UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell & Astro’s new album Unprecedented, is out now via UMe. The album is available as a black 2LP, a limited-edition white-color 2LP, CD and limited-edition cassette as well as digitally.
All formats include the band’s previous singles “Sufferer” – which Ali has dedicated to his beloved friend and bandmate of over four decades, Astro, who tragically passed away last November – and “We’ll Never Find Another Love”.
“Astro’s death came as such a shock, and I’m still reeling from it,” Ali Campbell said in a statement. “This album is now more poignant and special than either of us could have imagined when we were recording it. Astro heartbreakingly passed just two weeks after we’d finished the final mixes, so this is a way of keeping his memory alive.”
“We’ll Never Find Another Love” is among several of the group’s final original songs featuring Astro on the record. Unprecedented also includes covers that don’t encompass traditional reggae, like Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down,” Stevie Wonder’s “Do Yourself A Favor,” and East 17’s “Stay Another Day.”
But the group also includes more authentic reggae covers like The Frightnrs’ “What Have I Done,” The Grappy Ranks’ “Heaven In Her Eyes,” and Luisa Mark’s “Caught You In A Lie,” (featuring Campbell’s daughter Indica on lead vocals). You can check “What Have I Done” out below.
Unprecedented has already been attracting positive reviews. Retropop magazine said: “Although the music predates Astro’s passing, many of the tracks take on a new meaning, reflecting the pair’s four decade-long bond. Yet their timeless sound permeates this set, which feels strikingly positive and forward thinking.”
This new record marks Astro’s final album in collaboration with Ali Campbell before his tragic death in November 2021. Astro, born Terence Wilson, joined the fledgling original incarnation of UB40 in 1979, supplying additional vocals, as well as playing trumpet and percussion.
Prior to Unprecedented, UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey’s most recent album, 2018’s A Real Labour Of Love, debuted at No.2 on the UK album chart, only dropping one place a week later to No.3, and the album spent a month in the Top 10.