Out 25th June 2021
An album of reggae collaborations with artists spanning four continents and seven decades of recording experience, featuring House of Shem, Tippa Irie, BLVK H3RO, Inner Circle, Pablo Rider, KIOKO, Gilly G, Slinger, Winston Francis, Leno Banton and General Zooz (Reggae Rajahs)
Following 2019’s critically acclaimed original album ‘For The Many’, on 25th June UB40 release Bigga Baggariddim, an incredible celebration of the genre they love and a seminal reggae collaborations album.
Over 35 years after the original Baggariddim album, UB40 have reunited with artists who appeared on the 1985 album and collaborated with new, diverse reggae talent from around the world, who sing and deejay over cuts of the same rhythms. It was in cities like UB40’s hometown of Birmingham where people from different ethnic backgrounds first learnt to live with one another, giving rise to multi-cultural Britain. It’s therefore natural for UB40 to collaborate with artists of differing nationalities, ages and cultural backgrounds, as well as those sharing the same roots as themselves.
“We really enjoy collaborations and this is a natural progression from the original Baggariddim, only more international, and a perfect companion to our last album For The Many because it uses the same rhythms/backing tracks, but features some of the reggae friends we’ve met and worked with around the world.” – Robin Campbell, UB40
A companion to their critically acclaimed 2019 album For The Many, Bigga Baggariddim features the same rhythms and guest artists from different parts of the world including Jamaica, New Zealand, India and UB40’s home town of Birmingham. New Zealand’s roots reggae band House Of Shem guest on three tracks, led by the irresistible Good Vibes Tonight. From India, the Reggae Rajahs’ General Zooz adds more diversity to UB40’s most eclectic album yet and as the founders of Goa’s annual reggae festival, are a testament to India’s rapidly growing reggae scene. They perform on the ear worm, Roots Rocks Reggae.
Joining this selection of international talent are artists from reggae’s homeland of Jamaica, where a new generation of stars has emerged in the past decade, led by Protoje, Koffee and Chronixx. After UB40’s management heard a BBC 1Xtra session showcasing new Jamaican artists, BLVK H3RO and Leno Banton (son of legendary dancehall pioneer Burro Banton) were invited to appear on Bigga Baggariddim.
Veteran Jamaican reggae artists are represented by Winston Francis (whose long list of hits includes Mr Fix It, which UB40 covered on Labour Of Love III) and Inner Circle, whose overdubs on the track Rebel Love gives it their distinctive, platinum-selling Inner Circle Sound.
Reggae bands like UB40, who write and produce their own music, had all but disappeared in the UK until fellow Brummie band KIOKO came along. The two bands met when Kioko performed a tribute to UB40, playing One In Ten live at Birmingham’s annual Music Awards. They join the together on Bigga Baggariddim’s You Don’t Call Anymore.
Alongside UB40’s emergence in the 1980s, there was a UK deejay explosion. Of this talent, Tippa Irie made his reputation on London Sound Systems – and guests here on On The Road – alongside three Birmingham MC’s: Gilly G (Me Nah Leave Yet), Pablo Rider (Did You See That)and Slinger (My Life Action).
Pablo Rider and Slinger both featured on the original Baggariddim album in 1985 and also made cameo appearances on For The Many. They and Gilly G are all expected to join UB40 on the Bigga Baggariddim tour which begins in November (see below for details).
UB40’s passion for reggae and belief in its cultural importance has led them to create an exceptional reggae collaborations album, which will remind the listener of reggae’s timeless and evolving power, whilst also introducing them to new, vital and emerging reggae talent.
Based on the extensive album biography by Echoes magazine’s John Masouri. Available on request.