Cliff Richard - Back from the Wilderness Singles and Albums 1975 - 1995

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jarleboy, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    The B-side of "SING A SONG OF FREEDOM" was one of those many B-sides taken from the Marvin, Welch & Farrar oeuvre and then covered by Cliff - and Olivia a few years later. Why not? It´s a lovely song. Written by Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch, it´s a quiet, lovely ballad. It has one thing in common with the B-side of the "MISS YOU NIGHTS" single, "LOVE ENOUGH": The sound on the recording is a bit muffled, as though the treble is missing. Never mind, it´s one of Cliff´s best B-sides ever. And he has quite a few good ones.

    Robert Porter:
    "October 30, 1971: Sing A Song Of Freedom/A Thousand Conversations is Cliff's 55th single."
    Mike Read, Nigel Goodall & Peter Lewry (1995 - The Complete Chronicle)
    "...Cliff's final single of the year [1971], Sing A Song Of Freedom was paired with the Hank Marvin/Bruce Welch composition A Thousand Conversations."
    Nigel Goodall & Peter Lewry (2008 - liner notes for Rare B-Sides 1963 - 1989 album in the ...And They Said It Wouldn't Last! {My 50 Years In Music} set)

    Running Time: 2:18
    Record Date: August 24, 1971
    Record Location: Abbey Road, London
    Written By: Hank Marvin & Bruce Welch
    Arranged By: Brian Bennett
    Produced By: Norrie Paramor
    Engineered By: Unknown
    Performed By: Cliff Richard (vocals), Brian Bennett (orchestra conductor), Brian Bennett Orchestra (orchestra and all other instruments)

     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  2. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Here´s the Marvin, Welch & Farrar version. It sounds like a Gordon Lightfoot song. Coming from me, that´s a huge compliment. Hank´s voice may not threaten Cliff or Gordon´s, but there´s an honesty to it that I like a lot. Lovely song.

     
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  3. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    And here´s the lovely Olivia´s version of the song, recorded for the 1976 album "DON´T STOP BELIEVIN´". That makes three good recordings of this song.

     
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  4. Anthony Holland

    Anthony Holland Forum Resident

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    Cheshire
    Now, I don't find SING A SONG OF FREEDOM bland, in fact I find it to be quite uplifting. And it certainly stands out amongst its neighbours on 'Best Of Cliff Vol. 2'. A worthy hit single. And the 'B' side A THOUSAND CONVERSATIONS is, as you say, a lovely ballad, whether by Cliff, Olivia, or by the first act I heard it by, Marvin, Welch and Farrar. Such a shame they didn't have any real success of their own.
     
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  5. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Norway
    Agree 100% about Marvin, Welch & Farrar - they deserved so much more success than they ever enjoyed. I find their music a lot more interesting than that of The Shadows. They were more about singer-songwriter types of songs, and that´s much more my thing than guitar instrumentals. (Though I don´t mind those, either.)

    When I used the word "bland" about "SING A SONG OF FREEDOM", I was thinking about the instrumentation on it. I like the song, I love the handclaps, and yes, I also find it uplifting. Like I said - I have been listening to it pretty often since we first got the album around 1973, and I´m still not tired of it.

    And what´s more to say about "A THOUSAND CONVERSATIONS"... I guess we could have more than a thousand conversations about that subject!

    Is this one of the best "double A-side" singles by Cliff ever? (It´s not technically a double A-side - this time I only mean a song that has equally good songs on both sides of the single.)
     
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  6. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    I forgot to mention this: Rumour has it that the ones doing the handclaps after Cliff goes: "So clap your hands together" were none other than Olivia Newton-John and Pat Carroll Farrar.

    Nice factoid, but I have no idea whether it´s true or not. I read it somewhere, but it sounds like it could be a made-up "fact".
     
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  7. Anthony Holland

    Anthony Holland Forum Resident

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    Cheshire
    I was having the very same thoughts on a 'best double A side'. It's certainly up there. Will need to look through the discography again to consider some others. TRAVELLIN LIGHT/DYNAMITE, WE DON'T TALK ANYMORE/COUNT ME OUT, and there's probably a good few others.
     
