STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 170151-26808 LABEL: Sony Music FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Cliff Richard's love affair with rock 'n' roll goes back some 60 years, of course, to the very start of his career and this 2016 release sees the Peter Pan of pop revisit his roots with a collection of covers of old classics from that golden era. The album's main selling point comes right at the very start with a surgically-inserted Elvis Presley dueting with Sir Cliff on "Blue Suede Shoes" via the wonders of modern technology before the man they used to called the British Elvis tackles a number of well-known songs by the likes of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and the aforementioned Presley. For the most part, Cliff sticks to the script by giving faithful and literal facsimiles of much-covered stalwarts like "Roll Over Beethoven", "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Sweet Little Sixteen" and, whilst his versions are delivered with joy, enthusiasm and love, perhaps selecting some of his beloved heroes' deeper cuts or adapting said songs would have given more depth to this release. Backed by a rocking little band headed up by producer Steve Mandile, Cliff delivers a great vocal performance throughout and his ability to take on both Phil and Don's parts in the Everlys' "Cathy's Clown" showcases the man's sizeable and often overlooked vocal talents. Sir Cliff defies the album's titular mission statement by needlessly including easy listening fluff like Andy Williams' "Butterfly" and Bobby Darin's "Multiplication" but a surprisingly edgy version of John Lee Hooker's "Dimples" (with a guitar cameo from Peter Frampton) and a new rendition of Cliff's first number one "Move It" helps make this an enjoyable and engaging labour of love from the eternally youthful one.
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