Monday, 4 June 2018

UB40 - UB44 (1982)

I won't close my eyes....

  

Released on 27 September 1982

Running Time 40:13

I remember getting this, back in 1982, and having the feeling that, after two wonderful albums, UB40 were treading water a bit with this one, their third album. It was their last one clearly in the style of the first two, although it was more laid-back than the other two. It is a good album and just sort of washes over you, but there are no real classic standout tracks as there are on the previous two. That said, take your time and you will get into it, it just isn’t as instant. It is an intense, uncompromising album that demands more than a few listens. In many ways, it gets better each time. I dismissed it a bit too easily back then.

TRACK LISTING

1. So Here I Am

2. I Won't Close My Eyes
3. Forget The Cost
4. Love Is All Is Alright
5. The Piper Calls The Tune
6. The Key
7. Don't Do The Crime
8. Folitician
9. The Prisoner                                   

Highlights are the lovely, sax-laden “Love Is All Is Alright”, the laid-back, reflective single “I Won’t Close My Eyes” and the dubby “Folitician”. “The Piper Calls The Tune” is another that fits the description “laid back”. Some excellent soothing horns and that gently, easy slow skanking. “So Here I Am” and “Forget The Cost” fall into the same bracket as indeed does the whole album. 

“Don’t Do The Crime” is the most “Ali Campbell” of the tracks, with the singer’s unique voice at its most, well, unique. Conveying that sadness in his intonation. Nice keyboard bit in the middle too.

“The Key” features Astro’s “toasting” as he name checks several contemporary Jamaican artists as “reggae music holds the key to my heart”. Yellowman, Eek-A-Mouse and Dennis Brown among those mentioned. This is the most “rootsy” of the tracks, along with the dubby “Folitician”.

Listening back then, and seeing them live in 1982, I felt they had lost a little something from those heady early gigs in 1980. I feel I am re-discovering this album now. It is a pleasure to listen to it on a good system too. It has not been remastered but to be honest it doesn’t matter. Listen to the percussion interplay a couple of minutes into the album’s excellent closer, “The Prisoner”, it sounds wonderful.

B-

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