Monday, 17 June 2019

UB40 - Labour Of Love IV (2010)

Boom shacka lacka....


Released 8 February 2010

Running Time 59:20

This was the fourth in UB40's Labour Of Love series of classic reggae covers, and the first recorded by UB40 Mk. II, the line-up with Duncan Campbell on vocals in place of brother Ali, who left the band acrimoniously and formed another version of UB40. Duncan's voice is very similar to Ali's but not enough that one cannot differentiate between the two. It is probably slightly the worst of the four albums, not particularly because of the band line-up change, but more because of the choice of material. Personally, I am sure they could have found a couple more original reggae numbers to cover as opposed to The Tracks Of My Tears and Bring It On Home To Me. Having said that, though, the latter has a really infectious groove to it.

Otherwise, in contrast to the more rootsy Labour Of Love III, this is a more melodic, laid-back collection.

TRACK LISTING (in brackets are the reggae/soul artists who recorded the songs)

1. Don't Want To See You Cry (Ken Boothe)
2. Get Along Without You Now (The Melodians/Viola Wills)
3. Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke)
4. Cream Puff (Johnny Nash)
5. Easy Snappin' (Theo Beckford)
6. Holiday (The Sensations)
7. Close to Me (Derrick Harriott)
8. Man Next Door (The Paragons)
9. Tracks Of My Tears (Smokey Robinson & The Miracles)
10. True, True, True (Ken Parker)
11. Boom Shacka Lacka (Hopeton Lewis)
12. You're Gonna Need Me (Errol Dunkley)
13. A Love I Can Feel (John Holt)
14. Baby Why (Keble Drummond)                              

Highlights are the soulful vibe of Ken Boothe's Don't Want To See You Cry, Theo Beckford's vibrant skank in Easy Snappin', a solid version of Hopeton Lewis's Boom Shacka Lacka, Johnny Nash's infectious Cream Puff and a version of Get Along Without You Now, which owes far more to The Melodians' reggae version than Viola Wills' disco soul number.

The sound quality is excellent and the songs are delivered in the now familiar UB40 style - punchy horns, classic reggae keyboard riffs and rumbling bass. It is an eminently listenable album. If you like the other albums, you should like this one, unless you are taking sides in the UB40 split thing. I listen to both incarnations of the band and enjoy them equally.


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