Sunday, September 28, 2014

Records (CDs) Re-visited 2 - Geffery Morgan by UB40

There was a time in the far distant past when UB40 were a pretty cool band. They got themselves off the 1980's dole queue by writing about it in songs. They were a mixed race band (still rare back then!). They were a reggae band with a white singer whose dad had been big in the folk scene. They wanted to change the world and we believed in them.

I was a massive UB40 fan in the early to mid 1980s. My friend Clare and I hitchhiked down to London to see them play at Wembley Arena - they were great. They had none of the pomp that many bands went in for at the time. They played on a bare stage - I don't even remember a backdrop, although there may have been one. It was all about the music. Their sound was big and they were a big band. They filled the stage and had everyone up on their feet dancing. That was The Rat in Me Kitchen tour - Rat in Me Kitchen was the last UB40 album I bought - they were starting to get a bit silly.

Geffery Morgan was one of my favourite UB40 albums and it was one I bought brand new.  It was their fifth album and was released in 1984. It has some great tracks - including Riddle Me, As always You Were Wrong Again and If It Happens Again - which was apparently written in response to Margaret Thatcher's election victory in 1983. There are some other great tracks in there too and I love the way some of the tracks seem to morph into one another. UB40 are one of those bands whose early albums (along with bands like The Specials, The Beat and The Fun Boy Three) really epitomise the dire political state of the country at the time.

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