Red Red Wine

"Red Red Wine"
Red Red Wine label.jpg
Single by Neil Diamond
from the album Just for You
B-side "Red Rubber Ball"
Released 1967 (1967)
Format 7"
Genre
Length 2:42
Label Bang
Songwriter(s) Neil Diamond
Producer(s)
Neil Diamond singles chronology
"New Orleans"
(1968)
"Red Red Wine"
(1967)
"Brooklyn Roads"
(1968)
"New Orleans"
(1968)
"Red Red Wine"
(1968)
"Brooklyn Roads"
(1968)

"Red Red Wine" is a song originally written, performed, and recorded by American singer Neil Diamond in 1967. It is included on Neil's second studio album, Just for You. The lyrics are sung from the perspective of a person who finds that drinking red wine is 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. A live version was released on Diamond's The Greatest Hits (1966–92) but the 1968 single version has never been issued on a vinyl album or CD.

The song was covered by several artists shortly after Diamond's recording was released. In 1968, the Dutch singer Peter Tetteroo (from the band Tee Set) had a hit with a cover of the song in Netherlands. Tony Tribe covered the song in 1969 in a reggae-influenced style. In 1983, UB40 recorded perhaps the best known version of the song, in a lighter reggae style. The UB40 version topped the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. Diamond later performed a UB40-inspired version of the song while on tour.

Chart performance

Chart (1969) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 62

UB40 version

"Red Red Wine"
Red Red Wine.jpg
Single by UB40
from the album Labour of Love
B-side "Sufferin'"
Released
  • 8 August 1983 (1983-08-08)
  • 1988–2000 (re-releases)
Format
Recorded 1982
Genre Reggae fusion
Length 5:20
Label
Songwriter(s) Neil Diamond
Producer(s)
UB40 singles chronology
"I've Got Mine"
(1983)
"Red Red Wine"
(1983)
"Please Don't Make Me Cry"
(1983)
"I've Got Mine"
(1983)
"Red Red Wine"
(1983–2000)
"Please Don't Make Me Cry"
(1983)

UB40 recorded their rendition for their album of cover versions, 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 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 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1983 and number 34 in the United States in March 1984 but not from the version that reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 a few months after being performed at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert in 1988. In September 2014, the Official Charts Company announced that sales in the UK had reached one million.[1]

Songwriter Neil Diamond has stated that it is one of his favorite covers of his songs.[2] Diamond frequently performs the song live using the UB40 reggae arrangement as opposed to the original version.

Charts

Chart (1983–2001) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 2
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 5
Canada (RPM)[5] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 12
Ireland (IRMA) 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[7] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[8] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[9] 10
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[10] 14
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[11] 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 1

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[14] Gold 5,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[15] Gold 5,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Gold 1,245,324[17]
United States (RIAA)[18] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Chart successions

Preceded by
"Give It Up" by KC & The Sunshine Band
UK number-one single
3 September 1983 – 17 September 1983 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club
Preceded by
"Love Bites" by Def Leppard
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
15 October 1988 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"A Groovy Kind of Love" by Phil Collins

Other cover songs

Swedish group Tom & Mick & Maniacs released their version of the song in 1967. This appears to be the first recorded version of the song.

Jimmy James and The Vagabonds released a cover version the same year as Diamond's version (1968), for the UK market. It charted at number thirty-six.

In 1968, singer Peter Tetteroo, of Dutch beat group Tee Set, released a cover version that reached number six on the Dutch top-40 chart.

Tony Tribe, a Jamaican singer, recorded a reggae-influenced version in 1969 which reached number forty-six on the UK Singles Chart,[19] this became Trojan Records first chart hit[20] and has been included in numerous reggae compilations since. The song was also covered in 1969 by singer Charles Mann.

In 1970, a remake by Vic Dana became a minor Billboard Hot 100 hit, peaking at number 72 and reached number 30 on the Adult Contemporary chart. In early 1972, singer Roy Drusky enjoyed a top 20 hit with his version, reaching number 17 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and number 16 on the Canada Country chart.

Mexican ballad band Los Rehenes recorded a Spanish version named Vino Tinto (lit. Red Wine).

The Hobos included the song on their 2004 double studio 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 two 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.

In March 2017, Andrew Bogut posted the UB40 version on his Twitter[21] to signify he was joining the Cleveland Cavaliers – the team's colours include the darkish red "wine".

References

  1. ^ Moss, Liv (22 September 2014). "Now That's What I Call A Million tracklisting revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Singer/songwriter Neil Diamond here, AMA!". Reddit. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 316. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and 19 June 1988.
  4. ^ "Austriancharts.at – UB40 – Red Red Wine" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  5. ^ "RPM Weekly February 18, 1984". 
  6. ^ "Musicline.de – UB40 Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  7. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 39, 1983". 
  8. ^ "Charts.org.nz – UB40 – Red Red Wine". Top 40 Singles.
  9. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". VG-lista.
  10. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". Singles Top 100.
  11. ^ "Swisscharts.com – UB40 – Red Red Wine". Swiss Singles Chart.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "UB40 Chart History (Hot 100)" Billboard.
  14. ^ "Canadian single certifications – UB40". Music Canada. 
  15. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart – 20 November 1983". Recorded Music NZ. 
  16. ^ "British single certifications – UB40". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter UB40 in the search field and then press Enter.
  17. ^ Copsey, Rob (19 September 2017). "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Official Charts Company. 
  18. ^ "American single certifications – UB40". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  19. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 565. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  20. ^ http://www.trojanrecords.com/the-trojan-records-story
  21. ^ Andrew Bogut [@andrewbogut] (1 March 2017). (Tweet) https://twitter.com/andrewbogut/status/836738332306595840 – via Twitter.  Missing or empty |title= (help)