I listened so many times to this record, that I still know the moments where the needle skips a track. I think if I would hear it without that, it would sound strange to me. It always had these ticks, damaged from use in the library. The recording of a series of live concerts in Moscow in 1986.
This is the time of Gorbachev’s policy of more cultural openness. Yet UB40 were one of the first to try this, invited by Russia itself. The fact that UB40 got their name from an unemployment benefit form in England and met each other waiting in line for that money while without a job spoke to the communist leaders.
The result was a nightmare, according to singer Ali Campbell in Rolling Stone magazine. They wanted to make people dance, but it was… discouraged by the authorities. People were not supposed to dance. Also whatever they said was translated as a political statement.
It remains a beautiful collection though, a testament to UB40’s quality in their early years.