Burden of shame....
Released on 29 August 1980
Recorded in Moseley, Birmingham
Running Time 66:22
3. 12 Bar
4. Burden Of Shame
6. I Think It's Going To Rain Today
8. Food For Thought
9. Little By Little
10. Signing Off
Released in 1980, this eight piece Birmingham-based multi-racial reggae band hit the heights with this stunning debut of original reggae compositions, both vocal and instrumental. From the memorable Brian Travers saxophone intro to "Food For Thought" to the anti-Deep South institutionalised racism of "Tyler" and the anti-imperial "Burden Of Shame" this albums cooks - beautifully. Their cover of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today" is just lovely and "King" (an ode to Martin Luther King) is so evocative. All delivered by Ali Campbell's trademark unique voice.
Remastered beautifully, the "deluxe edition" contains the excellent 12" inch single mixes of the melodic "Dream A Lie" and the chilling "The Earth Dies Screaming" and the anti-Thatcher song "Madam Medusa".
Also, the John Peel BBC sessions live cuts are good too. I caught UB40 live a couple of times in those early years and they were excellent.
This album fitted in well with the new wave/ska feel of the age and garnered due critical respect. Most people would still afford it that. Although UB40 went on to release many great albums, it possibly never got much better than this excellent debut.