Saturday, 9 July 2011

Cliff Richard & The Shadows

There are two Cliff Richard’s - there’s the solo one, who has made some bizarre records involving brass bands, reciting the Lord’s Prayer, and hanging out with Stock Aitken And Waterman. And then there’s the Cliff Richard who was lead singer in Cliff Richard And The Shadows, whose place in UK popular music history is monumentally important, and who recorded some miraculous records in the decade they were together.

It is all too easy to dismiss Cliff as a singer who is astonishingly uncool, and certainly, much of what he recorded on his own after 1969 is fairly poor. But to dismiss the material he recorded between 58 and 68, most of it with The Shads, is a big mistake - “Move It”, “Please Don’t Tease”, “Nine Times Out Of Ten”, “Don’t Talk To Him”, “On The Beach” - stone cold classics every one. So, what should you be buying with Cliff’s name on?

The Original LP's

There are several reasons as to why the Cliff And The Shadows releases have been somewhat lost in the midsts of time. These are:
A) most of the albums they recorded were credited to Cliff only
B) The Shads were a band in their own right, and so you could say, they were merely backing Cliff as a bit of a side project
C) several albums from the 58-68 period featured no Shadows at all at various points during the proceedings
D) post 69, every Cliff best of has merged the “Shadows” era-material in with all the fluff that followed.

Although they both had individual careers, the Shadows (or The Drifters as they were then known) backed Cliff on his very first 45, “Move It”. Indeed, every 45 Cliff released up until the middle of 64 featured The Shads on the A-side, B-side, or both. “Don’t Forget To Catch Me”, released at the tail end of 1968, was the final single upon which The Shads backed Cliff, and although a new line up played some shows with Cliff in early 69, Cliff officially went solo at the start of that year. Which is where things went downhill.

Let’s look at the albums Cliff and The Shads made “together”. They released 13 “normal” albums, ending in 1968 with “Established 1958”. The 1959 debut, “Cliff”, was actually a live album - so “Move It” appeared but in totally different form to the original 45. Several tracks, strangely, featured The Shads doing a solo turn minus Cliff, so even though it’s called “Cliff”, he is on less songs than Hank Marvin! The first LP to actually be credited to both Cliff And The Shads was 1960’s “Me And My Shadows”, regarded as something of a rock and roll classic. 1966’s “Kinda Latin” featured no appearances by The Shads at all, and even though most of the others were Shadows-less at times, they are all good enough albums to listen to in their entirety.

Like a lot of popstars at the time, Cliff had a go at being a movie star, and ended up recording soundtrack albums to tie in with most of his celluloid efforts. “The Young Ones”, “Summer Holiday”, “Wonderful Life” and “Finders Keepers” all featured tracks that were Cliff-less, but tend to get thought of as Cliff And The Shadows albums, whilst 1968’s “Two A Penny” was effectively a Cliff solo effort. There were also soundtrack albums for the stage shows “Aladdin” and “Cinderella”.

There were two other releases before the end in 68 - 1967’s “Good News” was Cliff’s first gospel album, and was the sign of things to come, whilst 1968’s Shads-less “Cliff In Japan” was a live album, and a fun one at that - despite Hank and Co being absent, the album consisted of tracks originally taped with the group, even though this album saw Cliff being backed by an orchestra instead.

In terms of CD’s, these albums have all been reissued - but in various forms. In 2001/2002, a series of 2-on-1 CD’s were issued, housing pairs of albums on one disc (easy to do because of the relatively slight running times of the albums). Of the 13 “normal” albums, 10 were paired up on five CD releases - “Cliff”/”Cliff Sings” (EMI 534 6002), “Me And My Shadows”/”Listen To Cliff” (EMI 534 7002), “21 Today”/”32 Minutes & 17 Seconds” (EMI 534 7012), “Cliff Richard”/”Don’t Stop Me Now” (EMI 541 0842) and “When In Spain”/”Kinda Latin” (EMI 541 0862). “Love Is Forever” was paired with the religious release “Good News” (EMI 541 0852), whilst “When In Rome” failed to get a reissue. It had been included on an earlier 2-on-1 release, when it was issued on CD in 1992 with “Cliff Richard” (EMI 0777 780429 2). “Established 1958” was also neglected, but was reissued on CD with bonus tracks in 2007 (EMI 381 9682).

