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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Signing Off

UB40

1980

Wikipedia

Signing Off

Rating

2.9

Votes

3277

Reviews

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3

I tend to like the more dubby instrumental tracks/passages here. Always a fan of deep prominent basslines. It's okay but wouldn't be my first choice for reggae, etc.

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2

i can only imagine that in the 80s the united kingdoms was resplendent with reggae norm macdonalds putting unique and terrible white boy flows on reggae

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4

Eh, it's ok. White guys singing reggae always makes me laugh. +1 stars for being from Birmingham

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4

You can't beat a bit of Brummie Reggae. A throw back to early 1980s black inequality, three million unemployed and on the dole in Thatcher's inner city Britain. A classic album, and a great document of that era. Used millions of times, usually accompanied with grainy news footage of inner city squaller, queues at the job centre, inner city riots, burnt out cars and striking industrial union members.

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5

Love the vibes of the album. Need to throw it into my reggae and ska rotation.

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5

raggaeee

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5

Loved it.

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5

Awesome, a classic imo and so chill Didn't know they were british but knowing this list it checks out

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5

Nice and chill! It's the anti- Margaret Thatcher message for me. 9

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5

Wow. Creo que este ha sido la mayor sorpresa hasta el momento. Yo tenía la impresión de una banda de reggae que hacía cosas pegajosas, no tenía idea que tenían semejante declaración de principios y tremendos rolones. Hasta voy a conseguir el vinil, está verguísima esto.

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5

The first song was named after me. 5 stars, naturally.

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5

UB40, political motivated lyrics influenced by their folk singing families. Formed whilst signing on, Ali Campbell was glassed in the face and his eye popped out, with the compensation he bought a drum kit for the band. They drank the rest of the cash in the local pub. Now split due to disagreements about money Ali and Astro tour signing the hits whilst Robin Campbell his brother is suing Ali, what a shambles. Great songs that tell a story of the social struggles of the 80s in reggae.

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5

An amazing album, both musically and production-wise.

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5

Unbelievable… had know idea these cats pumped out such great dub. I’ll be revisiting this album 100%

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5

Debut album of the most successfull reggae band in the world. Perfect! Must be listened.

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5

I like how this group brings forward political statements especially songs about truth during the time this was written.

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5

4.5/5. Very cool sound effects and backstory behind album + band name. 👍

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5

One of the best things about @1001_albums_gen is reading the backstory of the albums - because this is a fabulous, non-covers debut album i'd never heard. They locked themselves away for a year learning instruments to play - and it's fab!

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5

Reggae goodness

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5

this is nice pure fucking vibes mm mm mmmmm a very long album but i listened gradually throughout the day and it was so lovely i can’t really fault it

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5

Sunny days on the beach kinda vibe

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5

Very cool. I would describe this style as the prog-rock of whatever umbrella genre this album belongs to.

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4

Very enjoyable reggae

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4

This is pretty enjoyable, actually. I hadn’t ever heard of them, but I do like reggae.

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4

I really like the UB40 vibe. There are some good songs in the mix, and the tail end of the album really fines a nice groove. In the middle there is a slight sameness... i'll still round up a little bit since i like the sound.

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4

I’ve never listened to their music aside from red red wine. So we’ll see, I’m not the biggest reggae fan. So far it’s actually been quite enjoyable. Very groovy. I wish red red wine was on this album

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4

GOOD REGGAE!

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4

J’aimbien aime le regea . Un bon vibe et de bon musiciens !4.25

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4

Pachecón, que así describirlo, tratandose de reggae, es una redundancia. Me gustó el toque de sax. Canción favorita: Madam Medusa, porque sí está mareadora. Mood: hiperfrito

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4

7/10. Might even have been a bit higher, it felt a little bit more interesting than some of the other Reggae albums we've had.

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4

Great!

