This is an outstanding collection of gorgeous songs from one of Britain’s greatest and most enduring singers. It really is a must for any serious music fan’s cd collection. Each and every one of these songs was a UK top 15 and some do not understand Cliff Richard’s success, but if you listen to this cd it is a real voyage of discovery and it’s easy to see why he is so loved.
Right from the simplicity of the earliest recordings, like “Move It”, “Living Doll”, “Travellin Light”, “The Next Time” it is clear that he has a voice that stands out a mile for its clarity, purity, richness and incredible beauty, (brilliantly exposed by the great musicianship of the Shadows and the production of Norrie Paramor) and as you progress to the second and third cds, it becomes apparent just how diversely and how brilliantly he has used this wonderful gift.
He possesses this rare, chameleon-like ability to just flit between vocal styles, moods, emotions and genres so perfectly, and simply not enough people know it. He sings in rock style, pop, r&b, ballads, soul, gospel, even pop/classical crossover. As the seventies progressed, Cliff’s vocal range and stylistic diversity expanded and the funky, sensual, soulful sound of “Devil Woman” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore” emerge, as well as the haunting purity and close harmonies of “Miss You Nights”.
As the early eighties become the nineties and 2000s, Cliff’s sound progresses from the aching passion of “Dreamin’” to the soaring beauty of “From A Distance”, “Peace In Our Time” and “I Still Believe In You”, becoming arguably ever more intense, and his flawless velvet vocals lend themselves equally well to the dance floor, disco smoochies “Stronger Than That”, “Just Don’t Have The Heart” and the classy Barry-Gibb penned and produced “I Cannot Give You My Love” from 2004.
It’s quite incredible, given that Cliff started out in 1958, how contemporary his late nineties and 2000s music sounds. I rate the husky, sensuous “Can’t Keep This Feelin In” as the best modern R&B song I’ve ever heard - just imagine a sweeter, more loving James Blunt - and his 2004 hit “Something Is Goin On” perfectly exemplifies the current smooth R&B/soul sound and is a luscious, silky sound that fans of artists like Will Young, Lemar, and Daniel Bedingfield would be likely to love. And I must agree with the previous reviewer who said that some of Cliff’s best work is from the last 15 years, sadly criminally underrated and underexposed on the radio.
Admittedly, there are some songs from the Eurovision era of the late 60s and early 70s that are not as strong (I agree with a previous reviewer here also) but it was the time when Cliff was discovering his Christian faith and had other priorities, but since working with former Shadow Bruce Welch on the outstanding album “I’m Nearly Famous” in 1976, he’s literally scarcely recorded a duff song in my opinion.
It’s not enough really to buy this, Cliff is a great album artist and has literally scores of stunning albums. His voice also sounds even more amazing live on stage, which is one of the main reasons behind his massive following. But this is a gorgeous collection and an absolute must for anyone who doesn’t know Cliff’s music well.