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 single had two B-sides, being a part of the "maxi single" series so popular at the time. One track featured Hank alone - "BOOGALOO". The other one was "LEAVE MY WOMAN ALONE", which was a Ray Charles cover, and critics at the time felt that this was a more robust and raw song than the A-side. I quite like both, unsurprisingly.

    Robert Porter:
    • Running Time: 2:57
    • Record Date: October 10, 1968
    • Record Location: Abbey Road, London
    • Written By: Ray Charles
    • Produced By: Norrie Paramor
    • Engineered By: Peter Vince
    • Performed By: Cliff Richard (vocals), The Norrie Paramor Orchestra (orchestra and all other instruments)

     
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  2. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper Well-Known Member

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    Southampton UK
    I like this song, a nice easy listening catchy song. Thanks for all info as always.
     
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  3. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    I also like it - it´s one of those singles that are quintessential Cliff to me. (Again, I might have overplayed "BEST OF CLIFF, VOL. 2" in the 70s and 80s, but I did grow to love it. A lot.) I find this songlife-affirming, even though the lyrics point at some real problems that have only grown bigger since then. I would LOVE to hear Cliff do some of these songs live now. Don´t think it´s going to happen, though, and I do see that he prefers to play the hits. There is a nice selection to choose from. :agree:
     
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  4. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    "LIVING IN HARMONY" was the first single released after the "BEST OF CLIFF, VOL. 2" selection.. It has an interesting back story. It´s one of those songs that was first recorded by Olivia Newton-John on her 1972 album "OLIVIA". Cliff felt her recording of the song was too fast, and he decided to release his own version. With a kazoo and everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, the single was his biggest hit since "GOODBYE SAM, HELLO SAMANTHA". It could perhaps have boosted the sales of "BEST OF CLIFF, VOL. 2" had it been included, but I feel that it´s quite a different beast from most of the songs on there.

    The single did rather well, reaching No. 12 in the UK charts, and No. 10 in Ireland. Opinions are divided about this early Alan Tarney/Trevor Spencer song. It´s the Marmite of Cliff singles - some people really like it, other´s wouldn´t play it if their lives depended upon it. I find myself in the middle. A lot of the time I find its unrelenting jauntiness a bit grating, whereas other days I just love it to bits. If you´re in the right mood, it´s perfect. I often find myself humming the tune to this song. I don´t know whether this is a good sign.

    I think this was Cliff´s first recording of an Alan Tarney/Trevor Spencer song, and certainly the first single.

    Robert Porter:
    "Well, Living In Harmony for me is the end of times, really, 'cause it was the last record that Norrie produced for me. And, funnily enough, it's strange how we found this one. I was listening to the Olivia Newton-John album that she'd made, the first album, I think it was. And I was listening to all the tracks. And I really liked all the tracks. But when I came to this tracks, called Living In Harmony by Olivia, I said to Peter Gormley, I said, 'It's a fabulous song, but I don't like the arrangement very much.' And I said, 'Somehow or another, it seems to me a commercial song but it doesn't sound commercial.' I mean, it sounds a bit tongue tied, but that's what I felt. And he said, 'Would you like to record it?' And I said, 'Yes, but I'd like to rehash it.' And we sat down and we really worked on a... We really worked on making it commercial. And in essence it was commercial, but I think somehow-- I don't know what they did to their session, but it was too fast and everything. And we really got down and I think we came up-- I mean, with all love, Olivia-- I think we did a better version of it. And managed to get a hit from it too. And again, you see, I think songs remain in my memory and the reasons why I use them a lot on stage is they're good to perform. And Living In Harmony's a really good song to perform."
    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. [...] July 1972: Cliff's 57th single is released, Living In Harmony/Empty Chairs. Reviewer Danny Holloway writes: 'Cliff is back with Norrie Paramor, who assisted his success in the beginning. The song is well-performed, although the subject matter is slightly trite. Cliff seems to force himself to keep up with the trends and I sometimes wonder why he bothers.'"
    Mike Read, Nigel Goodall & Peter Lewry (1995 - The Complete Chronicle)
    "I had two songs on Every Face Tells A Story. In fact, I'd had a hit back in 1972 with Cliff on a song called Living In Harmony."
    Alan Tarney (2008 May - The Bachelor Boy)

    • Running Time: 3:21
    • Record Date: July 4, 1972
    • Record Location: Abbey Road, London
    • Written By: Alan Tarney & Trevor Spencer
    • Arranged By: Nick Ingman
    • Produced By: Norrie Paramor
    • Engineered By: Unknown
    • Performed By: Cliff Richard (vocals), Nick Ingman (orchestra conductor), Nick Ingman Orchestra (all other instruments)
    Unfortunately, I could only find a live recording of this song. Sorry about that.