“Live In Japan” also appeared in expanded form on CD in 2007 (EMI 381 9622). Most of the soundtracks were also reissued in expanded form during the Noughties, with “Summer Holiday” surfacing in 2003 (EMI 543 9952), and “The Young Ones” (EMI 477 7232), “Wonderful Life” (EMI 477 7182) and “Finders Keepers” (EMI 477 7162) turning up in 2005. The other soundtrack releases remain more obscure - “Two A Penny” was paired with “Cliff In Japan” on CD in 1992 (EMI 0777 780441 2), “Cinderella” was paired with “Finders Keepers” (EMI 0777 780435 2) and “Aladdin” with “Wonderful Life” (EMI 0777 780426 2), but have not appeared on CD again since.

The Singles and Subsequent Compilations

Ignoring the EP’s for a moment, Cliff And The Shads released some 44 singles - some on 78 - between 58 and 68. Most of them consisted of exclusive material, such as the aforementioned “Move It”.

1963’s “Cliff’s Hit Album” (Columbia 33SX 1512) was the first best-of to include “Move It” along with other non-album tracks, but picked only “certain” hits, so the likes of “High Class Baby” and other stand alone singles were not included. 1965’s “More Hits” (Columbia 33SX 1737) followed a similar path, but curiously included a different mix of “Bachelor Boy”. 1969’s “Best Of Cliff” (Columbia SX 6343) featured material from no later than 68, and thus became the final “proper” Cliff And The Shadows LP, until the 1970’s reunion - despite it being released after Cliff‘s first post-Shads solo releases.

In terms of finding the hits on CD, you could do worse than get hold of “40 Golden Greats” (EMI CDS 792 4252), originally a double vinyl release from 1977. 31 of the 40 songs date from the 58-68 period (“Congratulations” is the final song from that period, “Move It” of course is the first), but it is still missing the likes of “High Class Baby”. The first Cliff CD release to include some of the old hits was actually 1981’s “Love Songs” (CDP 748 0492), which included “A Voice In The Wilderness”, “Visions” and “I Could Easily Fall” amongst others, along with a chunk of post-68 stuff.

If money is no object, then 2002’s “Singles Collection” (EMI 7243 537 5512) will do the job of including - more or less - one or both sides of each 45. It includes a lot of the A-sides and B-sides from the 58-68 period, but 25 non-album tracks are missing from this period, whilst all 4 b-sides from 1968 - “High N Dry”, “Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon”, “Mr Nice” and “What’s More I Don’t Need Her” - are also absent. However, several other Cliff collections mop up these missing songs.

Those last 4 b-sides listed above are on the expanded “Established 1958” CD, whilst the “Rare B-Sides 1963-1989” CD (EMI 216 5942) includes “Say You’re Mine”, “True True Loving”, “Just Another Guy”, “Just A Little Bit Too Late”, “Somebody Loses”, “I Get The Feeling”, “Our Story Book” and “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”. The “Rare EP Tracks 1961-1991” CD (EMI 216 5932) includes “I Wonder”, “Watch What You Do With My Baby”, “I’m Afraid To Go Home”, “The Night”, “Your Eyes Tell On You” and “Look Before You Love”. The title obviously indicated that they had appeared on Cliff EP’s, but all of them also turned up as regular B-sides of selected 45’s.

1987’s “Rock On With Cliff Richard” (Music For Pleasure MFP 6005) includes “My Feet Hit The Ground”, “Apron Strings”, a different mix of “Willie And The Hand Jive”, “D In Love” and “Mumbling Mosie”. The 1997 box set “The Rock & Roll Years” (EMI 7243 857 8812) includes “Steady With You”, “Don’t Be Mad At Me”, “Where Is My Heart”, “Now’s The Time To Fall In Love” (a different mix), “Since I Lost You” and “Thinking Of Our Love”.

