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Red Red Wine: Neil Diamond's Classic Song and UB40 Hit!

Updated on September 15, 2018

Red Red Wine: Drowning Our Sorrows Over Lost Love!

``Red Red Wine, Go to My Head.''

It's the opening lines of a song that has been covered many times, by many artists, because so many of us have reached for a bottle to help us forget a lost love.

Neil Diamond wrote the song and first recorded it in 1967. It became a mainstay of country singers in the 1970s, and a huge No. 1 hit for the British band UB40 in the 1980s. Here are some of the versions that have been recorded.

The intro image is from here.

Neil Diamond's 1967 Version

From His Second Album ''Just For You''

Neil Diamond wrote ``Red Red Wine'' and first recorded it for his second album, ``Just For You,'' in 1967. The song reached No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100 after being released as a single in April 1968.

His version is more an acoustic ballad. I like the more upbeat UB40 version better.

Neil Diamond Sings ``Red Red Wine''

UB40's Smash Reggae Hit

With a New Verse by Terence Wilson

UB40 may not have been the first to record the song but it certainly had the biggest success with it, topping the charts in the U.K. in 1983 with its reggae version of the song. A later version released in 1988 reached No. 1 in the United States.

Amazingly, UB40 members are on record as saying they were unfamiliar with Neil Diamond's original version, and didn't even realize he had written the song! Instead, they knew ``Red Red Wine'' because it had been covered in 1969 by Timothy Tribe with a reggae feel.

UB40 member Terence Wilson added a verse to the song that starts ``Red red wine you make me feel so fine, You keep me rocking all of the time,'' and it is this extended version that reached No. 1 in the U.S. in 1988.

UB40's Original Version of ``Red Red Wine''

Have You Ever?

``Red Red Wine'' is so popular because the feeling is so universal -- I think many people have wanted to drown their memories of a lost love and ease their aching heart. I know I have at times.

Have You Ever Turned to Red Wine to Ease The Pain of a Lost Love?

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More Versions of ``Red Red Wine''

Jimmy James, Tony Tribe and Charlie Mann

Jimmy James and the Vagabonds were the first to cover ``Red Red Wine,'' reaching No. 36 on the U.K. charts in 1968. The following year Tony Tribe released a reggae-influenced version, which charted No. 46

The song was provided minor hits for other artists, with Vic Dana's 1970 version reaching No. 74 on the charts and Roy Drusky hitting No. 17 on the country chart in 1972.

Following are videos of these covers, as well as a few more by singers who have sung ``Red Red Wine''

Jimmy James and the Vagabonds Sing ``Red Red Wine''

Tony Tribe's Version of ``Red Red Wine'' - The first reggae-influenced version!

Charlie Mann's Swamp Pop Version of ``Red Red Wine''

Roy Drusky's Country Version of ``Red Red Wine''

Johnny Duncan's Version of ``Red Red Wine.''

Dutch Singer Peter Tetteroo's Version of ``Red Red Wine''

UB40 or Neil Diamond? Or Maybe Vic Dana? Tony Tribe?

Which version of ``Red Red Wine'' is Your Favorite?

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We hope you liked this tour of the many versions that artists of sung of ``Red Red Wine'' over the years.

Now it's your turn! Let us know what you think of the song, this article or anything related to ``Red Red Wine.''

Thanks for visiting!


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