THE SOURCES OF LABOUR.... AND MORE

Strange Fruit
Originally perfromed by Billy Holiday, written by Lewis Allen. A song about the lynching in the USA, telling about the horrors white men did to the black. "Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze. Strange Fruit hanging from the poplar trees.".

Many Rivers To Cross
Jimmy Cliff's composition "Many Rivers To Cross" has been a big hit and was also featured in the 1972 Jamaican movie "The Harder They Come". Other versions by Desmond Dekker ('74), Nilsson ('74), Linda Ronstadt ('76), The Animals ('77) and Joe Cocker ('82).

Red Red Wine
Originally an early 1900's Salvation Army song which Neil Diamond transformed into his 1968 hit "Red Red Wine". It was also a big reggae hit when Tony Tribe covered it in 1969, becoming a standard that many musicians, including UB40, thought its writer was Jamaican. Other versions done by Jimmy James & The Vagebonds ('68), Peter Tetteroo ('68), Vic Dana ('70), Roy Drusky ('71) and Charles Mann ('89). UB40's version, together with "Many Rivers To Cross", also appears in the Swedish movie "Sista Dansen" ('93).

Johnny Too Bad
"Johnny Too Bad" is a bonafide gem. Covered by many artists, the group that originally brought it to life was The Slickers. As with "Many Rivers To Cross" it was featured in the movie "The Harder They Come". Not much is known about The Slickers, and rumours has it The Slickers were actually the Pioneers recording under a different name due to contractual reasons. Other version by Jim Capaldi ('75), Bunny Wailer ('77), Taj Mahal ('80) and John Martyn ('80).

Please Don't Make Me Cry
Please Don't Make Me Cry was written by Winston Tucker (alias Winston Groovy) in 1970 and recorded at Chalk Farm Studios, London. It's first release was in that same year on Eddy Grant's Torpedo label. In 1974, Winston Groovy re-recorded his song, and this time it was released on the Trojan label.

Sweet Sensation
The Melodians started their careers by winning a local singing contest leading to session at Studio 1 in 1966. They subsequently enjoyed a series of rocksteady hits with producers Duke Reid and Sonia Pottinger. Their association with producer Leslie Kong yielded in the international hit "Sweet Sensation" (1969).

Cherry Oh Baby
The Festival winner in 1971, this showcases Eric Donaldson's beautiful voice brilliantly. The rhythm was laid at Dynamic Studios by the Inner Circle band. Many versions of the rhythm were recorded at the time; it was revived in a "ragga/dancehall" style in late 1991 by producer Bobby "Digital" Dixon and UB40 also used the rhythm on their 1985 "Baggariddim" (bag of rhythms) album. However, the most famous version is that recorded by The Rolling Stones ('76). Reggae artist Horace Andy also recorded a version in the early 80s.

Keep On Moving
A song written by Bob Marley singing how he misses his family but has to keep on working. The track comes from Bob Marley & The Wailers "African Herbsman" album and was also recorded by reggae artists Bunny Wailer ('81), John Holt ('83), Max Romeo and Johnny Clarke. "Keep On Moving" was one of the many hits Clarke had during the height of his career. UB40's version also appears in the Jamaican movie "The Mighty Quinn" ('89).

I Got You Babe
Originally written by Sonny Bono and performed by him and Cher. Cher re-recorded the song in the 90's together with MTV comic stars Beavis and Butthead. It took UB40 and Chrissie Hynde, who joins Ali on this duet, just one day to record the song! "I Got You Babe" was the fruit of an idea planted in 1980, when UB40 and The Pretenders toured together.

Don't Break My Heart
UB40's 1985 hit song based on "The Theme From Labour Of Love" rhythm. British secretary Deborahe Banks claimed to have written it as a poem in 1983 (in 1995 a judge rules she helped writing the hit, giving her a share in royalties). The band claim the lyrics were written by friend/singer Javid Kahn with help from Ali Campbell.

Breakfast In Bed
Taken from the 1969 Dusty Springfield album "Dusty In Memphis" produced by Jerry Wexler. Lorna Bennett did the first reggae version in 1973. The B-side of the single featured a dub version with DJ Scotty called "Skank In Bed". This version was later also released as an A-side. In 1988 UB40 teamed up for their second time with Chrissie Hynde to record this hit. Other versions by Candy McKenzie and Sheila Hylton ('79).

Here I Am (Come And Take Me)
Written by Green/Hodges and recorded by US soulster Al Green for a Top Ten hit Stateside in 1973. The UB40 adaption is based on the Jamaican cover from the following year by Al Brown with Skin, Flesh And Bones, probably the biggest reggae hit of 1974.

Tears From My Eyes
Written by Dana/Roberts/Anderson and recorded by UK-based ballad singer Teddy Davis in 1975 for producer Sonny Roberts' Tackle imrint specialising in Afro-Caribean sounds, the song was a lovers-rock favourite of the period and was licensed to Creole's subsidairy label Cactus the following year.

Groovin'
Originally titled "Grooving Out On Life", the song was composed by Jamaican bandleader Byron Lee and recorded in 1971 by his featured vocalist of the time Hopeton Lewis. Hopeton received a silver record in 1972 for the success of "Grooving Out On Life", and the next year no less than a gold record.

The Way You Do The Things You Do
A Smokey Robinson composition and The Temptations' first hit, US Top 20 in 1964. The song was originally covered in reggae vein by Eric Donaldson, though it is the later version by The Pioneers lead vocalist Jackie Robinson in a solo capacity which UB40 adapt. Other versions by The Supremes & The Temptations ('69), Rita Coolidge ('78), Hall & Oates with David Ruffin & Eddie Kendrick ('85). UB40's version also appears in the 1989 movie "Black Rain".