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4

8/10 nice music

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4

i like this one! some of the songs aren't that notable but it's still fun to listen to the album lol

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4

Enjoyed listening to this one 👍

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4

Nice chilled reggae, good background music

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4

Cool instrumental reggae. Very chill.

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4

Great album and one I will play again. Way ahead of their time.

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4

Some quality tunes on this album.

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4

Amazing songs, great production, a little long

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4

Excelente disco de reggae para ambientar y para disfrutar.

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4

Super white boy reggae from the Campbell Bros et al. Highlights are "King" a great reggae version of "Strange Fruit" (I wonder what Billie Holliday would have thought?) and "Food For Thought" Lovely time educing sounds

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4

Nice hearing their early stuff, actually, rather than the hits that have been crammed down my ears since childhood! Plus one star out of Brummie pride... Fave track - "Tyler" was a great opening. "Reefer Madness" was fun, too.

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4

Epic raggae background

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4

Super horn section, classy reggae riffs, such a great group, I loved it.

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4

I don’t always go sniffing for reggae, but this was very relaxing

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4

Jako opuštajuće, zrači nekom srećom

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4

Better than expected- good tunes good politics

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4

Top albumpje met een paar klassiekertjes erop

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4

Really liked this album! I don't listen to enough reggae so I'm glad to know of this band

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4

Great melodies, loved the way they incorporated jazz ska and reggae a reggae classic! Main Critism was it was two long :(

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3

pretty good dub record!

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3

reggae isnt really my thing but solid album

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3

pretty decent reggae but doesn't seem to be my vibe.

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3

Red red wine, mon

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3

Cool beats, good vibes. Nice background music to work to.

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3

nice to listen to

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3

Did not realize UB40 sang political messaging, so a bit more respect to them. I'm not a huuuge fan of Reggae but as this goes it's pretty good. Reggae is kind of nice background music for me. It all is groovy and easy listening.

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3

Chill

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3

For me this just kept fading into background reggae. Good but not engaging. My regard for political lyrics is not what it once was.

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3

Had not heard of this band but I think I liked them by the end. Where it got weird for me is when the onligitory 80's synths combined with the soulful reggae grooves.

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3

good, but not really my kind of music. i can appreciate what they were doing tho.

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3

A true classic of British reggae, before they went the pop-reggae route (which wasn't that bad, IMHO).

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3

Reggae. Bien, pero demasiado largo.

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3

No, pues no, me doy cuenta una vez más de que el reggae no es para mí. Si bien, de pronto tiene una vibras muy chill, muy buenaonda, me parece un bucle y espero en algún momento una variación o algo que "explote". Es personal, pero bueno, supongo que para los fans del género, debe ser un gran disco (espero). 7/10

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3

All reggae music sounds the same but this is okay

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3

It was less bad than I was expecting. A lot of the songs were somewhat groovy and I liked some of the messages in the songs. Still, it was over an hour of reggae so I’ll toss it a 6

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3

Muy reggae, rumboso. Buenos acordes. Tranquilo de escuchar

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3

I really liked this, though I found some of the songs to be a bit too long/repetitive (which is generally what I don't like about reggae). Overall though it had good vibes, and I liked the cool 80s elements you could hear in it as well.

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3

more enjoyable than I expected from the "red, red wine" band. "food for thought" was a high point for me. listening to reggae brought me back to high school days

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3

brilliant.

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3

Bonito disco de reggae y, sobre todo, de dub. Tranquilísimo y muy escuchable. Sin ningún tema que predomine.

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3

had to listen on utube

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3

Gut hörbar, aber Reggae ist einfach nicht meins!

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3

Canny

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3

Of course I remember a couple of popular songs from UB40 from the late 80s. It was good to hear this album, because my primary exposure to UB40 was through their cover songs. The album was good enough. I think I liked the instrumentals the most ("12 bar" and "25%"), but there wasn't anything that I disliked. There was at least one cover song on this album, which was probably my least favorite track ("Strange Fruit"). (3 stars) [I listened to the Cassette version of this album which has ¿3? more tracks than the LP -- "Strange Fruit" wasn't on the LP.]

