Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jarleboy, Sep 28, 2016.
I do hope you enjoyed "that" track. And I´m saying that with no hint of sarcasm.
Needless to say, I also have two versions of the CD single... "TWO WORLDS" is the better track, I think.
If we can multiply horrible by a million and get a 1, then "Two Worlds" is the most magnificent recording ever done! LOL. Not a bad song, really, but as a 'b' side or track 2, it far outshines the a side.
That´s one way of putting it... I don´t hate the A-side, but I kind of wish he never recorded it. "TWO WORLDS" is an OK song - not A-side material, but, then, neither was the actual A-side. In my very persoanl opinion - the charts proved me wrong as far as commercial potential was concerned. But I still don´t like it.
By way of a comment on my absence lately: 2018 will mark the 60th anniversary for the start of Cliff´s career. My plans are to start the third part of this thread, which will cover the years 1958 to around about 1972 or so, with his first releases, and then go on with the singles, EPs and albums that were released in that period.
First off, hopefully on January 1, will be the demos he made in the summer of 1958, "BREATHLESS" and "LAWDY MISS CLAWDY".
I wonder what great and wonderful releases we will see to mark this anniversary. I hope there´ll be something intersting. Mostly I´m hoping for the release of some hitherto unreleased tracks, and I wouldn´t mind seeing a reissue plan for the unreleased VHS concerts and compilations, like "THANK YOU VERY MUCH", "THE VIDEO CONNECTION", "TOGETHER" (with The Shadows) and "ROCK IN AUSTRALIA". I´m not holding my breath, though.
Maybe "Two Worlds" not quite A - side material I agree, but would have made an album track as I think not many people play the B - sides, especially when the A - side like this one, in my humble opinion is fab!
Don't think Cliff ever sung "Two Worlds" live, which was a shame, I do love the track.
The same goes for one of my fav Cliff Christmas songs, which only appeared as a B - side, "Another Christmas Day". He has sung it at Gospel events, with just him and his guitar, buts that's not the same as singing it with his full band.
I'm fairly sure it's not just over-familiarity, but, for me, several of my least favourite recordings from Cliff are some of his number one singles. I guess I'm just out of step with the general public... I mean, LIVING DOLL, I LOVE YOU, BACHELOR BOY, SUMMER HOLIDAY, CONGRATULATIONS, MISTLETOE AND WINE, MILLENNIUM PRAYER. I could live without all of them. Well, I might keep SUMMER HOLIDAY...
Agree about "TWO WORLDS" - perfect as an album track, side 2, track 2 in old money. I also agree about the fact that not many people discover the hidden gems stacked away as B-sides. Anyway, the CD single made the concept more or less redundant. Most CD singles were more like EPs than anything else.
I made a cassette compilation of many of Cliff´s forgotten B-sides in the mid-80s, naturally calling the cassette "BESIDES". I filled two volumes of B-sides, and I listened to this compilation more than most of his hits compilations. "MR. CLOUD", "(WOULDN´T YOU KNOW IT) GOT MYSELF A GIRL", "LOVE ON (SHINE ON)", "EMPTY CHAIRS", "A THOUSAND CONVERSATIONS" and many others were much closer to my heart than the overfamiliar hits. I am not saying they are better, but as I hadn´t already played them to death, they felt fresher to these ears.
For me, many of the songs you mention have outstayed their welcome. It´s not that I don´t like them, necessarily, but there are so many other songs I like better. Give me a choice of hearing "LIVING DOLL" again, or "MONDAY THRU FRIDAY"... No contest. The hits are OK for what they are, and some of them are better than others, but I feel finished with many of them. I know every twist and turn within the arrangements by now, and very often there´s not that much going on in the first place.
They´ll always have nostalgic value, and I´m not completely done with them, but my favourite Cliff tracks aren´t to be found on the big singles, as a rule. (Though I feel this changed somewhat with the material recorded between 1975 and 1995, the period I initially covered in this thread. The quality of the songs was substantially higher during these years, and that also applies to the hit singles. I don´t think I´ll ever tire of "CARRIE", "DREAMIN´" and "NEVER SAY DIE", for instance. And even though I have come somewhat immune to the charm of even "WE DON´T TALK ANYMORE", I still think it´s a great song. The Tarney songs are almost evergreens to me, strangely enough. There´s a certain quirk in their DNA that I enjoy, even though, to many, they sound as straight-ahead commercial pap.
