UB40 have announced their new album, For The Many, will be released on 8 February 2019 on the Shoestring Music Productions label, distributed through Absolute/ Universal.
The album is available to pre-order with an instant grat download of the single You Haven’t Called and Moonlight Lover (ft Gilly G).
The release will be followed by the band’s 40th Anniversary Tour, which includes Leamington Spa’s Assembly Rooms on 12 April 2019.
For The Many is the Birmingham reggae veterans’ 19th studio album – their first since 2013’s Getting Over The Storm. It’s also their first 100% original album since Duncan replaced Ali Campbell in 2008.
Ali presently fronts UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey.
The current UB40 line-up features founding members Robin Campbell (co-vocals/ guitar), Brian Travers (saxophone/ keyboards), Jimmy Brown (drums), Earl Falconer (bass/ keyboards/ vocals) and Norman Hassan (percussion/ vocals), alongside long-time members Duncan Campbell (vocals), Martin Meredith (saxophone), Laurence Parry (trumpet) and Tony Mullings (keyboards).
For The Many features several guest appearances including Birmingham rapper Gilly G (on Moonlight Lover), Jamaican artist/ producer Kabaka Pyramid (Broken Man), and Pablo Rider (I’m Alright Jack) and Slinger (Gravy Train), both of whom appeared on the band’s 1985 album Baggariddim.
The album’s closing track, All We Do Is Cry, sees the band collaborate again with British Asian urban musician Hunterz, who previously co-wrote and sang on UB40’s single Reasons from the 2005 album Who You Fighting For.
Jimmy Brown said: “For The Many is our first original album with Duncan, and a true reflection of where the band are at right now. It gave us an opportunity to go back to our roots and draw on the 1970s-style reggae that inspired us to be in a band in the first place. We intended to make an uncompromising reggae album and I think we have achieved that. There’s lots of dub, various guest toasters and a blend of love songs and political songs. I’m really happy with the final result. We’re really looking forward to playing some of these tunes live on our 40th anniversary tour in spring next year”
Duncan Campbell said: “After ten years of fronting UB40, for us to make an album of our own original material feels like the final hurdle for me. The album and its title reflect how UB40 are all in support of Jeremy Corbyn and The Labour Party. Both of the songs I have written on the album (I’m Alright Jack and Poor Foo’) also reflect this. We all feel this album is going back to what UB40 was all about and we are all excited for everybody to hear the album and looking forward to touring it.”
Robin Campbell added: “For The Many is a great mix of reggae styles, while the different artists we have collaborated with will appeal to more fans and tastes in reggae – it really is an album for the many. The 2019 UK tour is a continuation of our 40th year celebrations, as well as sharing tracks from our latest album. We’re playing all over the UK instead of a few arenas dates, meaning our fans from all over the UK can get to see us much more locally and up close – truly a tour for the many.”
The album’s artwork was created by Brian Travers, whose abstract canvases have been the subject of several highly acclaimed exhibitions. He said, “Our 40th anniversary celebrations started earlier this year with our sold-out show at the Royal Albert Hall in June, and we have our big hometown concert coming up at Arena Birmingham on 21 December 2018. We can’t wait to finally release For The Many in February and then start our 40th anniversary in March.”
For The Many – track listing:
01. The Keeper (lead vox: Robin Campbell)
02. Broken Man feat. Kabaka Pyramid (lead vox: Norman Hassan)
03. Gravy Train feat. Slinger (lead vox: Duncan Campbell)
04. I’m Alright Jack feat. Pablo Rider (lead vox: Duncan Campbell)
05. Moonlight Lover feat. Gilly G (lead vox: Norman Hassan)
06. You Haven’t Called (lead vox: Duncan Campbell)
07. What Happened to UB40 (lead vox: Earl Falconer)
08. Bulldozer (lead vox: Earl Falconer)
09. Poor Fool (lead vox: Duncan Campbell)
10. All We Do Is Cry feat. Hunterz (lead vox: Norman Hassan)