These 3-CD Deluxe Editions bring together, for the first time on physical and digital, UB40’s 1981 album Present Arms and its companion release from later that same year, Present Arms In Dub alongside their hit-strewn 1983 album, Labour of Love. Each album is also being released as a 2-LP set on 180g vinyl.
Released in May 1981, the platinum-selling Present Arms spent 38 weeks in the UK album chart where it reached the No. 2 position. Present Arms In Dub was released in October 1981 and spent seven weeks in the chart. In addition this new deluxe edition includes a 12” version of the Top 20 single, Don’t Slow Down plus BBC Radio 1 session tracks and a BBC Radio 1 concert, Live from the Paris Theatre, both recorded in 1981. Present Arms is the second album to be recorded by UB40 and it spawned two Top 20 UK hits, One In Ten and Don’t Let It Pass You By/Don’t Slow Down. Like their debut album release, it concerned itself with many socially and politically charged themes, resonating with the politically uncertain times of the early 1980s when unemployment was rife and race riots afflicted many of the country’s inner cities. One In Ten was an undisguised attack on the Thatcher government of the period.
Originally released in 1983, Labour of Love was the band’s fourth LP release and is made up entirely of UB40’s cover versions of songs by some of their favourite musical idols. It includes the hits, Red, Red Wine (UK #1); Cherry, Oh Baby (UK #12), Many Rivers To Cross (UK #16) and Please Don’t Make Me Cry (UK #10). The album reached number 1 in the UK and number 8 in the U.S. and, in 1989, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at number 98 in their list of The 100 Greatest Albums of the ‘80s.
Each set comes complete with new liner notes by respected reggae writer, David Katz.
Taking their name from the unemployment benefit claim form of the period, UB40 formed in Birmingham in 1978 and released their first album, Signing Off in 1980. The band went onto achieve huge international success and continue to play to sell-out halls to the present day.
UB40 start a brand new tour on 19th March, which will run in the UK from 3rd May until 4th June.