In it's 6th (and Christmas) week, Cliff's 'Stronger Thru' The Years' drops just two places in the Chart to number 33.
(14 - 25 - 39 - 40 - 31 - 33)
It's kind of remarkable that these compilations keep on charting. How many times can these things be done? "75 at 75," wasn't that long ago. "And They Said It Wouldn't Last" was great and that should have been the final word on all these compilation discs. Two years from now it will be 30 years since The Event and a new compilation will probably be released called "The Best of Me" with the same contents as all the others.
I was hoping for a '30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Always Guaranteed' this year, packaging the original album, b-sides, maybe even some out-takes and unreleased tracks (if any exist) and a DVD of the Promotional videos and concert. I'd have bought that...
Mind you, I bought Stronger Thru The Years, for no other reason than completion sake.
I´ll trot out the word again: Impressive. This album should do Cliff´s reputation no harm at all.
Apart from "SUMMER HOLIDAY" and "WONDERFUL LIFE", I don´t think Cliff has done any Deluxe Editions of his albums. (Those two were promo releases, and not intended for general release at the time, and the B-sides tacked on to the remasters don´t really constitute Deluxe Editions.)
I would love to see what´s hidden in the vaults. You mention "ALWAYS GUARANTEED", Anthony, and that would be a logical place to start. Next year will be the 40th Anniversay of both "SMALL CORNERS" and "GREEN LIGHT", and I would LOVE to see expanded and remastered versions of those. (Hey, why not throw in a hi-rez version or two, either on SACD or Blu-ray. It´s not going to happen, but there´s no harm in "Dreaming" about it.) "GREEN LIGHT" in particular has a lot of unreleased tracks, and "SMALL CORNERS" had the jaunty, yet lyrically corny "YOU CAN´T GET TO HEAVEN (BY LIVING LIKE HELL)" attached to it.
Maybe we have to wait until 2026 to get the 50th anniversary Deluxe Edition of "I´M NEARLY FAMOUS", and who knows if Cliff will still be with us then. I hope so, of course, but you never know.
Well that sounds like a fantastic idea. I would love it.
"Small Corners", "Green Light" both re-released, with unreleased tracks added in, well written sleeve notes, with interviews with band members, producers etc, who were involved with the albums, can't wait.
Now I'm back on planet Earth, so to speak, it ain't ever going to happen.
In all fairness to Cliff, CRO, or whoever has the say, I don't think there is a market for it, apart from us here, and a few others.
At the end of the day, unfountantly releases have to make money, but what a lovely thought.
Unfortunately, you´re right. Cliff isn´t seen to have a real legacy, and I don´t think for a moment such Deluxe Editions would sell more than, ooh, to be generous, perhaps 5000 copies, worldwide. It wouldn´t make any sense commercially, and because Cliff isn´t seen as a "serious" artist, they would gain nothing from releasing them. We all realise that.
But I still want them.
There are limited editions out there by other artists. I just got a Sparks 45 for Black Friday that only had 850 copies pressed. CDs are even cheaper to produce than vinyl. I would really love to have an expanded release of "Green Light"...it was a real rock album and was my favorite by Cliff...still is.
It is one of his very best, indeed. They have already released "MOBILE ALABAMA HOME LEAVING HULLABALOO" from those sessions, and there are at least three more in the vaults, though no one has been able to confrim that they are all finished tracks. (Including Cliff´s vocal contribution.) But if those songs are half as good as the song mentioned... I want to hear them.
The physical CD is not expensive to make, but the licensing of unreleased tracks might be prohibitive. Also, I don´t think they´re at all interested in paying for any kind of remastering. (And hi-rez? Forget it! Three Cliff tracks have appeared on SACD: "THEME FOR A DREAM", "EVERGREEN TRE" and "OCEAN DEEP". Only "EVEGREEN TREE" was a revelation - but it was really great. The other two were OK, but not great improvements on the vinyl nor CD versions.