It is possible to get most, but maybe not all, of these tracks on other compilations - a situation helped somewhat by a flood of best of’s that have surfaced this year already. I think this is because copyright laws mean that once a song has turned 50 years old, any old Tom Dick or Harry can license the material, so there is now a load of material from ‘The Early Years’ on the market, with some slightly random track listings which nonetheless, between them, include a slab of A and B sides. Amongst these are Pegasus’s “That’s My Desire” (Pegasus PEGCD 722), which includes the likes of “My Feet Hit The Ground”, “Willie And The Hand Jive” and the stand alone A-side “A Voice In The Wilderness”, and Delta’s triple-CD “Move It” (Delta 60366), which throws in the likes of “Don’t Be Mad At Me”, “D In Love” and “Where Is My Heart”.

Some of the more interesting best-of’s not mentioned so far include EMI’s “The Early Years” (EMI 216 5932), a 2008 CD with unreleased songs/versions, including an astonishing alternate take of “Dynamite“, plus a stack of A and B-sides, whilst the aforementioned “Rock & Roll Years” Boxset spawned a single disc ‘best of’, (EMI 859 3092) full of 50‘s hits like “Move It“ and “Please Don‘t Tease“ along with more unreleased material/stereo EP mixes in 1997. At the tail end of the 90’s, EMI issued a series of CD’s devoted to specific decades, and the “1960’s” release (EMI 497 1332) was of note as it included material only pre-1969, so no dubious “post-Shads” recordings made the set. This release also included some obscure B-side and EP material. You might also want to track down 2010’s “The Rock And Roll Years” (Delta Go2CD 7026), a double CD which includes six of the seven tracks that were included on the 1958 Various Artists set “Oh Boy”, therefore pre-dating Cliff’s debut LP.

The EP's

Cliff And The Shads released so many EP’s before their demise, it’s ridiculous. But look a bit closer, and it’s not quite as exciting as it seems. Columbia made a habit of “repackaging” several LP’s across a number of EP’s, so you can - if you so wish - buy four EP’s instead of the “Cliff Sings” album, and still get all the songs. Indeed, huge chunks of the first four albums were later chucked onto no less than eleven EP’s.

The first ever EP was called “Serious Charge”. It was Cliff’s first film, but did not spawn a soundtrack album, only this four track EP. It’s notable for including the original version of “Living Doll”, a completely different version to the more famous single version. It was followed by two EP’s from the “Cliff” album, which were followed by the next EP of “new” material, “Expresso Bongo”, another movie tie in EP. There were then four EP’s from the “Cliff Sings” album, and then a greatest hits release called “Cliff’s Silver Discs”.

The final Cliff And The Shads EP was 1968’s “Congratulations” - although all six tracks on it were actually Shadows-less. For many years, a lot of the exclusive material that was spread across these releases remained lost on the original vinyl releases, but attempts have been made to put these rarities onto CD. However, even the releases that have been designed to include EP material have come up short, such as 1989’s “The EP Collection”, but (virtually) all of the tracks have made it onto CD across a mixture of subsequent releases. Again, the recent best of sets that have surfaced this year have made some material available, but we could really do with a box set of these EP’s to put the material together in one place, a la The Kinks EP Box Sets, especially as some of the CD's upon which this material exists have now been deleted.

The “essential “EP’s, are as follows:

Serious Charge (SEG 7895): Living Doll/No Turning Back/Mad About You/Chinchilla.
All tracks can be found on “As Good As It Gets” (Smith & Co SCCD 1193).

Expresso Bongo (SEG 7971): Love/A Voice In The Wilderness/The Shrine On The Second Floor/Bongo Blues.
Again, all tracks are on “As Good As It Gets”.

