Red Red Wine
|"Red Red Wine"|
|Single by Neil Diamond|
|from the album Just for You|
|B-side||"Red Rubber Ball"|
|Released||April 13, 1968|
|Producer||Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich|
|Neil Diamond singles chronology|
"Red Red Wine" is a song written and originally recorded by American artist Neil Diamond. It 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. 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. This version was released on Diamond's The Greatest Hits (1966-1992).
The lyrics are sung from the perspective of someone who finds drinking red wine the only way to forget his woes, his family feuds, his work and mainly (as sung from the song itself) a woman who lingers constantly in the mind of the one who drinks. By drinking apparently his woes go away he feels a little relief, only to find that, the same woman who caused him to go drinking arrives at the bar and makes the drinker feel even worse. After drinking too much, he is tumbling on the street where he is found by his presumed father and offered a helping hand to get up.
Chart performance 
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||62|
UB40 version 
|"Red Red Wine"|
|Single by UB40|
|from the album Labour of Love|
|Released||August 20, 1983|
|Length||5:21 (1988 single/album version)
3:01 (1983 single edit)
|Label||DEP International (UK)
|Producer||UB40, Ray "Pablo" Falconer|
|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 (apparently they didn't realise that the writer - credited simply as "Diamond" - was in fact Neil Diamond), and their version featured a lighter, reggae-style flavor compared to Diamond's somber, 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 U.S. in March 1984. In 1988, the song was rereleased as a single in the U.S., this time including the Astro toast, and climbed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Chart performance (UB40 version) 
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||5|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||12|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||1|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||1|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||8|
|United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company)||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||34|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
Chart successions 
"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 versions 
Tony Tribe, a Jamaican rocksteady singer, recorded a reggae-influenced version in 1969 which reached number forty-six in the UK Singles Chart. Also, in 1969, the song was covered by swamp rock/pop artist Charles Mann. In 1970, a remake 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.
- "Australian-charts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien.
- "UB40 – Red Red Wine – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Hung Medien.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 39, 1983". Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- "Charts.org.nz – UB40 – Red Red Wine". Top 40 Singles. Hung Medien.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". VG-lista. Hung Medien.
- "Swedishcharts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". Singles Top 60. Hung Medien.
- "UB40 – Red Red Wine – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Hung Medien.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 565. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits