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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 18 June 2006
UB40 have been a constant within the music scene for almost 3 decades by now. The first 15 years they were constant hit makers with consistent album sales. It seems that after that period, all of a sudden their time as a big selling artist was up as if the public had had enough.

These 2 CDs cover that period in a thorough manner. Basically, the CDs are simply re-issues of their Best of collections, volume 1 & 2, put into a single packaging. Two songs, Swing Low and Kiss & Say Goodbye are tacked at the end of volume 2; both songs would have been hits had UB40 still retained the popular appeal. Every UB40 Top 20 hit in the UK is here, i.e. until 1995, plus a few other notable singles (excluding Swing Low, UB40 have only had two other minor Top 20 hits since then). The only omission I notice is The Way You Do the Things You Do. It is one of their best known songs in the US but did not, however, even manage for some reason to crack the Top 40 in the UK, making the omission understandable. By excluding that period the listener also is spared the awful cover of Light My Fire included on their Very Best of 1980-2000 collection.

Their music has aged very well and many songs are becoming standard classics, even ones that were standards in other versions. In short, if you like UB40, even casually, this is the set to buy.

I am, still, deducting a star from this great set. It seems that despite being released in 2005, i.e. this combined version of the two volumes, the sound has not been re-mastered in accordance to current standards. My old Volume 1 CD has the exact same sound quality as the version on the volume 1 disk in this set.

I own the US version of the Very Best of 1980-2000 collection and took a few comparison samples. It was unfavourable for this version. On Here I Am the bass, which is prominent in the mix, is much more vibrant and the whole sound staging has audibly more depth on the US version, whilst on Kingston Town the synthesizers are clearer and the slight echo in the singing channel more natural, giving the song more of its special aura. These songs and other newer tracks have an added edge on the US version over the Best of Vol. 1&2 which is in a way analogous to the difference of a brand new LP verses a worn one.

On older tracks the difference is more audible, since the recording technology during the later period is more similar to what is used today. 1 in 10 has a significantly lower and more muddled sound and their first single, Food For Thought, is so vastly different sonic wise it is as if a blanket has been put over the speakers on the Best of Vol. 1&2 version (incidentally, the Left-Right channelling is reverse on the Food For Thought mixes).

Why the songs were not updated sound wise is beyond me, especially in light of the fact that many of the songs obviously have been re-mastered for at least another compilation. Most people won't notice the difference though and I admittedly seldom listen so closely that it matters. This is, however, a drawback.

To summarize, this is an immaculate collection of the hits of UB40 but suffers somewhat from the sound quality. In whole, I recommend this set.
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on 2 December 2009
I bought the very 1st UB40 when it came out on vinyl (yes I am that old!) yet for some reason never bought later albums despite being a fan of the genre and the band. It would be too expensive to get all the missing albums so when I spotted this double it seemed an offer too good to miss and sure enough it truly is the best of. Its given me a good range of tracks at a an excellent price. Nice one.
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on 22 June 2011
Everybody must remember UB40 from the 1980's and I bought this double cd album hoping it would remind me of the great music they made, I went to see them in concert last year so this twin album was a warm up to seeing them live on stage for myself - it has all the tracks you would want to hear from them. It contains 34 fantastic tracks from their famous days as a band with ali campbell who is now no longer with them as he has now gone solo, well worth purchasing.
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on 28 December 2010
Enjoyable glad i bought it. when UB40 are good they are very good. Unfortuntately there is also a fair bit of pretty poor stuff here too
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 January 2015
What an album. Actually, two albums in one package! Just what a set of Wharfedale speakers was made for.

I read the good review another person gave concerning sound quality. Production is always extremely important to me. Listening to this on my sound system, via iTunes, I cannot yet fault it. Mind you, I don't have an older version of this album to compare with, so I can't really expect to have 'lost' any quality. I'm getting good bass, mid and trebs in all songs, so far.

What's there? Well, naturally, King; Don't Let It Pass You By, (which I adore); Food For Thought; The Earth Dies Screaming; Don't Slow Down; One In Ten, another beloved track, and so many others. Compiling a list of 34 songs, whether you get the CD or Download copy, your ears are in for a treat.

Really enjoying listening to this again. I thought it was well about time I said so!
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on 19 September 2011
this is a verry good band there tunes are nice to listen to chill out music my auntie got this cd because she really likes them i have the cd as well delivery was fast great price as well 10/10 thanx
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on 25 May 2011
I ordered 3 cd's from this seller and I got them 3 days later I would recommend this seller to anybody very fast delivery and the cd's were brand new in their plastic cases.
Ecellent thank you.
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on 25 March 2011
It takes me back to the spring of my youth and really enjoying the trip.

Has all the early stuff - which is GREAT and the main reason I bought it, highly recommended.
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on 6 June 2010
An excellent collection of their singles. A "must have" for all those who are UB40 fans.

07 June 2010
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on 17 September 2014
I really enjoy UB40's gently lilting reggae. I certainly owned this on vinyl when i was younger and wondered whether I would still enjoy the music. I certainly do. The albums sound just as good now as when they first came out.
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