The British unemployed, who apply for benefits, fill out a questionnaire, the so-called form UB40. Hence the name of the unusually numerous Birmingham team “UB40”. None of the eight original members suffered from lingering unemployment, but social and political problems they took very seriously. In Birmingham, which witnessed the birth of an octet “UB40” in 1978, reggae has been extremely popular. The central core of the young team became brothers Robin and Ali Campbell, the sons of the famous in Birmingham folk – singers Lorna and Ian Campbell.
The debut double single “Food for Thought” / "King” was dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King. Issued in 1980, the single secured the beginners an enviable place in the British Top 5. One by one appeared the singles “My Way ° F Thinking”/ “I Think It's Going to Rain Today” and “The Earth Dies Screaming” / “Dream a Lie “, which managed to climb into the Top 10 hits. In the same 1980, the disc “Signing off” followed.
Next year the musicians created their own label DEP International. The first release of the new company became a real protest song “One in Ten”, in which the team expressed dissatisfaction with the level of unemployment and the right to blame Margaret Thatcher. Passionate appeal did not remain unanswered, the single returned “UB40” in the Top 10. The second album “Present Arms” was awaited with great anticipation. It appeared 9 months after the debut and did not disappoint expectations.
The third album turned out to be a collection of cover versions of “Labour Of Love”, in which the musicians turned to the age-old patterns of reggae, written and issued long before the worldwide success of Bob Marley, and therefore, unnoticed for the most part. The album included the first British number one hit in the career of “UB40” “Red Red Wine”. Among the most attractive cover versions it should be noted “Please Do not Make Me Cry” (Winston Groovy), “Many Rivers to Cross” (Jimmy Cliff), “Cherry Oh Baby” (Eric Donaldson). In each track “UB40” participants tried to bring their own mood, filled them with a sense of joy and fullness of life.
The latest studio album “Getting Over the Storm” went out in 2015.