CD Signing Off (CD 404980),
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Signing Off

  • 1. Tyler
    2. King
    3. 12 Bar
    4. Burden of Shame
    5. Adella
    6. I Think It's Going to Rain Today
    7. 25%
    8. Food for Thought
    9. Little by Little
    10. Signing Off
    11. Madam Medusa
    12. Strange Fruit
    13. Reefer Madness
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 88261

  • Credits
    EngineerRafe McKenna

    Producers: Bob Lamb, UB40, Ray Pablo Falconer.
    Personnel: Ali Campbell , Robin Campbell (vocals, guitar); Norman Hassan (vocals, congas, percussion); Michael Virtue (strings, organ, keyboards); Brian Travers (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jim Brown (drums).
    Recording information: The Music Center.
    Although UB40's later records were much more conventionally pop-oriented, even the group's 1980 debut, SIGNING OFF, doesn't fit neatly in the roots-reggae tradition. The album does feature the expected bass-heavy rhythms and socially conscious lyrics of songs like "Food for Thought" (which condemns the Ethiopian famine a full four years before Band Aid brought it to attention) and the gospel-tinged "King." However, lead singer Ali Campbell also essays a left-field cover of the early Randy Newman chestnut "I Think It's Going to Rain Today," a mopey ballad more closely associated with the likes of Dusty Springfield than Bob Marley. Like many classic-era reggae albums, SIGNING OFF also includes deep, heavy dub mixes--in this case, the fiery "Tyler" (which becomes "25%") and "Adella" (which is turned into "12 Bar"). The CD edition also includes all of the tracks from a limited-edition 21-minute EP that was packaged with early vinyl copies of SIGNING OFF.

  • Critic Reviews
    Q (6/00, p.62) - Ranked #83 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums"
    Q (12/93, p.145) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...SIGNING OFF surfed along the 2-Tone wave with slowed down beats, anti-Thatcher rants, inspired cover versions and the vocal interplay of Robin and Ali Campbell. It sounds better than anything [UB40's] recorded since..."
    Mojo (Publisher) (p.121) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his is flinty, political and Britain-focused reggae..."
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.90) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir 1980 debut album remains one of the most articulate and important political statements in British popular music."
    Uncut (magazine) (p.109) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he Campbell brothers were unusual, characterful and original songwriters, and SIGNING OFF reflects that."
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