“Red Red Wine” is the hit song from Neil Diamond, which was covered by English reggae and pop band UB40 and became a huge song for the group.
Late band member Astro from UB40 was apparently inspired by the 1968 cover of the song from Jamaican born singer Tony Tribe, and were only familar with Tribe’s cover of the song – not realising that that Neil Diamond was the original singer and songwriter of the song. Speaking to the The Financial Times, Astro admitted the group’s surprise about the track’s original singer:
“Even when we saw the writing credit which said ‘N Diamond,’ we thought it was a Jamaican artist called Negus Diamond.”
UB40 even performed the song live at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert, and Neil Diamond has publicly stated that UB40’s version of the song is his favourite cover, and even frequently perform’s the band’s version of the song live.
The music video for “Red Red Wine” was released in 1983 and was directed by Bernard Rose. The video shows the group and other individuals drinking at bar, inevitably getting too inebriated and walking home. Uploaded to UB40’s official channel on the 3rd of June 2009, the video currently has almost 170 million views with 925 thousand likes.
Read the lyrics to “Red Red Wine” here.
*All information accurate at the time of publishing.