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3

It’s alright. Not my jam really, but it’s nice to chill out to I guess.

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3

Perfectly fine background music

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3

Not bad, just not my style. Reminded me of a Jimmy Buffet album. The songs sounded too similar from track to track for my taste

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3

Bueno pero largo.

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3

Ps si mucho reage ... Pero muy sin chiste o muy igual

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3

Reggae album that fails to leave a lasting impression as all the songs sound very much the same and fade into ambience very quickly

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3

Not like their later releases where they become more authentic. The debut is simply too similar to other raggae from the time.

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3

Some solid reggae songs but others sound like they shouldn't even be played in a grocery store.

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3

Just a great feel to it, and a few good songs. Would have been a 4 at the time but a 3 now.

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3

this took a 80s turn. 3 stars solid. very classic rasta vid.

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3

Classic reggae album

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3

3 I guess, but two hours of this is too much. I'll listen to disc two some other time.

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3

Pretty solid. I really enjoyed it. More of a traditional reggae sound than most of their hits that I'm familiar with. I was really excited when they first song had more of a modern reggae dub sound but it seems like that was the only one. A bit repetitive and long at times but a solid 3.5 for me.

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3

UB40 is probably one of those bands who are judged solely on their radio hit(s). In this case, I think it's not entirely fair to do so, to be honest.

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3

it was fine

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3

Good background music.

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3

Good, I don't perhaps have the historical context to really enjoy this to the fullest, but I never wanted to turn it off. Enjoyable listen.

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3

Alright, some good bits, some a bit off

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3

Decent. Didn’t make a huge impression of me, but I enjoyed it.

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3

Red, Red Wine really, really sucks, but this is not that, so it turned out to be better than I expected. However, it's still reggae made by white guys from Birmingham (lol). The instrumentals are the best parts. Best track: Adella

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3

Good working music, good music for smokin da ganjaaa monnnnn Long live Jah in Babylonia 🟢🟡🔴 3/5

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3

Enjoyed Tyler.

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3

Not bad, but I wouldn't listen again. I'm just not a fan of their style of reggae.

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3

I don't really know any other reggae than the stuff Bob Marley and his sons put out which I hate with passion (seriously, how can anyone stand any of that ***?). Turns out it's not all that horrible. This album was a lot jazzier than what I'd think of as typical reggae and with a much stronger focus on instrumentation, rather than on sluggishly delivered vocal hooks. It's still not something I'd actively seek out and listen to, but it was perfectly fine in the background and even enjoyable at times. Definitely a good experience to listen to this one, as it was the first time I've ever heard any reggae without instantly thinking "wow, this sucks so much". The one song that stood out for being horrible was Madam Medusa though, that one really sucked. All the rest of the album was fine though.

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3

Dobar đir

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3

baš chill ugođaj, neka pozitiva

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3

Well, this was not what I was expecting. I grew up with the pop UB40 of the 90s. It's weird to hear them as an actual reggae band, not doing uninspired covers of Elvis songs. I've never disliked this band, but this album gave me newfound respect for them. There's much more authenticity about this album than the later stuff that I was aware of. I'm not much of a reggae fan, but it's enjoyable when it's done well, instead of being the same handful of Bob Marley songs being blasted out the window of some frat boy's car. 3/5 It's a fine listen, but ultimately uninspiring.

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3

UB3star

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3

Nada especial

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3

Not too bad. Reggae is meh for me right now, but the instrumentals were cool. Wasn't a huge fan of the vocals personally.

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3

Liked a few of them probaby a 3.5 if i could give it that

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3

An interesting trip to mediocre funky town. Some fun synth stuff mixed in here

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3

Could be better. Could be Worse. Favorite tracks: 12bar, 25%

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3

A nice representation of UB40's music during their serious One in Ten era, before they went commercial. However, as far as reggae music from that era is concerned, I much prefer The Police's interpretation from Reggatta de Blanc.