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  8. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Norway
    Lovely! Both those singles were on my mind when I wrote what I wrote! Very good examples. "I CAN´T ASK FOR ANYMORE THAN YOU/JUNIOR COWBOY" qualifies for me, as well as "GREEN LIGHT/IMAGINE LOVE". I´ll have to think about the others - I don´t think there are all that many.
     
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  9. Anthony Holland

    Anthony Holland Forum Resident

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    Cheshire
    There's quite a few where I think that the 'B' side is better than the 'A' side. One I'm particularly enjoying at present is I'M AFRAID TO GO HOME, the 'B' side to THE 12th OF NEVER. And 12th OF NEVER is OK in my book.
     
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  10. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
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    Good one! I love both, though "I´M AFRAID TO GO HOME" has the edge, slightly. Lovely, bluesy Cliff. Wish he´d done more of those. Imagine Cliff doing "SENSITIVE KIND" (J.J. Cale/John Mayall). Or some Chris Rea songs? They share more than initials...
     
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  11. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Norway
    I had this - or a similar - conversation with my record-dealing friend a decade ago, and he made a case for the "MISTLETOE & WINE"/"MARMADUKE" single. I didn´t have the heart to tell him that I love the B-side, but find the A-side too weak for being contemplated as a double A-side!
     
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  12. Anthony Holland

    Anthony Holland Forum Resident

    Location:
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    I had the same thoughts about the 'bluesiness' of I'M AFRAID TO GO HOME, and wondered how an album like that - recorded in the mid 60s would be looked back on now.
     
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  13. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Norway
    I suppose we could make one. Widen the net, and include r&b tracks like "I´M THE LONELY ONE"/"WATCH WHAT YOU DO WITH MY BABY", "I WANT YOU TO KNOW", "TIME DRAGS BY" etc. We could have an album´s worth.

    But seriously, I do wish Cliff had recorded more bluesy material. The contrast between raw backing and his sweet voice could have been wonderful.
     
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  14. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southampton UK
    I love trivia like this!
     
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  15. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southampton UK
    Agree about the B-side here, I love it, especially Cliff's version.
     
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  16. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Me, too. I just hope it´s true. I think it was Cliff himself who said it in an interview once upon a time. But I could be wrong. I often am...
     
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  17. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    It´s one of his best - his kind of rock´n´roll, which is not too hard, but still recognisable as exciting "rock´n´pop". This, along with "BORN TO ROCK´N´ROLL", is what Cliff does best, I think.

    A former pupil of mine, who is no longer with us, didn´t respond with the usual quizzical looks when I told him I was a Cliff fan. He was a very cool kid, very much in love with the "deep pop" of his day - for him, that mean Technotronics. (Remember "Pump Up the Jam"?) He surprised me by telling that his older sister had the "MISTLETOE & WINE" single, and that he loved the B-side. Kids never fail to surprise you...
     
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  18. W.B.

    W.B. Forum Resident

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    New York, NY, USA
    Or "Simple Song Of Freedom" that Bobby Darin had written for Tim Hardin . . .
     
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  19. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Oh yes, that would have been great. I usually love all the songs recorded by Tim Hardin, but for some reason I was never that impressed with "SIMPLE SONG OF FREEDOM". I like the song, but I don´t think Tim did. I think Cliff could have recorded a great version of this.

    And of the subject of the near-genius that is Tim Hardin: Cliff recorded some of his songs, and I love his versions of "HANG ON TO A DREAM" and "THE LADY CAME FROM BALTIMORE". Cliff´s voice is really suited to those kinds of songs. Let´s throw in some Gordon Lightfoot covers, as well - "IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND", "SUNDOWN", "EARLY MORNIN´RAIN", "FOR LOVIN´ ME" and the grandest of them all, "MINSTREL OF THE DAWN".
     
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  20. RonBaker

    RonBaker Forum Resident

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    Jackson, Ohio USA
    I really like "Marmaduke"
     
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  21. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Norway
    So do I. It´s a pity, in a way, that they stuck on a B-side. The thought behind it may have been to show that Cliff has many facets, and a popular single is perhaps a good place for an above-average song. Still, I do feel that the song could have been an A-side, just to show Cliff´s diversity. It couldn´t have been more different from the A-side...

