For The Many is the Birmingham reggae veterans’ nineteenth studio album - their first since 2013’s Getting Over The Storm.
The album 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 longtime members Duncan Campbell (vocals), Martin Meredith (saxophone), Laurence Parry (trumpet) and Tony Mullings (keyboards) . Also featuring guest appearances from Birmingham rapper Gilly G, who features on the video Moonlight Lover and Jamaican artist/producer Kabaka Pyramid on Broken Man.
UB40 are reunited with reggae deejays/artists Pablo Rider on I’m Alright Jack and Slinger on Gravy Train, both of whom appeared on the band’s 1985 album Baggariddim. The album’s closing track All We Do Is Cry sees the band collaborate again with British Asian urban musician Hunterz, who previously co-wrote and sang on UB40’s single ‘Reasons’ from the 2005 album Who You Fighting For. In the same year, Hunterz performed the single on stage with UB40 and The Dhol Blasters at the Live 8 concert held in Hyde Park.
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. 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.
Jimmy Brown said, “For The Many is our first original album with Duncan and a true reflection of where the band are at right now. 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.”
Duncan Campbell said, “After ten years of fronting UB40, for us to make an album of our own original material feels like the final hurdle for me. 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.”
Robin Campbell added, “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. “
The album’s artwork was created by Brian Travers, whose abstract canvases have been the subject of several highly acclaimed exhibitions.
For The Many is out now.