Dream (SEG 8119): Dream/All I Do Is Dream Of You/I’ll See You In My Dreams/When I Grow Too Old To Dream.
Tracks 2 and 4 are on “The EP Collection” (See For Miles SEECD 280), tracks 1 and 3 are on “Rare EP Tracks”.

Holiday Carnival (SEG 8246): Carnival/Moonlight Bay/Some Of These Days/For You For Me.
Tracks 1 and 2 are on “The EP Collection”, tracks 3 and 4 on “Rare EP Tracks”.

Love Songs (SEG 8272): I’m In The Mood For Love/Secret Love/Love Letters/I Only Have Eyes For You.
Track 1 is on “Rare EP Tracks”. The rest are on “The EP Collection”.

When In France (SEG 8290): La Mer/Boum/J’Attendrai/C’est Si Bon.
Tracks 1 and 2 are on “1960’s”, track 3 is on “The EP Collection”.

Cliff’s Palladium Successess (SEG 8320): I’m The Lonely One/Watch What You Do With My Baby/Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps/Frenesi.
Track 1 is on “20 Original Greats” (EMI CDP 792 4212), the rest on “Rare EP Tracks”

A Forever Kind Of Love (SEG 8347): A Forever Kind Of Love/It’s Wonderful To Be Young/Constantly/True True Loving.
Track 1 is on “The EP Collection”, an alternate version of track 2 is on the expanded “The Young Ones”. Track 3 is on “40 Golden Greats”, track 4 as mentioned earlier is on “Rare B Sides”.

Why Don’t They Understand (SEG 8384): Why Don’t They Understand/Where The Four Winds Blow/The Twelfth Of Never/I’m Afraid To Go Home.
Tracks 1 and 4 are on “Rare EP Tracks”. Track 2 is on “The EP Collection”, track 3 on “Love Songs”.

Look Into My Eyes Maria (SEG 8405): Look Into My Eyes Maria/Where Is Your Heart/Maria/If I Gave My Heart To You.
“Where Is Your Heart” is on “Rare EP Tracks.” The rest are on “The EP Collection”.

Take Four (SEG 8450): Boom Boom/My Heart Is An Open Book/Lies & Kisses/Sweet And Gentle.
Tracks 3 and 4 are on “Rare EP Tracks”. Tracks 1 and 2 are on “The EP Collection”.

Thunderbirds Are Go (SEG 8510): Shooting Star/Lady Penelope/Thunderbirds Theme/Zero X Theme.
Track 1 is on “Cliff Richard At The Movies” (EMI 7243 852 790), the rest being Shadows recordings are only really available CD-wise on the “Thunderbirds Are Go” soundtrack CD fom 1992 (EMI 0777 799996 2).

La La La La La (SEG 8517): La La La La La/Solitary Man/Things We Said Today/Never Knew What Love Could Do.
Tracks 1 and 4 are on “Rare EP Tracks”, the others on “The EP Collection”.

Carol Singers (SEG 8533): God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/In The Bleak Midwinter/Unto Us A Boy Is Born/While Shepherds Watched/Little Town Of Bethlehem.
All tracks turned up on the 1988 LP/Cassette “Carols” (Word WRD 3034).

Congratulations (SEG 8540): Congratulations/Wonderful World/Do You Remember/High N Dry/The Sound Of The Candy Man’s Trumpet/Little Rag Doll.
“Do You Remember” is on “Wonderful Life”, “Congratulations” on “40 Golden Greats”, the rest seem to be possibly vinyl only in the UK. A French double CD called “Congratulations To Cliff” includes all six songs (Magic 393 0630).

The Reunions

Although Cliff And The Shads have reformed 'on stage' on a number of occasions, they have only reunited twice on a permanent basis.

In 1978, they regrouped for a series of shows at The London Palladium, material from one show was then compiled onto a live album the following year, “Thank You Very Much”. Cliff, by this point, had had some big hits as a solo act, and the setlist saw the likes of “Miss You Nights” and “Devil Woman” slotted in alongside material from the Shads (“Apache”) and the whole group (“The Young Ones”, “Move It”, etc).

