There used to be a joke that UB40 stood for the "Unemployed Birmingham 40", because there were so many band members in their videos, and none of them looked exactly sharp-suited. In fact the pop-reggae band did name themselves after an unemployment benefit form, though there was never 40 members - only eight, plus guests. They formed in 1979 and made a breakthrough when their debut single, "King/Food For Thought", was the first ever single to break the UK Top 10 on an independent label. Debut album Signing Off (1980) reached No.2 on the album chart and eventually achieved platinum sales. The group toured and recorded regularly, achieving another No.2 album in 1981 (Present Arms) a No.4 in 1982 (UB44) and finally a UK album chart-topper in 1983 with Labour of Love. That was also their American breakthrough, reaching No.8 on the Billboard 200. A cover of Neil Diamond's "Red, Red Wine" gave the band their first No.1 single in the UK, and it would eventually top the American singles chart too on re-release in 1988.
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