But I wish we would get some unreleased tracks - they brought out some for the 50th anniversary in 2008, so why not try some for the 60th?
Apparently there are no more unreleased tracks left to issue of great recording value according to Nigel and Peter. However, the case of Elvis and his wacky recorded edits/snippets were all released after he died. Not that I want that to happen but what is left in the vaults could make a great collectors set but nothing with commercial clout as what we have seen before. Perhaps the out of copyright guys can get on board?
Any way please all have a wonderful Christmas and a brilliant New Year from us. I'm off to dust off the track known as my favourite Christmas song by Cliff!
May I present "Little Town"..................
There are dozens of songs he did with the Settlers...probably not very exciting though.
Good choice for a Christmas single!
I don´t think there is a lot of material for tme to release from the vaults, but I thought the same when "MOBILE ALABAMA SCHOOL LEAVING HULLABALOO" was released in 2008. That was one of the four unreleased tracks from the "GREEN LIGHT" sessions, and I know there were quite a few from the "NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON´T" sessions. Whether they are worth releasing remains to be heard, but I would love to find out what kind of songs they are.
There are also lots of live performances that could be gathered on a - double? triple? quadruple? - CD set. His performances of "SONG FOR SARAH", "ALL BY MYSELF", "ROCK THAT DOESN´T ROLL" - which has already been released on a Larry Norman album - and many others have been commited to tape, and the same goes for a few unusual recordings from the "CLIFF IN CHICHESTER" concert from 1980. The recording quality on the DVD and TV special was atrocious, so I hope they could do remaster it, if that is possible.
I am aware that none of these things will take place, but I do we get something from the vaults. Personally, I would love the "CLIFF IN LONDON" concert that was televised. I watched the abridged version of this back in 1981, and I was introduced to "WHEN TWO WORLDS DRIFT APART" for the first time. That live recording is still my favourite version of my favourite Cliff songs, and it has great sentimantal value for me. So, that´s just me, then. He, he.
I wish all readers and contributors to this thread a merry Christmas and an exciting new year. Let´s hope 2018 will bring us many happy Cliff moments.
And other moments, of course. A man - or woman - cannot survive on Cliff alone.
I have read about these many times, but this is only the second track from this part of Cliff´s "ouvre" I hear. Not very promising. I would still like it if they released a 2CD set with all the tracks. Just for the record.
We were discussing the album "GREEN LIGHT", and, seeing that I have had some minor changes done to my stereo system, I have been playing old favourites aplenty lately, and found sonic qualities I never knew existed. (So far I have added a new subwoofer, and a new receiver/amplifier is just around the corner.) The sheer joy of hearing an already good system sounding even better has been very gratifying, to say the least.
One of the favourites I have been playing was the "GREEN LIGHT" album mentioned by Tim, Ron and myself on this page. I have always liked this album, and I have liked the production on it. Bruce Welch seemed to know what he was doing.
As I played the remastered version of the album, a couple of thoughts struck me.
* In general, I think the instruments sound good on the remaster. Some details stand out more than they did before - for instance the ABBA-like piano sound on "SHE´S A GIPSY". But there is a price to pay - Cliff´s main vocal sounds compressed and unnatural, especially on the title track. One of the reasons I buy Cliff albums is that I like the warmth in his voice, but this didn´t come through as clearly on the remaster, I think.
* I have mentioned earlier that I don´t really like the single "CAN´T TAKE THE HURT ANYMORE". I amended that to not liking the endless repetition of the chorus when I wrote about the album, and I am sorry, but I still feel that way about the song. What you can´t take away from it, however, is the perfect build-up to the chorus - that´s pure class! Also, the sound effects and production tricks really work on this track - it´s one ofthe best sounding songs of his.
* As with most of the Cliff remasters from the turn of the century or thereabouts, there are things that are improved and some that show deterioration in quality. In general, the remasters have more "oomph". You discover some details you never noticed before, and the sound is more "in your face". That can be a good thing. (For instance, I prefer the remastered "I´M NO HERO" and "WIRED FOR SOUND" to he original releases, though none of them sound as good as the vinyl did. And coming from me, that is surprising, as I prefer CDs to LPs.) But with "GREEN LIGHT", I think the vocals suffer. I also feel the whole sound is lacking in "air" - the music sounds massive at times, and doesn´t float as lightly as I had hoped. (NB! I am exaggerating a bit, of course. It´s not at all terrible to listen to, but there is room for improvement. I am not expecting a SACD release, even though a surround version of several of the tracks, including "CAN´T TAKE THE HURT ANYMORE", "EASE ALONG", "NEVER EVEN THOUGHT" and several other
of the songs would be beneficial to the music.