Wear You To The Ball
Written by John Holt and recorded at Treasure Isle in 1967 by the rock-steady vocal group he led at that time, The Paragons. In 1970, the tune was DJ'd by Hugh (U) Roy and it's later idiosyncratic treatment replete with chick-a-bows that UB40 service. UB40's version also appears in the 1990 movie "Men At Work".

Singer Man
Co-written by producer Derrick Harriot and singer Jackie Bernard, and recorded by the latter's vocal group The Kingstonians for the former's Songbird label in 1970.

Kingston Town
The song that has become something of an anthem of the Jamaican capital also dates from 1970 and is a self-written effort from the Trinidadian emigre Lord Creator, who also sometimes recorded under his real name Kentrick Patrick. Produced by Clancy Eccles for his Clandisc label, this tune was ignominiously buried on the flipside of the Fabulous Flames' rendering of Neil Diamond's "Holly Holy" on its original release.

Baby
Composed by Leroy Sibbles, Barry Llewellyn and Earl Morgan - ie The Heptones - and recorded by them at Studio 1 in 1967. The song and its rhythm have both been used extensively in reggae since then.

Wedding Day
Written by Price/Logan/Patton and originally titled "Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day)" when a Stateside hit for Lloyd Price in 1959.

Sweet Cherrie
Written and sung by UK-based reggae/lovers-rock songbird Keith Williams and released on his nomenclature Honey Boy in 1973.

Stick By Me UB40 credit this as another John Holt composition, as do Holt's record company, and indeed, John Holt himself. The song is actually a Sheppard/Basset/Baskerville composition and little known early '60s Hull production from neo-doo-wop outfit Shep And The Limelites. Holt's version, which UB40 cover, dates from his 1970 Jackpot release. The song's cowriter, Limelites leadsinger James "Shep" Sheppard was always unlucky with his songwriting credits.

Just Another Girl
A songwriting composition between Studio 1 labelmates, Horace "BB" Seaton, lead singer with the Gaylads, and Ken Boothe, recorded by the latter circa 1971 for inclusion on his "More Of" LP for the label.

Homely Girl
A Eugene Record composition recorded originally by his US soul outfit The Chi-Lites. The UB40 adaption is a further Jackie Robinson cover, from 1974.

Impossible Love
A mid-'60s original by Keith Anderson - aka Bob Andy, of Bob & Marcia fame - and first recorded at Studio 1 by labelmate Delroy Wilson (as simply "Impossible") in 1968. Dennis Brown reworked Wilson's adaption (as "It's Impossible"). Honey Boy based his 1973 recording ("Impossible Love"), from the same sessions that produced "Sweet Cherrie", on Brown's adaption of the song. UB40 reworked this last version to close "Labour Of Love II".

I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
Originally written and perfromed by Bob Dylan in 1967 on CBS Records. UB40 teamed up with Robert Palmer to do their reggae version in 1990.

(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You
A big hit for the King, not the King of Reggae but the King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley. UB40 were asked to do a version of the song for the movie "Honeymoon In Vegas" but the recording was turned down by the movie company. The song did appear in a movie, "Sliver" and it became a big hit worldwide for UB40 (the song, not the movie).

Bend Down Low
Recorded by The Wailers in 1966, with the song "Mellow Mood" on the B-side. This was Bob Marley's first production on returning from Delaware (USA). The song was recorded at Studio 1 but produced by Bob for the first release on his Wail 'N' Soul label. UB40's 1997 version features Bob Marley on vocals with UB40 overdubbing the instruments.

Train Is Coming
Ken Boothe's vocal power and force of delivery led him to be dubbed the Wilson Pickett of reggae. Here he works out the train motif of the song just like an engine; the sloweddown ska of the band stretches relentlessly towards rock steady. Boothe recorded the track in 1966, produced by Clement Dodd. An early 90's re-recording with DJ Shaggy was featured in the movie "Money Train" but didn't turn out to be a hit.
Lee Perry & Jimmy (not UB40s Jimmy) also did a version of "Train Is Coming" but renamed it "Rasta Train"

Blood & Fire
A huge Jamaican hit over Christmas 1970, this militant song established Niney The Observer as a distinctive voice in reggae. Niney's dub of the tune actually caused a fight between him and the organist Glen Adams, who claimed it was lifted from The Wailers' song "Fire Fire". Story goes that when the producer turned up at the pressing plant with the mastercopy he was still covered in blood! In 1971 after selling many thousands of copies, it was named Jamaica's "Record Of The Year".
Niney did a new version of "Blood And Fire" in 1979 changing the lyrics, focusing more on words to music instead of praising the weed.

Soul Rebel
A 1969 Lee "Scratch" Perry production featuring Aston and Carlton Barrett, formerly with The Hippy Boys (Perry's band that predated The Upsetters), on bass and drums. Together this team forged The Wailers' sound - crisp, militant, litingly poetic, on the edge - that was to become their international trademark. The Wailers made their first steps from Trenchtown to uptown with this song.

Holly Holy
Originally recorded by Neil Diamond and later covered in a reggae style by the Fabulous Flames in 1970. B-side of the Fabulous Flames single was the well known "Kingston Town" by Lord Creator.

Legalize It
Peter Tosh started his own solo ca Bob Marley & The Wailers and he founded his label Intel-Duplo HIM (Intelligent Diplomat for His Imperial Majesty). He recorded "Legalize It" in 1975 releasing it on his own label, a year later it was released on Virgin and CBS Records. A song to promote Cannabis and Hemp for medicinal and other use. "Legalize It. Don't criticise it.". A new "Case For Hemp" campaign song for Ali Campbell?

Come Back Darling
Written and recorded by reggae artist Johhny Osbourne. There is also a version by Johnny Clarke. UB40 based their version on Osbourne's but changed the lyrics a little.