Cliff Richard – Stronger (1989)

FrontCover1.jpgStronger is the twenty-sixth studio album by British singer Cliff Richard, released in October 1989. The album was produced by Alan Tarney and includes the singles “The Best of Me”(UK #2), “I Just Don’t Have the Heart” (UK #3), “Lean On You” (UK #17) and “Stronger Than That” (UK #14). The album reached Platinum,[3] peaking at number 7 in the UK Albums Chart. (by wikipedia)

The 30th anniversary of Cliff Richard’s entry into the music industry was marked in 1988, and the year fittingly found him experiencing one of his most successful spells ever. “Mistletoe and Ivory” became the biggest-selling single of the year, while the follow-up, the number two hit “The Best of Me,” established him as the first British artist to release 100 singles. The Private Collection 1979-1988, a compilation of a decade’s worth of hits, topped the chart, and Stronger, the first new album of his fourth decade, was to spin off no less than four hit singles, including “Just Don’t Have the Heart,” a dynamic collaboration with producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman. The album itself represents one of the most eclectic of Richard’s entire career, a fact signposted by his union with British reggae band Aswad for the wonderful “Share a Dream.”

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The aforementioned “The Best of Me” stands as one of the loveliest ballads he’d cut in years, and if Stronger has any serious shortcomings, it’s the reliance on machines, not men, for the drum sounds. Even at his weakest, Richard’s records had rarely lacked for emotion, but the robotic percussion saps the soul from far too much of the music. Indeed, if the selection of songs had been any weaker, Stronger might well have collapsed altogether. Instead, the likes of “Everybody Knows,” “Better Day,” and “Lean on You” conspire to raise it so high that many fans regard Stronger as one of the strongest of all Richard’s post-Shadows albums. (Dave Thompson)

Okay … But now … I need something that really rocks !

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Personnel:
John Clark (guitar)
Mark Griffiths (bass)
Paul Moessl (synthesizer on 17., drum programming)
Cliff Richard (vocals)
Alan Tarney (guitar, keyboards, drums)
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Keith Bessey (drum programming on 03., 08. + 13.)
Dave Bishop (saxophone)
Steve Laurie (guitar on 17.)
Alan Park (piano on 17.)
Henry Spinetti (drums on 17.)
Mike Stock (keyboards, drum programming on 07. + 14.)
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background vocals:
Keith Murrell – Mae McKenna – Mick Mullins – Miriam Stockley – Peter Howarth – Sonia Morgan
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Aswas (all instruments on 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Stronger Than That (Tarney) 4.42
02. Who’s In Love (Tarney) 4.32
03. The Best Of Me (Foster/Lubbock/Marx) 4.11
04. Clear Blue Skies (Cooke/Turner) 2.54
05. Lean On You (Tarney) 5.00
06. Keep Me Warm (Tarney) 4.26
07. I Just Don’t Have The Heart (Stock/Aitken/Waterman) 3.27
08. Joanna (Eaton) 3.53
09. Everybody Knows (Tarney) 3.47
10. Forever You Will Be Mine (Tarney) 4.22
11. Better Day (Tarney) 4.50
12. Share A Dream (Trott/Sweet/Osborne) 4.30
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13. Wide Open Space (Walmesley/Abbot) 4.38
14. I Just Don’t Have the Heart (instrumental version) (Stock/Aitken/Waterman) 4.01
15. Hey Mister (Tarney) 3.56
16. Lindsay Jane (Richard) 4.44
17. Marmaduke (Spencer/Tarney) 5.28

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Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Me And My Shadows (1960)

FrontCover1Me and My Shadows is the third album by singer Cliff Richard. Recorded with The Shadows, it was released in October 1960 and reached No. 2 in the UK album chart.

No singles were to be officially released in the UK from the album. A pairing of album tracks “Gee Whiz It’s You” and “I Cannot Find a True Love” was pressed as an export single intended for continental Europe but high demand in the UK meant it charted in March 1961 and eventually reached #4 in the UK singles chart. Although very popular for an import, this single broke what would have been a run of 15 consecutive top 3 singles in the UK, although it helped give Richard a record 16 back to back top 5 hits.

This album is the 2nd of only 5 albums [Cliff, Me & my Shadows, 21 Today, Finders Keepers, Established 1958] recorded by Richard with exclusive backing by the Shadows during the 1960s. All the others the backing duties are shared between The Shadows and the Norrie Paramor Orchestra.

This album was then re-marketed on the EP format into 3 EPs: Me and my Shadows no.1 (mono) Me and my Shadows no.2 (mono) Me and my Shadows no.3 (mono). (by wikipedia)

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This is Cliff and the Shadows-The beat combo long before the Beatles. Just listen to “I’m gonna get you”, “I cannot find a true love”, “She’s gone”, “Choppin’n’changin'”, “Gee whiz it’s you”, “Lamp of love”…excellent. The Ian Samwell songs keep the album fresh even now. Some songs are pure early 60’s pop-“Evergreen tree”, “You’re just the one to do it”, “We have it made” and “Working after school” show the sultry ballad style. ‘Gee whiz’ was a No.4 hit and in 1960 every schoolboy wanted to be Cliff, every schoolgirl wanted to be with Cliff. You constantly had to comb that Cliff quiff and those winkle-pickers hurt, but when Cliff went into “Choppin’n’changin'” it all came into place. Elvis who? Never heard of him…this was CLIFF-MANIA. Cliff was King. This album represents those fabulous early years before the movies. Cliff was it! (by a anazon customer) … and I agree !

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Personnel:
Jet Harris (bass)
Hank B. Marvin (guitar)
Tony Meehan (drums)
Cliff Richard (vocals)
Bruce Welch (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. I’m Gonna Get You (Harris/Marvin/Samwell) 1.56
02. You and I (Welch/Marvin) 1.58
03. I Cannot Find A True Love” (Samwell) 2.41
04, Evergreen Tree (Schroeder/Gold) 2.44
05. She’s Gone (Marvin/Harris) 2.38
06. Left Out Again (Chester) 3.03
07. You’re Just The One To Do It (Blackwell) 2.25
10. Lamp Of Love (Tepper/Bennett) 1.51
11. Choppin’ ‘n’ Changin’ (ISamwell) 2.31
12. We Have It Made (Sugar/Hall) 2.15
13. Tell Me (Chester/Welch) 2.49
14. Gee Whiz It’s You (Chester/Marvin) 2.03
15. I Love You So (Samwell/Harris/Richard) 3.08
16. I’m Willing To Learn (Wise/Wiseman) 2.01
17. I Don’t Know (Samwell) 2.11
18. Working After School (Abrams/Medley) 2.0

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