     
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  5. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    And here is Olivia´s original album version.

     
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  6. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
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    While the A-side of this 1972 single was catchy and jaunty, the B-side was a really classy song. The contrast makes this a worthy single. "EMPTY CHAIRS" was a cover of Don McClean´s album track from the album that included "AMERICAN PIE" and "VINCENT". It shares a link with the latter song, as the lyrics were inspired by one of Vincent Van Gogh´s paintings. (See below.) It´s a beautiful song, and even though I feel the original is stronger, Cliff´s cover of it is certainly a highloght of his early 70s recordings, and one he should be proud of.

    Robert Porter:
    "July 1972: Cliff's 57th single is released, Living In Harmony/Empty Chairs."
    Mike Read, Nigel Goodall & Peter Lewry (1995 - The Complete Chronicle)
    "...the Don McLean composition Empty Chairs which featured on the flip of the Top 20 hit Living In Harmony. The same year Don McLean, the New York based singer-songwriter, was enjoying success with this classic American Pie and its follow-up, Vincent, which has reached #2 and #1 respectively."
    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: 3:24
    • Record Date: April 28, 1972
    • Record Location: Abbey Road, London
    • Written By: Don McLean
    • Arranged By: Nick Ingman
    • Produced By: Norrie Paramor
    • Engineered By: Unknown
    • Performed By: Cliff Richard (vocals), John Farrar (backing vocals), Pat Farrar (backing vocals), Nick Ingman (orchestra conductor), Nick Ingman Orchestra (all other instruments)

    [​IMG]

     
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  7. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    And here is Don McLean´s immaculate original. Lovely song, and both versions are great, IMO.

     
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  8. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southampton UK
    Never realised this was a Tarney/Spencer song, great songwriters, as we all know!
     
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  9. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Yep, they were. I can´t recommend their Tarney/Spencer Band albums enough - many of the songs here ended up as album tracks on Cliff, Barbara Dickson or Leo Sayer albums. ("ANYTHING I CAN DO", "A HEART WILL BREAK TONIGHT", "IT´S REALLY YOU", "CAN´T GET BY WITHOUT YOU" and others.)

    I can imagine "LIVING IN HARMONY" would have sounded quite differently had it been recorded eight years later. Maybe something along the lines of "OH NO, DON´T LET GO" or "WIRED FOR SOUND". Who knows?

    NB! I may be offline a few days now. My computer broke down yesterday, and so did I! :mad:
     
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  10. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Norway
    My computer has pulled itself together - I´ll do the same in a couple of days.

    Just thought I´d let you all know that an artist with strong Cliff connections have seen all of his three main albums released with bonus tracks. And it is the latter fact that some of you might find interesting.

    The artist in question is B.A. Robertson, who co-wrote many of Cliff´s best songs during his peak years. On the expanded releases of his three main albums, you find the original versions of "FALLIN´ IN LUV", "SCI-FI" and live versions of both "LANGUAGE OF LOVE" and "HOT SHOT". There is also a track on the "R&BA" album that features Cliff on backing vocals. It seems more like a duet to me. The singer is a bit of an acquired, quirky taste, but there is a fierce intelligence and an original sense of humour behind all the tomfoolery. And, adding insult to injury, most of the songs are pretty good. Especially if you like silly humour. As I do.

    Here are the albums:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    A pity he never recorded studio versions of some of his best songs - "CITIES MAY FALL", "LANGUAGE OF LOVE", "HOT SHOT", "WIRED FOR SOUND" - Yes, he wrote the lyrics. So if you like those loudspeakers and Cliff on roller skates... :laugh:

    EDIT: A little correction: No, he never recorded studio versions of the songs I mentioned, but on a 2004 live album he recorded these songs:

    1 Wired For Sound
    2 Saint-Saens (Medley)
    3 All The Light I Need
    4 Bang Bang
    5 Silent Running
    6 We Have A Dream
    7 Carrie
    8 To Be Or Not To Be
    9 The Living Years
    10 Kool In The Kaftan
    11 Now & Then
    12 Asleep With A Stranger

    The album is called "I DIDN´T MEAN TO, I JUST DID". It doesn´t seem to be among the re-releases, but I´ll do some more digging.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  11. Anthony Holland

    Anthony Holland Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cheshire
    If you watch on youtube the recent upload of 'WE DON'T TALK ANYMORE' from the Old Royal Naval College on 1st July, I'm thinking that this is fairly obvious miming. Not what I'd want from a live concert. Watch at 1.28, then more obviously at around 3.00 when Cliff doesn't manage to finish a 'twirl' before the vocals begin again. I think I'd rather have a live concert, imperfections and all...
     
