“Red Red Wine” by UB40
The general theme of this song features the singer celebrating “red red wine”. The reason he is doing so is because it acts as sort of an antidepressant in his life. In other words, it enables him to drown out painful memories. More specifically, the thought which is bothering him the most is of a lost love whom he ‘still needs’. So basically, he is utilizing red wine to ‘make him forget’ about her. But towards the end of the song, the lyrics transform from lamenting an ex to once again biggin’ up the overall power of intoxication. And this includes UB40 giving a shoutout to “bad ganja”.
The song ‘Red Red Wine’ was released by UB40 in the year 1983. It was recorded as part of the album “Labour of Love”.
The group made an appearance at the 70th Birthday Concert for Nelson Mandela in 1988 and performed the song. Not long after, the track became a sensation and started gaining airplay on KZZP, a radio station. It soon became the most recognized track on the station.
The song made it to the top of the South African Springbok Charts and in 1988. It also made it to first place on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.
The track was first sang in 1967 by an American musician named Neil Diamond. He released it as part of ‘Just For You’, his second studio album. For him, the song explains how wine helps a person escape their problems.
A few other musicians released different variations of the song including Peter Teterboro in 1968 and Tony Tribe in 1969.
When UB40 released theirs, it was based on Tony Tribe’s variation; they had no knowledge of the original by Neil Diamond.
It is believed that during the shoot of the music video, Ali Campbell (who was the lead singer for UB40) was not sipping on wine but beer instead.
Also, the factory workers who availed themselves for the shoot and got drunk lost their jobs for sometime but got it back.