Red Red Wine
|"Red Red Wine"|
|Single by Neil Diamond|
|from the album Just for You|
|B-side||"Red Rubber Ball"|
|Genre||Pop, soft rock|
|Producer(s)||Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich|
|Neil Diamond singles chronology|
"Red Red Wine" is a song written, performed and originally recorded by American artist Neil Diamond in 1967, included on Neil's second Bang Records album "Just For You". The lyrics are sung from the perspective of someone who finds drinking red wine the only way to forget his woes.
When Neil left the Bang Records label in 1968, Bang continued to release Neil Diamond singles, often adding newly recorded instruments and background vocals to album tracks from the two Neil Diamond albums that Bang had issued. For the "Red Red Wine" single, Bang added a background choir without Neil's involvement or permission. Diamond's version reached number sixty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1968. Diamond later performed a UB40-inspired version of the song on tour. The original album version was released on Diamond's The Greatest Hits (1966-1992) but the 1968 single version has never been issued on a vinyl album or CD. The song has been covered by Tony Tribe, Jimmy James & the Vagabonds, and more famously by British reggae group UB40, whose version topped the U.S. and UK singles charts. Tony Tribe covered the song in 1969 in a reggae-influenced style. UB40 covered the song in 1983 in a lighter reggae-style.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||62|
|"Red Red Wine"|
|Single by UB40|
|from the album Labour of Love|
|Released||August 20, 1983|
|Label||DEP International (UK)
|UB40 singles chronology|
UB40 made their rendition for their cover versions album Labour of Love. According to the band, they were only familiar with Tony Tribe's version (they apparently didn't realise that the writer, credited simply as "Diamond", was in fact Neil Diamond), and their version featured a lighter, reggae-style flavour compared to Diamond's sombre, acoustic ballad. The UB40 version adds a toasted verse by UB40 member Astro, opening: "Red Red Wine, you make me feel so fine/You keep me rocking all of the time" — which was edited from the single that reached number one in the UK chart in August 1983, and number 34 in the United States in March 1984.
In 1988, the song was re-released as a single in the U.S., this time including a toast from Astro as he performed it at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert a few months prior to its release. The single climbed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In September 2014 the Official Charts Company announced that sales in the UK had reached 1 million.
Songwriter Neil Diamond has stated this as one of his favourite covers of his songs. In fact during his 2015 concert tour, he performed the song similarly to the UB40 reggae version, complete with rap in the middle (but with different lyrics).
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||5|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||12|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||1|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||1|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||8|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100||34|
|US Billboard Hot 100||1|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||1,000,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
"Give It Up" by KC & The Sunshine Band
|UK number-one single
3 September 1983 - 17 September 1983 (3 weeks)
"Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club
"Love Bites" by Def Leppard
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
15 October 1988 (1 week)
"A Groovy Kind of Love" by Phil Collins
Other cover songs
Tony Tribe, a Jamaican rocksteady singer, recorded a reggae-influenced version in 1969 which reached number forty-six in the UK Singles Chart. The song was also covered in 1969 by swamp rock/pop artist Charles Mann.
In 1970, a cover by Vic Dana became a minor Billboard Hot 100 hit, peaking at #74 and reached #30 on Adult Contemporary. In early 1972, country singer Roy Drusky enjoyed a Top 20 hit with his cover version, reaching #17 in US Country and #16 in Canada Country.
The Hobos did a cover of this song on their 2004 double album Radio Jah Jah. "Red Red Wine" was also performed by Peter Tetteroo, former singer of Tee Set, a Dutch band, in 1968. The song has also been performed by Cas Haley along with UB40 on the last episode of the season 2 show America's Got Talent.
In 2001, singer Elan Atias released a dancehall version on the Buy Out Riddim instrumental, best known performed by Sean Paul, with the song entitled, "Like Glue". This was the first time the song was performed on a totally different instrumental tracking. The lyrics were also re-written. In 2008, Sizzla also released a dancehall single ("No Time To Gaze") based on the UB40 version.
- Moss, Liv (22 September 2014). "Now That’s What I Call A Million tracklisting revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- "Singer/songwriter Neil Diamond here, AMA!". Reddit. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- "Australian-charts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Austriancharts.at – UB40 – Red Red Wine" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Chartverfulgong > UB40 > Red Red Wine – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 39, 1983".
- "Charts.org.nz – UB40 – Red Red Wine". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". VG-lista.
- "Swedishcharts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". Singles Top 60.
- "Swisscharts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "UB40: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart.
- "UB40 Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for UB40.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 565. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.