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  12. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
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    I agree totally. Warts and all. That´s one of the things that make a live performance exciting.
     
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  13. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southampton UK
    Hi All,

    Yes, well spotted, especially the 3 mins one.
    I was lucky enough to see Cliff at Stansted and at Scarborough on this tour, best tickets ever, 3rd row and 4th row.
    It had been mentioned in other forums about suspicions of Cliff miming to some of the songs, so as I was close I was trying to observe closely if that was the case, but in my eyes it was very difficult to tell.
    At Scarborough I was slightly to the right of the stage, and had a good view of JJ James, Cliffs sound stage man for many years.
    But could see nothing obvious, not sure what I would have seen though!
    At the end of every song he spoke into a mike, which I guess was going to Cliff's earpiece telling him what the next song was.
    I know several years ago he mimed to a "lost" track from the 70s, the title escapes me at present, and of course he said he was miming to "I Just Don't Have The Heart".
    About 10 years ago, a work colleague of mines partner was in a professional pro-rock band, not famous but made a living touring mainly Europe and selling CDs. I was talking to him one day and he was telling me that it was a well known fact that in the business that Cliff did mime to some songs when doing live shows. I rubbished it completely at the time, but do wonder now.
    Anyway, I must say I did enjoy the shows I saw, and would have no hesitation in going again.

    Tim
     
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  14. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
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    Sorry about being absent for a long time. I will be back with the 2008 releases soon, but I have to vent a little bit. Not a good sign, I suppose... :shake:

    I have spent some time watching the first 22 series of the pop quiz "NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS". I generally love the anarchic elements of the show, even though I have to admit that a lot of it is pretty puerile and downright childish. Cliff is sometimes the butt of their jokes - fair enough, I guess. I don´t mind a bit of Cliff-ribbing - it´s part of the game. And certain aspects of Cliff´s behaviour are strange - wanting to have his part of the "UTTERLY, UTTERLY LIVE" Comic Relief video removed because The Young Ones were a bit blue in their humour. (I´m not really a fan of their humour either, but I accept that there´s a place for that kind of humour as well. Even if it does make me long for the gentle sophistication of the "Carry Ons".)

    However, in one of the shows in the 22nd series, the subject of Cliff withdrawing - well, not promoting is more correct - the 1975 "Honky Tonk Angel" single is part of the quiz. Simon Amstell tries - jokingly - to explain Cliff to a bewildered American pop singer as "Britain´s Elvis". The audience laughs, and Simon then follows up with: "Don´t you wish you had Cliff instead of Elvis?" Repulsed, Phill Jupitus states: "I wish he was dead." (Not even using the hypothetical conjunctive...)

    Now, I love Phill and his sometimes brash sense of humour, but I think this is going a bit too far.

    There, I have vented. I´ll be back with more positive musings. :wave:
     
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  15. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
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    Before we move on to the rest of the "RARE B-SIDES" part of the 2008 box set, I just realised I have forgotten one of the singles from the "BEST OF CLIFF, VOL. 2" compilation. We have discussed it along the way, so I thought I had covered it. Brace yourself, Stephen - you´re not going to like this.

    The single "I´LL LOVE YOU FOREVER TODAY" was co-written by Cliff and Jim Collier, for the film "TWO A PENNY", a film which starred the former and was directed by the latter. Clear enough? As you´ll see below, some reviewers agree with our own StephenB that this was the nadir of Cliff singles. Perhaps not surprisingly, I disagree. I do see where Stephen is coming from, but there are some aspects of the song that I think works very well.

    First off, I should mention that I have never seen the film "TWO A PENNY", and I don´t really want to. I somehow think the film won´t appeal to me - partly because of the subject matter, and partly because I have fear Cliff may not have been the ideal actor for this kind of movie. I like his earlier, silly films - "THE YOUNG ONES" and "SUMMER HOLIDAY" are fun, but not what you might call serious or heavy movies. This one is, I suppose, and I suppose I´ll end up watching it at some point, but I do have the soundtrack album, and I do like it. Now and then.

