UB40 – “Red Red Wine” (Neil Diamond Cover) Live
Red Red Wine In 80’s Style!
Originally recorded by Neil Diamond, UB40 added a touch of Jamaican reggae to the song. Neil liked it so much that he performed a UB40-inspired version during one of his tours and he even included the rap in the middle! In fact, though this track has been covered numerous times, the one by UB40 was by far the most popular.
According to the band, they were only familiar with Tony Tribe’s version (they apparently didn’t realise that the writer, credited simply as “Diamond”, was in fact Neil Diamond), and their version featured a lighter, reggae-style flavour compared to Diamond’s sombre, acoustic ballad.
UB40 released their cover on August 20, 1983 and it topped the US Billboard Hot 100. It was even certified platinum in the UK. In the music video, the lead vocalist Ali Campbell is NOT drinking wine. Instead, he’s seen drinking beer because it was filmed in an English club.
Lead singer Ali Campbell recalls in the book 1000 UK #1 Hits: “The funny thing about the song is we only knew it as a Reggae song. We had no idea that Neil Diamond wrote it.” Terence “Astro” Wilson, confirmed: “Even when we saw the writing credit which said N. Diamond, we thought it was a Jamaican artist called Negus Diamond or something.”
UB40 will even have a Red Red Wine tour in 2016!