* As we all know, the biggest hit single from this album was the title track, peaking at No. 57 a long time after the album was released. I have listened to thsi album countless times, but it just dawned on me as it flew by my ears today: There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the particular songs. Some are better than others, but they´re all good songs. I stepped back and tried to analyze why the album wasn´t a big hit. And I think I have two theories after today´s listening session.
1. There too many slow and midtempo songs, and most of them are minor key and/or reflecting upon less than uplifiting themes. (The opening and closing tracks are exceptions, I think, and that is fitting.) "MOBILE ALABAMA SCHOOL LEAVING HULLABALOO" were recorded during the sessions for this album, and it would have been a breath of fresh air on the album.)
2. The sequencing of the songs could have been improved, I think. My suggestion would be this:
1. "GREEN LIGHT"
2. "PLEASE REMEMBER ME"
3. "START ALL OVER AGAIN"
4. "WHILE SHE´S YOUNG"
5. "UNDER LOCK AND KEY"
6. "EASE ALONG"
7. "FREE MY SOUL"
8. "COUNT ME OUT"
9. "SHE´S A GIPSY"
10. "NEVER EVEN THOUGHT"
11. "CAN´T TAKE THE HURT ANYMORE" (This wouldn´t work on vinyl - wouldn´t sound good so far in.)
These are just my suggestions after having listened to the album. I love most of these songs, and I would like them to shine. I don´t know if my suggested sequencing would meet with everyone´s approval, but it felt right to me - tonight, at least. And I do feel that the album would have benefitted from the presence of a couple of upbeat and uptempo songs. (If I had to remove two songs, I think "WHILE SHE´S YOUNG" and "SHE´S A GIPSY" are the most likely candidates, even though I know a lot of you love the latter. I don´t dislike any of them, but they seem a bit different from the other tracks on the album.)
So, which ones are the classics from this album? None of them were featured on the "STRONGER THRU THE YEARS" compilation, but as far as I am concerned, there are many gems here:
"GREEN LIGHT" - classic Alan Tarney, great production. (I have heard Cliff perform this slightly faster - in the "LIVE IN LONDON" concert from 1980. That sounded even better, I think, and it sounded as if it belonged on the "ROCK´N´ROLL JUVENILE" album. Coming from me, that´s high praise.)
"PLEASE REMEMBER ME" - non-charting cover of Dave Loggins´ song. Cliff´s version has so much more bite than the original. It´s the kind of song you need to hear several times before it "gets" to you, but I love it.
"EASE ALONG" - another great Alan Tarney/Trevor Spencer track.
"COUNT ME OUT" - wisely chosen as the B-side of "WE DON´T TALK ANYMORE". One of Cliff´s quirkiest and most atmospheric ballads. I consider it as strong as "CARRIE", with which it shares a few qualities. Just love it.
"NEVER EVEN THOUGHT" is a great cover of a great Murray Head song. If you haven´t listened to any of his recordings, please check him out. There´s more to him than "JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR" and "ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK".
I don´t love the choruses of "CAN´T TAKE THE HURT ANYMORE", but the intro and arrangement is great.
I like all the other songs, and even the B-sides are good. (Included on the remaster - "PLEASE DON´T TEASE", "NEEDING A FRIEND" and "IMAGINE LOVE".
Sorry about writing this apropos of nothing, but I just felt like sharing.
I never thought of the "Green Light" album as having too many ballads...they are superior songs. It was a sad day when he and Bruce stopped working together. A decade of drum machines and synths may have sounded more 'current' and achieved sales, but the price was the end of a serious revival of Cliff's music that began with the "31st of February Street."
I don´t think the album has too many ballads for me. I just think a couple more uptempo songs would have improved its chances commercially. I´m quite happy with the album as is.
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