    In many ways, the soundtrack to "TWO A PENNY" has a lot in common with anouther soundtrack, released five years later. And I am not talking about the initial letter T. "TAKE ME HIGH" is one of my favourite Cliff albums. It has quite a few good songs, and some unusual/unwanted ones. I tend to like the whole album, but I do see the point that some of you made, that it would have been better without some of the silly songs - "BRUMBURGER DUET", for one - and the instrumentals. I don´t necessarily agree with this view, but I agree that it would have made a much more commercial album. Yet there is something about this ode to squareness that I enjoy and love.

    It´s the same with "TWO A PENNY". There are some great pop songs buried under what is Cliff´s production values at its squarest. I mean, take Cliff´s version of "TWIST AND SHOUT". Then compare it to The Beatles and their raucous version of the song... I´m not a big fan of The Beatles, but their version is pure rock´n´roll, whereas Cliff´s version is pure German oompa oompa schläger music. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it goes some to explain why Cliff has become a laughing stock in certain circles. You can´t deny that Cliff´s version is as stale, safe and square as they come, whereas The Beatles´ version has energy to spare.

    And yet, I kind of like Cliff doing it his way. Is it the best version of the song? Very far from it, but it´s a genuine Cliff approach to the song, and I enjoy him singing it.

    Back to the single. I understand why some might find the song boring, but I think it´s one of hos underrated singles. (And, prepare yourself, Stephen - I have even included it on several "BEST OF" type CD-Rs that I have made.)

    So, what is it that I like about the song? Both this and "QUESTIONS" finds Cliff at his most reflective. That´s sometimes a no-no about Cliff-written songs, but I think these lyrics are honest and well-written. The question of whether you´ll be able to love someone forever is an interesting one, and unusual for a Cliff song, even more a single. We are more used to the kind of sentiments found in"MISS YOU NIGHTS", "DREAMIN´", "ALL MY LOVE" etc. - this is different. It´s not the pain of unrequited love or the pleas of "I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU". (All great songs, of course.) No, this is Cliff posing as a teenager who is very honest. All he can guarantee is that he´ll love this person forever a lot right now. No one can promise more, nor should we. That is my take on the lyrics, and they always rang true to me.

    The music is fairly repetitive and doesn´t really go anywhere. (Hmm.. I realise I have used that phrase when describing many of the ballads from this period. Perhaps not a coincidence.) But the elegant use of the orchestra provides an attractive backing to which one can dream and float away, and Cliff´s touch is very gentle on this song. Predictably, I love it.

    The world in general did not. They were more in tune, if that´s the right expression, with Stephen. The single reached No. 27 in the UK charts, and was not even included on the "BEST OF CLIFF, VOL. 1" compilation. (It was replaced by its B-side.) It crawled to No. 67 in Australia.

    So, not a huge hit, then, but a song that I happily play quite often. And enjoy it every time.

    Robert Porter:
    The mono and stereo recordings are the same take and edit, but different mixes.
    "Actually, I co-wrote songs for [the Two A Penny film]. There was a song called Questions which I wrote with the help of the director, Jim Collier. And also a song called I'll Love You Forever Today."
    Cliff Richard (1974 - The Music And Life Of Cliff Richard collection)

    "June 21, 1968: Cliff's 42nd single, I'll Love You Forever Today/Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon is released. The 'A' side is featured in his film Two A Penny. June 22, 1968: In Disc magazine, Penny Valentine reviews Cliff's new single, I'll Love You Forever Today: '...probably the most boring song Cliff's ever recorded. It's a shame really, because with his nice inoffensive way of singing, he has usually managed to lift even the most trivial of songs to a slightly higher commercial plane. But it would take a coal-heaver to do anything with this one-- and he's certainly not that.'"
    Mike Read, Nigel Goodall & Peter Lewry (1995 - The Complete Chronicle)

    "The only single [from Two A Penny], I'll Love You Forever Today, fared better [than the album] reaching number 27."
    Author Unknown (August 1996 - liner notes for Cliff Richard At The Movies 1959-1974)

    "I'll Love You Forever Today was issued as a single in June 1968 [and managed] to climb into the lower regions of the top thirty."
    Peter Lewry & Nigel Goodall (August 22, 2005 - liner notes for Take Me High remaster album)

    "Released in June 1968 the [I'll Love You Forever Today] single entered the chart on 26 June 1968 and reached #27 during a 6 week spell on the chart."
    Peter Lewry and Nigel Goodall (March 2007 - liner notes for Established 1958 Remaster CD)

    "And yet his more recent A-sides from the era, such as I'll Love You Forever Today, Marianne and It's All Over were totally ignored [for the Cliff Live At The Talk Of The Town concert performances]."
    Peter Lewry and Nigel Goodall (March 2007 - liner notes for Live At The Talk Of The Town Remaster CD)