In 2009, they regrouped again for a final tour. This time, to coincide, they went into the studio to re-record some of the old hits for an album called “Reunited”, which also included three new songs never before taped by the band. The album was issued in a box set, which came with a free three track EP with three more re-recordings, and a jigsaw! Bizarre as it may seem, Cliff repeated this novelty with the “Bold As Brass” solo album he recorded once the reunion was over. One of the three new songs, “Singing The Blues”, was issued as a single, which included three more re-recordings across the two formats available.

The reunion shows were a glorious blast from the past - no messing around with solo stuff from the 70's this time around. The setlists were inspired - for every megahit (“Travelling Light“), there was a not-so megahit (“Visions“), whilst Hank & Co got to do a few Cliff-less turns, including the likes of “Savage” which I saw them play at the O2, where I thought it was jawdroppingly incredible. A live DVD from the tour was issued in 2010, and that was it. Cliff And The Shadows, heartbreakingly, were no more.


Aside from the important releases detailed above, the list below consists of the original vinyl/CD releases for each of the live/studio sets issued by Cliff & The Shadows. Many of the albums were issued in both mono or stereo, and are listed where appropriate, but I have only listed the basic catalogue number. It is worth pointing out that in the late 1990’s, a handful of the albums issued in mono appeared on CD in mono, with the CD padded out with bonus stereo mixes (even for albums not originally issued in stereo), but all of these releases have now been deleted. How different the mono and stereo mixes sound, I honestly don’t know.

Similarly, several of the singles are old enough to have been issued in the days of the 78, and these are marked up. Again, only the basic catalogue number (of the 45) is listed. Any post 68 releases that included both pre-68 and post-68 material (ie. there’s an early 1991 single included outtakes from 1967) are not listed, on the basis that this material has subsequently been made available on Cliff compilations (such as the “Rare EP” release).


Cliff (Mono LP, Columbia 33SX 1147)
Cliff Sings (Mono LP, Columbia 33SX 1192)
Me And My Shadows (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1261)
Listen To Cliff (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1320)
21 Today (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1368)
The Young Ones (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1384)
32 Minutes And 17 Seconds (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1431)
Summer Holiday (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1472)
When In Spain (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1541)
Wonderful Life (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1628)
Aladdin (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1676)
Cliff Richard (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1709)
When In Rome (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1762)
Love Is Forever (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia 33SX 1769)
Kinda Latin (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia SX 6039)
Finders Keepers (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia SX 6079)
Cinderella (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia SX 6103)
Don’t Stop Me Now (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia SX 6133)
Good News (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia SX 6167)
Cliff In Japan (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia SX 6244)
Two A Penny (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia SX 6262)
Established 1958 (Mono/Stereo LP, Columbia SX 6282)
Thank You Very Much (LP, EMI EMTV 15)
Live At The ABC (CD, in standard and “deluxe” editions, EMI 7243 537342 2)
Reunited (2xCD, EMI 687 8752, includes free “I’m The Lonely One” CD EP)


