Red red wine

Open in Spotify

A cover of Neil Diamonds song from 1967, included in UB40s cover album Labour of Love in 1983. A cheerful reggae version of a song about bad habits: drink to get rid of sorrows. With added rap by Astro, UB40’s bass player who died November last year.

Listening to the B-side I’m thinking, wow, this really sucks big time. This was really UB40 in their early years.

The comparison with Neil Diamand is nice: totally different, but I can imagine it is easy to make this into reggae. Neils version is more country though. UB40 wasn’t the one to change it into reggae though: already in 1969 Tony Tribe from Jamaica did that (in a version that is a lot faster). That was the one UB40 knew and covered. For a moment they thought the name N. Diamond on the credits was a Jamaican artist.

The rap addition from Astro is missing on this single. It was edited out, but is there on the album version.

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