First Hit #1: October 15, 1988
Every so often I think I don’t like reggae, but then I realize that it’s not the genre I don’t like, but the absolutely bizarre choices that hit the top of the chart. For instance, reggae cover of a Neil Diamond song? That’s a kind of terrible idea, actually, and UB40’s Red Red Wine doesn’t exactly disprove that notion.
To be fair, it’s not egregiously awful, just kind of something I personally wouldn’t like, which was in turn overplayed to hell when I was a kid – I have a feeling I’m going to be saying that a lot over the coming weeks. It’s not a particularly interesting arrangement – it’s kind of a reggae arrangement for dummies sound, all the basic elements thrown together in a pretty basic package. If you’ve never heard a reggae song before, maybe it would be novel and interesting. If you have, it’s just a pretty basic cover and not particularly compelling.
It also fits the ’88 bad breakup narrative, now everyone is drinking away their sorrow.