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.
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
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
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
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".
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.
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.
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.
Written by Price/Logan/Patton and originally titled "Where Were
You (On Our Wedding Day)" when a Stateside hit for Lloyd Price
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
A Eugene Record composition recorded originally by his US soul outfit
The Chi-Lites. The UB40 adaption is a further Jackie Robinson cover,