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UB40 - Present Arms

  by Tony Gaughan

published: 18 / 4 / 2015

UB40 - Present Arms
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


In our 'Re:View' section, in which we look back at albums from the past, Tony Gaughan examines Bimingham band UB40's 1981 bestselling second album 'Present Arms', which is about to be re-released in a three CD edition

'Present Arms' was the second studio album release from the Birmingham band UB40 and, featuring the worldwide hits 'One in Ten' and 'Don't Let it Pass You By', spent over nine months in the UK charts in 1981. It has justbeen reissued in a deluxe expanded edition of three discs. The main disc features the original release with a 12" remix of 'Don't Slow Down' as a bonus track. There is also an entire dub mix album of the original eight tracks, and a bonus disc of sessions from the BBC and an entire live set. Until recently I believed that UB40 were more of a covers band than anything else as a lot of their latter hits were remakes of old classics, but this package shows the other side of the band and proves that the band were up there with the greats of the reggae world. 'Present Arms in Dub' is just that, instrumental slabs of deep, reverbed snares and walking, rasping bass lines, the best tracks being the dub version of the title track and 'Return of Dr X'. The dub versions had originally been a second album added to the original vinyl album. The live session disc is a real bonus and features some early tracks from their 1980 debut album 'Signing Off', including their first single 'Food for Thought' and a Randy Newman cover 'I Think it's Going to Rain Today'. It's a must for fans who don't have the dub or bonus live disc, and is a decent insight into British reggae. Very much worth looking out for.

Track Listing:-

Band Links:-

Picture Gallery:-
UB40 - Present Arms

UB40 - Present Arms

Visitor Comments:-
10208 Posted By: knoba, Sussex on 26 May 2024
Their first two albums are inspired and brilliant. Present arms in dub, was the icing on the cake. Beautifully engineered. The bass lines are deep & driving, drums are right on the money & to top it off are those ethereal & heavenly horns (the voices of angels). I recommend turning up a nice sound system and having a skank. If you like other dub remixes I also recommend "King Tubbys Presents Soundclash Dubplate Style Part 2" & "Johnny Osbournes' Fally Lover dub mixes".

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