    The ploy might have worked it "the old days", when people actually played the B-sides. Extra tracks on CD singles don´t get the same interest, I think.

    It would have been great to put together an album of Cliff "rockers" from the 80s and 90s. Call it "BORN TO ROCK´N´ROLL", and include, for instance: "BORN TO ROCK´N´ROLL", "MARMADUKE", "LEARNING HOW TO ROCK´N´ROLL", TINY PLANET", "NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON´T", LA GONAVE", "HEY MR. DJ", "THIEF IN THE NIGHT", "ROCK THAT DOESN´T ROLL", "LOVE STEALER", "NEVER SAY DIE (GIVE A LITTLE BIT MORE)", "HEART USER". Not all of these are rockers, but I think it would have been a good album.
     
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  22. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Norway
    "JESUS" was the newest track on "BEST OF CLIFF, VOL. 2", and it was one of those singles that passed by without really being noticed. I can see a couple of reasons: The lyrics - and the title - might put some people off. It´s also rather repetitive. As I have said on numerous occasions, I go against the stream on this one. There are several good Things about this single: 1. The arrangement. It sounds explosively live a 70s track, and the drums in particular are amazing. I don´t know what they did to achieve that sound, but I love it. 2. The a cappella bit towards the end, where they repeat the chorus with no instruments, and the bring all the instruments back. That´s the way to re-start the interest in the song. 3. The sequencing on "BEST OF CLIFF, VOL. 2" probably did a lot to help it - after it had run its course in the charts, peaking at No. 35 in the UK. (It didn´t chart anywhere else.) Coming after the heavy and serious - and great! - "THROW DOWN A LINE", "JESUS" becomes a very welcome light snack, starting with those great drums.

    I know most of you hate the song, and I accept that, of course. I just happen to have a soft spot for it, mainly for the three reasons stated above, and because of pure, unadulterated nostalgia. But that´s allowed, right? :shh:

    Robert Porter:
    "I didn't record a gospel song for a long time after I became a Christian. And Jesus was the first one I did. I was convinced that it would be wrong for me just to record a single-- religious sort of gospel content single-- just because I was a Christian. And I wanted very much to be sure that it was a good song. And I waited a long time for that particular song, Jesus. But when it came, I instantly knew I had to record that one. We spent a bit time on it too, of course, and did a, you know, did some phasing on it and gave it some effect. And I must say, I was really quite pleased with the recording. And I still use it on stage. "
    Cliff Richard (1974 - The Music And Life Of Cliff Richard collection)
    "1972 turned out to be another poor year chart-wise, with only Living In Harmony showing enough promise to chart, as the previous one Jesus failed to appeal to a mass audience. [...] February 26, 1972: Cliff's 56th single, Jesus/Mr. Cloud, is released. Reviewer Danny Holloway write: 'This is Cliff singing to his main man, asking him to come back to earth and save us from the scum and filth we live in. The song isn't exactly heavyweight, but that won't stop the mums and vicars from buying it.'"
    Mike Read, Nigel Goodall & Peter Lewry (1995 - The Complete Chronicle)
    "So it's strange that when, five years [after the release of Good News], in 1972, Cliff released his first religious single, it was to become his worst-selling record to date and didn't even make the Top 30. There was no apparent reason why Jesus should have failed, unless the subject matter was felt to be too overly religious."
    Peter Lewry and Nigel Goodall (March 2007 - liner notes for Help It Along Remaster CD)
    "His first attempt to put out a religious song as a single was a resounding flop. Jesus, released in 1972 was his worst-selling single to date and didn't even make the top 30."
    Steve Turner (2008 January - Cliff Richard - The Biography (revised edition))
    "Then in 1972 came a single called Jesus. Robin Turner of Heavenly Records remembers being a teenager, 'head full of all the usual prejudices that 18-year-olds have' and hearing the song. 'It absolutely floored me. The most amazing thing wasn't that I was having my mind blown by Cliff, it was that I was being mindblown by a Christian rock record that sounded like a pill-ravaged Primal Scream circa Movin' on Up.' To add to the fun, Jesus was written by somebody called Hamburger. [...] Jesus (1972): Almost comically OTT – 'Save us from the love of death' – the fuzzy, breakbeat arrangement and gospel back-ups render it, literally, glorious."
    Bob Stanley (September 17, 2009 - The Guardian)