    Running Time: 3:06
    Record Date: July 1, 1967
    Record Location: Abbey Road, London
    Written By: Cliff Richard & Jim Collier
    Arranged By: Mike Leander
    Produced By: Norrie Paramor
    Engineered By: Peter Vince
    Performed By: Cliff Richard (vocals), Mike Leander (orchestra conductor), The Mike Leander Orchestra (orchestra and all other instruments)


     
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  16. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
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    The B-side of the single above was Neil Diamnd´s "GIRL, YOU´LL BE A WOMAN SOON". A much celebrated song, either when performed by the writer or Urge Overkill, the song was an unusual choice for Cliff. The intense and rough vocals was rare for Cliff around this time, and the lyrics were quite daring for him. Slightly reminiscent of Gary Puckett´s "YOUNG GIRL", it´s rather an adult piece of writing, and not the worse for that reason. The song was included on the "BEST OF CLIFF" compilation, and has received a lot of praise over the years. And yes, it could easily have been a single A-side - it´s rather more interesting, commercially, than some of the other singles released at the time. (Not that I´d admit to agreeing with that. No, sirree...) :righton:

    Robert Porter:
    "June 21, 1968: Cliff's 42nd single, I'll Love You Forever Today/Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon is released. The 'A' side is featured in his film Two A Penny."
    Mike Read, Nigel Goodall & Peter Lewry (1995 - The Complete Chronicle)
    "Girl You'll be a Woman Soon (1968): Made famous by Urge Overkill on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, Cliff's uptempo, atmospheric take paints him – for once – as the non-conformist: 'I'd die for you girl and all they can say is He's not your kind.'"
    Bob Stanley (September 17, 2009 - The Guardian)

    Running Time: 3:03
    Record Date: February 11, 1968
    Record Location: Abbey Road, London
    Written By: Neil Diamond
    Arranged By: Mike Leander
    Produced By: Norrie Paramor
    Engineered By: Peter Vince
    Performed By: Cliff Richard (vocals), Mike Leander (orchestra conductor), The Mike Leander Orchestra (orchestra and all other instruments)

     
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  17. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    And here´s the original, by Neil Diamond.

     
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  18. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    A cover version from the film "PULP FICTION", performed by Urge Overkill. Another fine version.

     
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  19. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Hello again.:)

    Just wanted to congratulate you on this seemingly endless thread. I'm completely lost at this point, BTW.:D

    Have you ever thought of starting a Cliff appreciation thread? The one we're in now is proof that the interest is there.:) The good thing about appreciation threads is that you can veer all over the place and it doesn't really matter.:)

    I think it would be a good idea.
     
  20. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Norway
    Thank you, Bobby. You have been missed. :agree:

    I have never really considered it, but as this thread reached its natural conclusion - and then went on, I did think that the thread title is no longer valid. And it does veer all over the place, I´m afraid. I had a plan. Once.

    It might be a good idea. I´ll have plenty of time to consider it this summer. Hope you´ll look in now and then if i do go ahead with something like that. :righton:
     
  21. StephenB

    StephenB Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    Yet another example of a Cliff B-Side being much better than the A-Side and, in this case, a million times better at that!
     
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  22. Anthony Holland

    Anthony Holland Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cheshire
    I agree that the B side is far better than the A side, but I do think I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER TODAY has a certain charm, and I think it was the last time Cliff had an A side writing credit (possibly for good reason!)

    The album 'Two A Penny' is now the only one I've not managed to get hold of on CD. Sadly the non-album tracks never made it to CD when the soundtrack songs were tagged onto the last round of re-issues with 'Take Me High'. Luckily I do have the LP, so can enjoy tracks like Paul Simon's CLOUDY. Last time I checked, most of the tracks were not on youtube. I will have to get the '2 for 1' reissue some time I suppose.
     
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  23. StephenB

    StephenB Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    The non-soundtrack songs are, generally, pretty good I have to say and it is a shame they haven't been released on CD since 1992.
     
  24. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Norway
    I agree, but - as you know - I also like the B-side. Glad you chimed in - the thread´s been rather quiet for a while. I haven´t even been busy, just preoccupied.
     
  25. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
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    Nothing wrong with those twofers they started releasing in 1992. Some have complained about muffled sound on them, but I think they are better than most new CDs released in 2017. Too bad.

    It´s not Cliff´s strongest album, but I find much to like on it. I rarely play it, but I always enjoy it. "QUESTIONS" is a good song, and many of the others make up my daily "Cliff fix" on off days. :agree:
     
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