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By 1994, the constant touring had taken its toll and the band was ready for a well-earned rest – this after playing to record crowds around the world, including South Africa, where they performed to over 250,000 people in total. Virgin would fill the gap by releasing "The Best Of UB40 – Volume Two," containing hits like "Kingston Town," "Here I Am" and more recent efforts such as "Bring Me Your Cup," "Reggae Music" and "Until My Dying Day." During their sabbatical from UB40, several of the members worked on their own musical projects. Robin and Ali made a guest appearance on Pato Banton’s No. 1 hit "Baby Come Back," whilst Earl would have success producing house and drum & bass tracks. Ali Campbell also released his debut solo album "Big Love," which he’d recorded in Jamaica. Their adventures in Jamaica will result in several, celebrated encounters with various reggae legends. The first, UB40’s "UB40 Present The Dancehall Album," featuring Jamaican acts like Beenie Man, Mad Cobra and Lady Saw, appeared in 1998, and "UB40 Present The Fathers Of Reggae" in 2002. Robin has described the latter as one of the highlights of their career, since it featured many of the artists who’d inspired UB40 (among them Toots Hibbert, John Holt, Alton Ellis and the Mighty Diamonds), singing the group’s own material. Were it needed, the "Fathers" set offered proof of the respect UB40 have always been accorded in Jamaica, and especially among the island’s artists and musicians.

 

 

Other landmark shows would soon follow, including concerts in South Africa, and at a peace concert in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. One of them, in Switzerland, was later released as "Live In at Montreux." In 2003, they received an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement and secured another Top 10 album with the "Platinum Collection", a triple box set comprised of the entire "Labour of Love" series. By now, UB40 had been favourites of the British public for well over two decades. It was therefore fitting they should provide the official anthem for the England rugby team's triumphant 2003 World Cup campaign in Australia. "Swing Low," taken from the "Homegrown" set, will become the group's 49th UK chart single. UB40 have now had 51 chart successes, the only bands to have notched up more hits are Status Quo and Queen, but for UB40 to achieve this distinction by playing reggae music is nothing short of miraculous.

 

Two years later, on the 25th anniversary of their recording debut, the band released "Who You Fighting For." Acclaimed not only as a return to form, but also an artistic triumph," Who You Fighting For" was distinguished by UB40’s decision to record once more as "a live" band – i.e., playing all together in the studio. Its success was aided by a clutch of powerful message songs that wouldn’t have sounded at all out of place on their first few albums. The questioning of authority (including Britain and America’s decision to invade Iraq) and steadfast allegiance to working-class values was there for all to see, and yet the Grammy nominated "Who You Fighting For" also contained its fair share of love songs, such as "One Woman Man," "Kiss And Say Goodbye" and a winning cover of Matumbi’s "After Tonight."

 

Other landmark shows would soon follow, including concerts in South Africa, and at a peace concert in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. One of them, in Switzerland, was later released as "Live In at Montreux." In 2003, they received an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement and secured another Top 10 album with the "Platinum Collection", a triple box set comprised of the entire "Labour of Love" series. By now, UB40 had been favourites of the British public for well over two decades. It was therefore fitting they should provide the official anthem for the England rugby team's triumphant 2003 World Cup campaign in Australia. "Swing Low," taken from the "Homegrown" set, will become the group's 49th UK chart single. UB40 have now had 51 chart successes, the only bands to have notched up more hits are Status Quo and Queen, but for UB40 to achieve this distinction by playing reggae music is nothing short of miraculous.

 

Two years later, on the 25th anniversary of their recording debut, the band released "Who You Fighting For." Acclaimed not only as a return to form, but also an artistic triumph," Who You Fighting For" was distinguished by UB40’s decision to record once more as "a live" band – i.e., playing all together in the studio. Its success was aided by a clutch of powerful message songs that wouldn’t have sounded at all out of place on their first few albums. The questioning of authority (including Britain and America’s decision to invade Iraq) and steadfast allegiance to working-class values was there for all to see, and yet the Grammy nominated "Who You Fighting For" also contained its fair share of love songs, such as "One Woman Man," "Kiss And Say Goodbye" and a winning cover of Matumbi’s "After Tonight."

 

 

 

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