    • Running Time: 4:15
    • Record Date: December 14, 1971
    • Record Location: Abbey Road, London
    • Written By: Pierre Darjean (words) & Michel Hamburger (music)
    • Arranged By: Nick Ingman
    • Produced By: Norrie Paramor production by Nick Ingman
    • Engineered By: Peter Vince
    • Performed By: Cliff Richard (vocals), Nick Ingman (orchestra conductor), Nick Ingman Orchestra (all other instruments)
    Sorry about the chrackles and pops...

     
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  23. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Norway
    The B-side of "JESUS" - Hm... That sounds a bit odd - was a nice ballad by those perennials Guy Fletcher and Douglas Flett, called "MR. CLOUD". It was included on the lovely compilation album "POWER TO ALL OUR FRIENDS" in 1973, and it´s one of those pleasant, mellow B-sides that Cliff recorded so many of in the 70s. Musically, it reminds me a little bit of "NOTHING LEFT FOR ME TO SAY", the 1977 B-side of "MY KINDA LIFE". If you´re in the right mood, this could be one of the great Cliff B-sides. Personally, it´s on my shortlist. I feel tempted to put together a CD-R of songs written by those two guys - "WITH THE EYES OF A CHILD", "MR. CLOUD", "POWER TO ALL OUR FRIENDS", DON´T TURN THE LIGHT OUT", "BABY, YOU´RE DYNAMITE", "SING A SONG OF FREEDOM" and many more. There wouldn´t be many rock´n´roll tracks, but it would make a great pop record.

    Robert Porter:
    "February 26, 1972: Cliff's 56th single, Jesus/Mr. Cloud, is released."
    Mike Read, Nigel Goodall & Peter Lewry (1995 - The Complete Chronicle)
    "Early 1972 saw the release of Jesus, which had Mr Cloud as its B-side."
    Nigel Goodall & Peter Lewry (2008 - liner notes for Rare B-Sides 1963 - 1989 album in the ...And They Said It Wouldn't Last! {My 50 Years In Music} set)

    • Running Time: 3:45
    • Record Date: April 28, 1971
    • Record Location: Abbey Road, London
    • Written By: Guy Fletcher & Doug Flett
    • Arranged By: Brian Bennett
    • Produced By: Norrie Paramor
    • Engineered By: Unknown
    • Performed By: Cliff Richard (vocals), Brian Bennett (orchestra conductor), Brian Bennett Orchestra (orchestra and all other instruments)
     
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  24. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Norway
    I think I´ll take a little detour from the "RARE B-sides" CD and include a couple of postings of the remaining songs from from the "BEST OF CLIFF, VOL. 2" album, and cover songs like "MARIANNE", "I´LL LOVE YOU FOREVER TODAY" - you´ve gotta look forward to that one, Stephen! You may skip it, of course... - "THE JOY OF LIVING" etc. Three of them were already covered when we did the "40 GOLDEN GREATS" - "THROW DOWN A LINE", "GOODBYE SAM, HELLO SAMANTHA" and, eh, "SING A SONG OF FREEDOM", which I now realise I served re-heated in this context. Sorry about repeating myself. For the first two, I don´t think I covered the B-sides. So I´ll do those.

    After those, we´ll return to "scheduled programming". I have enjoyed writing about these mostly underrated singles. Underrated singles from an underrated singer.
     
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  25. RonBaker

    RonBaker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jackson, Ohio USA
    I actually like the record "Jesus". The Good News album did not do anything for me at all. It just wasn't a rock album and sounded poorly recorded. "Two a Penny" was a pretty good album in spots. I think "Jesus" was a step toward "Small Corners". At least Cliff was doing a record that he knew wouldn't be commercially successful...he was taking chances.
     
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