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3

Not as gritty as Burning Spear or Marley, but a bit more listenable.

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3

Spoko, ale zrobiło się nudne po jakimś czasie

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3

Certainly average reggae.

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3

Decent music, I will give them another listen and check out their other albums to make a long term judgement whether i like it or not.

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3

Pretty well put together but that sax got a bit droning at times, hit the high note every once in a while son!

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2

Not my style of music, but I get why people like it. The rhythms are hypnotic, but this album is repetitive to me. Every song sounded very similar to the preceding track. However, I really dug the longest song, Madam Medusa, but that was really the only highlight for me. 2.5/5.

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2

not my genre, disc 1 lang nakayanan kong tapusin, every song seems the same im sorry

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2

I went into this kind of dreading it. I hate "Red Red Wine", so I was expecting more of the same. While I did get a bunch of it, I did also get some interesting dub parts. Inoffensive enough background music, not for me. Favorite track: "Burden of Shame"

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2

Look, we've talked about this before. Reggae is something for which I really need to be in the mood. Generally, I like UB40. This album, however, just didn't do it for me. 2 stars.

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2

4

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2

There is much better raggae than this lol

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2

It's reggae, but it's easy listening reggae. Not a big fan. And BTW Burden of Shame is a blatant ripoff of Moondance by Van Morrison - almost identical melody. I wonder if they got sued. 2 stars.

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2

Not bad I guess... lots of dub tracks. I listened to it while running errands and found it inoffensive but at no point really clicked with this.

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2

As a first release, this was really good. However, I'd probably not listen to this more than once a quarter.

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2

Ich weiß nicht, in meiner Erinnerung war die immer Schwung. Davon habe ich bei dem Album nichts bemerkt

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2

Didn't hate it but nothing special. We only need red red wine

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2

I do not enjoy this very much. Normally I would blame it on the weather, but its a beautiful sunny day out, so I think it's just bad. 4 reggae was a mistake, ska forever

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2

Even though I used to like their hit songs I was not in the mood for this. I might revisit it at a later time.

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2

Not great

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2

Boring

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2

Good Reggea i guess, but I got bored after a few songs.

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2

Reggae is nice but the overuse of reverb and echo effects tires my ears in the long run. Burden of shame is basically reggae moondance. I understand the value this album had on the british scene back when it was released but I value this only as background music.

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2

Ever song sounded the same

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2

It's reggae, don't really dig that.

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2

Not my genre of music

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2

Yks saatanan pitkä reggaebiisi? Tekis mieli antaa yks tähti ihan vaan ykstoikkosuudesta, mut kyllä sen sieti läpi kuunnella.

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2

Pitkä kuin nälkävuosi. En oikein ymmärrä mikä tässä levyssä oli niin hienoa, että on nostettu tälle listalle?

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2

Its very chill reggae but not really very interesting 2.5

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2

Bah, un poco rollo patatero. 2.Venga, no, un 3. Pero es bastante rollo. No, un 2, porque, intencionadamente, no lo volvería a escuchar.

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2

Not really my thing

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2

A bit dull.

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2

I got through disc one, which is not bad for me! I would say probably my favorite reggae album to date, but I truly do not like this genre in any way.

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2

Kinda dull and samey, all just blurs into one reggae mush

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2

Love the message, music just isn't for me

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2

An hour of white bloke reggae ffs

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2

Perfectly acceptable light reggae

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2

c'était long j'ai pas vibé

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2

1h06 de reggae tue le reggae. Individuellement, les tracks sont cool, mais en écoutant l'album complet, j'ai passé autant de temps à avoir hâte qu'il se finisse qu'à en profiter.

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2

J'adore le reggae, j'ai un djembé à la maison.

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2

boring ska - couldn't hardly listen to the whole thing.

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2

Nothing special...background reggae music. Really surprised by the inclusion on this list at it doesn't seem that important in music history either. 2/5

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2

It's alright. Each song drags and is a bit repititive. The album is long and drags.

