STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 101268-17455 LABEL: Columbia FORMAT: 12 inch vinyl Album RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
This 1967 vinyl album reminds us that after Cliff recorded "Move It", the first genuine British rock'n'roll single in 1958, it wasn't long before he was softening his sound to become a mainstream middle-of-the-roader as far as his albums went, though one who continued with a plethora of hit singles. In '66 Cliff hit the singles charts four times including the poptastic "In The Country" and after announcing his conversion to Christianity at a Billy Graham rally, put out this, his debut gospel album. All these years later, it does sound more light entertainment than anything else but then there wasn't really a history of contemporary Christian music expression in this country and the style and content is closer to the gospel records of Elvis (who'd released his first gospel set in 1960) than church worship music of the time. It's packed with respectful versions of American hymns like "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" and "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" and some jaunty gospel material "Go Where I Send Thee" and the title cut. Cliff's development of a parallel career of gospel and mainstream concerts meant that his faith always found an expression in his career but it wasn't until 'Small Corners' in 1978 that he managed to find a way of producing gospel music that was as good in quality as his pop music. 'Good News' is a fascinating piece of Christian music history even if the music hasn't stood up too well.
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