Move It/Schoolboy Crush (78 or 7”, Columbia DB 4178)
High Class Baby/My Feet Hit The Ground (78 or 7”, Columbia DB 4203)
Livin Lovin Doll/Steady With You (78 or 7”, Columbia DB 4249)
Mean Streak/Never Mind (78 or 7”, Columbia DB 4290)
Living Doll/Apron Strings (78 or 7”, Columbia DB 4306)
Travellin Light/Dynamite (78 or 7”, Columbia DB 4351)
A Voice In The Wilderness/Don’t Be Mad At Me (78 or 7”, Columbia DB 4398)
Fall In Love With You/Willie & The Hand Jive (7”, Columbia DB 4431)
Please Don’t Tease/Where Is My Heart (7”, Columbia DB 4479)
Nine Times Out Of Ten/Thinking Of Our Love (7”, Columbia DB 4506)
D In Love/I Love You (7”, Columbia DB 4547)
Theme For A Dream/Mumbling Mosie (7”, Columbia DB 4593)
A Girl Like You/Now’s The Time To Fall In Love (7”, Columbia DB 4667)
When The Girl In Your Arms/Got A Funny Feeling (7”, Columbia DB 4716)
The Young Ones/We Say Yeah (7”, Columbia DB 4761)
Do You Want To Dance/I’m Looking Out The Window (7”, Columbia DB 4828)
It’ll Be Me/Since I Lost You (7”, Columbia DB 4886)
The Next Time/Bachelor Boy (7”, Columbia DB 4950)
Dancing Shoes/Summer Holiday (7”, Columbia DB 4977)
Lucky Lips/I Wonder (7”, Columbia DB 7034)
It’s All In The Game/Your Eyes Tell On You (7”, Columbia DB 7089)
Don’t Talk To Him/Say You’re Mine (7”, Columbia DB 7150)
I’m The Lonely One/Watch What You Do With My Baby (7”, Columbia DB 7203)
Constantly/True True Lovin (7”, Columbia DB 7272)
On The Beach/A Matter Of Moments (7”, Columbia DB 7305)
The Twelfth Of Never/I’m Afraid To Go Home (7”, Columbia DB 7372)
I Could Easily Fall/I’m In Love With You (7”, Columbia DB 7420)
This Was My Special Day/I’m Feeling Oh So Lovely (7”, Columbia DB 7435)
The Minute You’re Gone/Just Another Guy (7”, Columbia DB 7496)
On My Word/Just A Little Bit Too Late (7”, Columbia DB 7596)
The Time In Between/Look Before You Love (7”, Columbia DB 7660)
Wind Me Up/The Night (7”, Columbia DB 7745)
Blue Turns To Grey/Somebody Loses (7”, Columbia DB 7866)
Visions/What Would I Do (7”, Columbia DB 7968)
Time Drags By/La La La Song (7”, Columbia DB 8017)
Finders Keepers/In The Country (7”, Columbia DB 8094)
It’s All Over/Why Wasn’t I Born Rich (7”, Columbia DB 8150)
I’ll Come Runnin/I Get The Feeling (7”, Columbia DB 8210)
The Day I Met Marie/Our Story Book (7”, Columbia DB 8245)
All My Love/Sweet Little Jesus Boy (7”, Columbia DB 8293)
Congratulations/High N Dry (7”, Columbia DB 8376)
I’ll Love You Forever Today/Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon (7”, Columbia DB 8437)
Marianne/Mr Nice (7”, Columbia DB 8476)
Don’t Forget To Catch Me/What’s More I Don’t Need Her (7”, Columbia DB 8503)
Singing The Blues/A Voice In The Wilderness (2009) (CD, EMI 687 8852)
Singing The Blues/Dancing Shoes (2009)/We Say Yeah (2009) (7”, EMI 687 8877)


  1. A couple of errors regarding the "versions" on some of the EP's. "Living Doll" is the same version as the original UK 45, whilst "Do You Remember" on the "Congratulations" EP is a totally different song to the track of the same name on "Wonderful Life". "It's Wonderful To Be Young" is also on the "Rare EP Tracks" album, it was listed as an "alternate EP Version" as an earlier mix of the track was released on a US only album. A more in depth look at Cliff's EP's from this period is due in 2017.

  2. PS. Not mentioned in the discography is the 1970 release "Live at The Talk Of The Town", which was actually a document of a concert from mid 1968. It was reissued on CD in expanded form during the second half of the noughties, and includes the four rarities from the "Congratulations" EP as bonus tracks - "Little Rag Doll", "Candyman's Trumpet", "Do You Remember" (which is not the same as the "Wonderful Life" version, apologies) and "Wonderful World". Putting studio tracks onto a live album seems odd, but was obviously done on the basis of the recording date of the gig being roughly in line with the release date of this EP.