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Billboard #1 Hits: #671: ‘Red Red Wine’- UB40. October 15, 1988. #1 for 1 week in Billboard Hot 100.

  • Single: ‘Red Red Wine’- UB40
  • Record Company- A&M
  • Genre: Reggae Fusion
  • Written by Neil Diamond
  • Time: 3:01
  • B-side: ‘Sufferin’
  • Album- Labour Of Love
  • Grade: B
  • Peaked at #1 1 week in Billboard Hot 100. #1 in UK Singles Chart, #1 in Canada, Ireland, Netherlands and New Zealand..

The history of this hit is interesting- it was written by Neil Diamond back in 1967. For Diamond it only reached #62. UB40 released it as a single in 1984 and it went to #34 in the US #3 in the UK. Fast forward to 1988- UB40 played it live at a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday. Soon after that a radio program director in Phoenix thought the song deserved a second chance and started playing it and it took off- becoming the most popular song on the station- it was re-released as a single and well it goes to #1. UB40 would have one more #1 hit- “Can’t Help Falling In Love’ in 1993. Neil Diamond has stated that the UB40 cover is one of his favorite covers of a song he’s written and he would perform it with the UB40 reggae influenced backing in concerts.

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