UB40 – Burden Of Shame (1980)

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Signing Off is the debut album by British reggae band UB40, released in the UK on 29 August 1980 by Dudley-based independent label Graduate Records. It was an immediate success in their home country, reaching number 2 on the UK albums chart, and made UB40 the most popular reggae band in Britain, several years before the band found international fame. The politically-concerned lyrics struck a chord in a country with widespread public concerns about high unemployment, the policies of the recently elected Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher, and the rise of the racist National Front party, while the record’s dub-influenced rhythms reflected the late 1970s influence in British pop music of West Indian music introduced by immigrants from the Caribbean after the Second World War, particularly reggae and ska – this was typified by the 2 Tone movement, at that point at the height of its success and led by fellow West Midlands act The Specials, with whom UB40 drew comparisons due to their multiracial band line-up and socialist views. “Burden of Shame” recounted the misdeeds performed in the name of British Imperialism.




UB40 signing off album cover

[via Tricky]

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