Saturday, 28 June 2008

Red, Red Wine

A collection of CorksImage via WikipediaI suppose at the back of my mind I knew this was a Neil Diamond song, although like most people I associate it with UB40, whose version is actually influenced wholly by Tony Tribe's. He was the one who spotted the possibility of a reggae rhythm.

Neil Diamond's original version is a completely different song, firmly fixed in the country genre by its sentiment and its subject matter. He doesn't sound like a country artist, but he writes great songs for those who do. The UB40 video from 1983, incidentally, is criminally cavalier with the lyrics. Here we see Ali getting pissed with his mates to forget his woman, but he's drinking pints, fucksake. You may not think that's important, but it is. Look at the title: it isn't just Red Wine, it's Red, Red Wine. There's a love there that nobody ever felt for beer.

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