UB40, featuring legendary founders Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue with special guests Matisyahu and Raging Fyah will return to the Starlight Theater stage as part of the band’s U.S. Summer Tour at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 27, at Pala Casino Spa & Resort. UB40’s performance last August at Pala was a sellout.
UB40’s new two-CD package, “Unplugged + Greatest Hits” was released in late November on UMC and already has gone Silver in the U.K. “Unplugged” offers an inventive new spin on UB40’s early gems plus the huge hits with which they later wooed the world. Among the highlights on the album is a new version of “I Got You Babe,” featuring Ali’s 22-year-old daughter, Kaya Campbell, who sings the lyrics originally performed by Chrissie Hynde when the track topped the UK charts in 1985.
That pop standard is one of four number-one singles on “Unplugged”, which also contains new takes of “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You,” “Red, Red Wine” – complete with a fresh Astro talk-over in an acoustic style – and a new version of “Baby Come Back” featuring Pato Banton, the Birmingham reggae star who took the song to the top of the charts with UB40 in 1994.
Since reuniting three years ago, lead vocalist Campbell, Astro and Mickey have developed into a formidable touring outfit with an 11-piece touring ensemble, complete with a three-piece horn section.
Formed in 1979, UB40 helped define reggae music for a generation, transforming its working class roots into a global clarion call. The pioneering reggae troupe topped the UK singles chart on three occasions, earned multiple Grammy nominations and sold 70 million records worldwide as it took its smooth, yet rootsy, musical blend to all corners of the globe.