ARTIST: Cliff Richard
TITLE: 40 Golden Greats
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: #1 UK
SINGLES: All of ‘em, and most all were huge in the UK
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Well, only three tracks here were Top 40 hits in the US. You tell me.
LINEUP: Cliff Richard and the Shadows and others.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Without Cliff Richard, the UK rock scene would be a totally different world.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Cliff Richard could rock, croon, swing, sing country, and do almost anything he was asked to do in the 50’s and 60’s, and his success in the UK and then Europe was incredible. He had 34 Top 10 UK hits in the 60’s and almost as many in Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway.
His backing band, the Shadows, was almost as famous, and for an early rock-and-roll combo they’re one of the best. But they didn’t always use them, as many of tracks (such as his second US hit “It’s All in the Game”) used an orchestra instead of rock.
The fact that he never made real inroads in the US until the mid-70’s is a mystery, but that’s what happened. As the 60’s moved on, he fell behind the times, and went more into a vocal pop direction (and recorded Eurovision songs). So this 40 track extravaganza (ending in 1977) may be a bit much for casual fans, but any rock fan can find several nuggets for your collection
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This collection doesn’t have a few of his bigger late 70’s and early 80’s hits, and those are found on their respective albums.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Isn’t 40 enough?
GRADE B: It’s a lot to bite off, and there’s schmaltz and treacle, but he’s an important and historical rock figure.