, younger brother Ali Campbell, all had known each other from Moseley School of Art. Norman Hassan had been a friend of Ali’s since school. (Moseley is a suburb Moseley
of Birmingham and is very popular as a residential lo location and leisure destination.)

LIFE AND TIMES OF THE BOYS These young boys emerged from the ordinary working class. They often met working-class. up in bars, clubs, and restaurants around Moseley. They had been unemployed until they formed the band in 1978. Some of them found it very hard to live. Therefore, they claimed for the ‘Unemployment Benefit’, the dole given to the unemployed people by the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS). Eventually, they managed to scrape less than £8 a week. they

Moseley Village Green

HOW THEY NAMED THE BAND ‘UB 40’ In order to obtain this benefit, the DHSS had issued a card or form called Unemployment Benefit (form 40). It is an attendance card and the recipient should produce it each week at the Benefit Office. The U refers to ‘UNEMPLOYMENT’, the B refers to ‘BENEFIT’ and 40 refers to the ‘form 40’.
(This benefit has existed in the United Kingdom since before the First World War and now re-labelled as ‘JOBSEEKERS'S ALLOWANCE’.)

This is what the first section of the card says:

The former members of the band

HOW ALI BOUGHT BAND EQUIPMENT

How Ali Campbell bought his equipment needed for the band is an interesting story. On that fateful day, he had been celebrating his 17th birthday at a bar. Unexpectedly, he got involved in a fight with another party there. Eventually, this led to a situation where he received compensation money. It is with this money that he bought his equipment and this cost him around £4,000. When the band was formed Ali became the lead singer. By this time, the core members of the UB40 had begun rehearsing in a local basement by the summer of 1978.

THE FRONT COVER OF THEIR FIRST ALBUM

This shows the image of an ‘UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT CARD’.

They released their first album ‘Signing Off’ on 29th August, 1980. This is considered to be UB40's best album, as well as one of the finest reggae albums by any British group. Their early music dealt with social issues such as unemployment and racism. UB40's last album (an audio album) with the original lineup (Ali Campbell: the lead vocalist and Michael Virtue, the Keyboard player) was ‘TwentyFourSeven’.

THE FORMER MEMBERS OF THE BAND

1. Norman Hassan 2. Brian Travers 3. Robin Campbell 4. Michael Virtue 5. Ali Campbell 6. Earl Falconer 7. Astro 8. James Brown

(Percussion, trombone, vocals) (Saxophone) (Lead guitar, vocals) (Keyboards) (Guitar, lead vocals) (Bass guitar, vocals) (Vocals, percussion, trumpet) (Drums)

UB 40 videos
Homely Girl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd8tFL4tZOg

Higher Ground
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6m0rzefZ3o

Cover Up (Two different versions)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq9ypomzfsI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUfsOaYBoLs

Baby Come Back
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSywtiAirKE

To be continued
The next article will discuss Ali Campbell leaving the band and what happened to the band thereafter.
Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed the videos. Cheers!

Your comments are highly appreciated!