Named after a British unemployment benefit form, pop-reggae band UB40 was formed in a welfare line in 1978, and its multiracial lineup reflected the working-class community its members came from. The band consolidated its street credibility with political topics appealing to dissatisfied youth and got a boost from fans of the waning 2-Tone ska-revival movement.
Their "Food For Thought" single reached the U.K. Top Ten in 1980, beginning a long streak of chart appearances. The albums Signing Off and Present Arms were big sellers in Britain, if not America, and addressed the political issues of the day in songs like "One in Ten." The album of reggae cover songs, Labour of Love, gave the group its first chart album in America and first number one U.K. hit with Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine."