Sir Cliff Richard OBE (born Harry Rodger Webb on 14 October 1940) is a British singer, musician, performer, actor and philanthropist. Richard has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. He has total sales of over 21 million singles in the United Kingdom and is the third-top-selling artist in UK Singles Chart history, behind the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
Richard was originally marketed as a rebellious rock and roll singer in the style of Elvis Presley and Little Richard. With his backing group, the Shadows, Richard dominated the British popular music scene in the pre-Beatles period of the late 1950s to early 1960s. His 1958 hit single “Move It” is often described as Britain’s first authentic rock and roll song; in the opinion of John Lennon of the Beatles, “before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music”. Increased focus on his Christianity and subsequent softening of his music led to a more middle-of-the-road image and he sometimes ventured into contemporary Christian music.
Over a career spanning 60 years, Richard has amassed many gold and platinum discs and awards, including two Ivor Novello Awards and three Brit Awards. More than 130 of his singles, albums and EPs have reached the UK Top 20, more than any other artist. Richard has had 67 UK top ten singles, the second highest total for an artist behind Elvis.
Richard holds the record (with Elvis) as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades (1950s–2000s). He has achieved 14 UK number-one singles, and is the only singer to have had a number-one single in the UK in five consecutive decades.
Richard has never achieved the same popularity in the United States despite eight US Top 40 singles, including the million-selling “Devil Woman” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore”. In Canada, he had a successful period in the early 1960s, and again in the late 1970s and early 1980s with some releases certified gold and platinum. He has remained a popular music, film, and television personality in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Northern Europe and Asia, and retains a following in other countries. Richard has been a resident in the United Kingdom for most of his life, though in 2010, he confirmed that he had become a citizen of Barbados. When not touring, he divides his time between Barbados and Portugal. In 2019, he relocated to the United States.
Wonderful Life is a soundtrack album by Cliff Richard with The Shadows to the 1964 film Wonderful Life. It is their third film soundtrack album and Richard’s eleventh album overall. The album reached number 2 in the UK Albums Chart, spending 8 weeks in the top 3 and 23 weeks on in the top 20, but was a marked decline from their previous soundtrack album Summer Holiday that had spent 14 weeks at number 1.
The album had two lead singles, the first being the instrumental “Theme for Young Lovers” from the Shadows, followed by “On the Beach” with Richard being backed by the Shadows.
Curiously, some of the recordings on the album are not those used on the actual film soundtrack, including the title song. The vocal takes are different and in some cases the orchestrations are also altered slightly. The recordings on the album are generally more polished than the soundtrack ones. The Shadows recording line-up included Brian Locking on bass guitar although by the time filming commenced John Rostill had replaced him.
The vinyl LP released on the Columbia label in the UK featured an inner sleeve with a storyline outlining the plot and the position of each of the musical numbers, illustrated with stills from the film.
Released in the US with the title Swingers Paradise the album did not chart. (by wikipedia)
Cliff Richard’s first post-Beatles movie, Swingers Paradise (Wonderful Life in the U.K.) maintained business as usual for the team — another fun-packed romp in foreign climes, it was again peppered with naggingly familiar songs, absurd and adorable in more or less equal doses, and accompanied, of course, by a soundtrack which squeezed every last ounce of effervescence from the plot. The formula was, by then, firmly entrenched. The Michael Sammes Singers twitter, Norrie Paramor produces, and the Associated British Studio Orchestra lavish everything beneath monstrous slabs of sweet strings and winds. Meanwhile, the Shadows rattle along as both an understated backing band and, when the mood hits, frontmen in their own right, throwing two characteristic guitar-led instrumentals into the brew — “Walkin'” and “Theme for Young Lovers.” Equally predictably, the hits flew from the album — “Theme for Young Lovers” reached number 12 in the U.K., Richard’s understatedly grand “On the Beach” made number seven, and both the title track and “Do You Remember” remained favorites long after the movie slipped off the screens. But that, unfortunately, is where comparisons with past soundtracks end. The others were fun because they were so ridiculously enjoyable. This one’s no fun at all. It is, however, contrived, condescending, and, for the most part, utterly overblown. It does have a few great moments — “Wonderful Life” comes over like something from a Broadway spectacular, all racing orchestration, broad backing vocals, and imbibed with the same timeless bravado which one normally associates with the classics of the ’40s and ’50s.
But that, too, is a damning confession. The hit singles aside, there is no denying the audience which Swingers Paradise was gunning for — the mums and dads (and beyond) who still had time for pop, but maybe found the latest crop of superstars a little too outlandish for their tastes. All that long hair, all those suggestive lyrics, all that hand-holding and yeah, yeah, yeah-ing. No such dangers here. The frothy over-excitement of “Home,” the stirring big-band buoyancy of “A Little Imagination,” the string-driven simplicity of “In the Stars,” everything harks back to an earlier age, a more innocent time. In fact, in the brutally blunt parlance of the time, Cliff Richard was by then so well-rounded an entertainer that he was turning positively square. And Swingers Paradise doesn’t swing quite so impressively after all. (by Dave Thompson)
Brian Bennett (drums)
Brian Locking (bass)
Hank Marvin (lead guitar)
Cliff Richard (vocals)
Bruce Welch (guitar)
The Associated British Studio Orchestra conducted by Stanley Black
The Norrie Paramor Strings
The Mike Sammes Singers
01. Cliff Richard & The A.B.S. Orchestra: Wonderful Life (Bennett/Welch) 2.28
02. Cliff Richard & The A.B.S. Orchestra: A Girl In Every Port (Myers/Cass) 2.49
03. The Shadows: Walkin’ (Marvin/Welch) 2.46
04. Cliff Richard & The A.B.S. Orchestra: A Little Imagination (Myers/Cass) 3.54
05. Cliff Richard & The A.B.S. Orchestra: Home (Myers/Cass) 3.31
06. Cliff Richard & The Shadows: On The Beach (Marvin/Richard/Welch) 2.29
07. Cliff Richard & The A.B.S. Orchestra: In The Stars (Myers/Cass) 4.00
08. Cliff Richard & The A.B.S. Orchestra: We Love A Movie (Myers/Cass) 3.22
09. Cliff Richard, The Shadows & The Norrie Paramor Strings: Do You Remember (Marvin/Welch) 2.50
10. Cliff Richard & The Shadows: What’ve I Gotta Do (Marvin/Welch) 2.33
11. The Shadows: Theme For Young Lovers (Welch) 2.40
12. Cliff Richard & The A.B.S. Orchestra: All Kinds Of People (Myers/Cass) 3.15
13. Cliff Richard, The Shadows & The Norrie Paramor Strings: A Matter Of Moments (Welch) 2.58
14. Cliff Richard & The A.B.S. Orchestra: Youth And Experience (Myers/Cass) 3.36
15. Cliff Richard & The Shadows: Look Don’t Touch (Ifield) 1.44
16. Cliff Richard, The Shadows & The Norrie Paramor Strings: Do You Remember (alternate take) (Marvin/Welch) 2.57
17. Cliff Richard, The Shadows & The Norrie Paramor Strings: Wonderful Life (Bennett/Welch) 2.22
18. Cliff Richard: Angel (Non-Album Import A-Side) (Tepper/Bennett) 2.19