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2

Boring. Extra star awarded for hating Tories

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2

Very samey felt like one long song

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2

Wanted to like it more. Too slow.

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2

I loved the sax added to the reggae vibe. I thought that was cool and unique. Otherwise it was awfully redundant. I could have Listened to the first 30 seconds of each song and still gotten the same experience musically

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2

I think there were some songs on here that I liked but the album was so long I forgot about them before it was over. Way too long. Like, way way way too long. I wouldn't mind hearing a couple of these songs again but I'll never listen to this whole thing through again.

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2

This was a snooze fest for me. Fine as background "muzak" but so repetitive and lackluster and WAY too long

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2

So boring

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2

Pas mauvais comme album. Pas mon style, mais le côté Dub est intéressant et je préfère cet album à leurs mégas succès qui sont des reprises. Pièces préférées: Signing Off et 25%

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2

Allt í lagi plata. Setur tóninn fyrir framtíðina hjá UB40.

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2

Later UB40 is very annoying. Early UB40 as seen here has a few decent songs but is mostly forgettable.

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2

White guy reggea.

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2

Aside from being too long, there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with this album I just don’t think it’s for me

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2

It is reggae music but with some synthesizers. It did not really move the dial one way or the other. I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. It was just ok. I am not going revisit the album or really any songs on the album. It is not a 3 but it is better than a 2. I will round down.

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2

Eh, reggae is not my thing, though I fucking LOVE Red Red Wine. FOR THAT ALONE I GIVE THIS A FIVE. jk 2

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2

I don't get reggae, never did. But at least with Marley, I get that he's the real deal and a pioneer. UB40 just sound fake and lame. This is what I imagine my personal hell sounds like. F

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2

That initial rumbling bass in the first track made me think I was going to get some gnarly ass sludge of sorts, then all I got was this unbelievably boring reggae. Absolutely hoodwinked. I really don't enjoy reggae in almost any way, so this was tough for me to sit through.

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2

Just meh. I don't get this style of dub. Not offensive, but would never seek it out.

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2

If it is not Bob Marley, the appeal to reggae is hard to feel. While the songs and styling are certainly reggae, this foray into pop puts a clear line of demarcation between pop reggae and reggae as a culture. The positive and well-earned critique is that UB40 does reggae really well as a song and musical style. The sounds and pop infused elements make for a different yet acceptable take. However, and perhaps this is the differentiator of what Bob Marley gave us vs. what other reggae artists have done is that there is a measure of heart and soul in the cultural significance of Bob Marley that we truthfully need to consider not holding other reggae artists accountable to. As objectively as possible, UB40's "Signing Off" is a good, well executed reggae pop album if the listener is into it for the sake of reggae... and pop. The sounds are clean and the groovy elements are all the signature expectations that one might have listening to reggae, but with more pop. For this review however, the premise is based on whether or not this album is a prerequisite to the afterlife, and that is difficult to really justify here.

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1

No Be Forty

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1

Yikes

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1

I think I could go my entire life without listening to this album. Music quality wasn't bad, many songs blended together.

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1

My Mum likes this band. I'm not a fan of reggae at the best of times but Brummie reggae? Ugh. BT: King, I Think It's Going To Rain Today, Food For Thought

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1

I detest the band and the sound - garbage

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1

Nope. Can’t stand UB40. Won’t be listening to this.

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1

I like reggae, but this is bad reggae. I did not enjoy this album at all...

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1

I’m at a loss for words. This simply is not good.

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1

this is easily the worst album on this entire website. It's too long and there's nothing interesting about it, just bad reggae, but I don't even know if it's reggae, it's too hard to tell couldn't finish the back half

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1

October 12, 2021 God I hate reggae

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1

Hard pass

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1

This is just not my style.. made it through half the album. "You be 40 - I'll be leaving now..."

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1

Every song sounds 'the same'.

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