STYLE: Biography and Autobiography RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12894-BOK51 LABEL: Lion 0745951759 FORMAT: Book General book RELEASE DATE: 2005-04-22 RRP: £7.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
When I reviewed this back in 1993 on its original hardback publication I gave it 10 squares and said I doubted "whether anyone will get closer to the real Cliff Richard than Steve Turner." I am pleased to report that this new edition with revisions to the earlier material and five completely new chapters covering the most recent years of the pop superstar's life, make this observation even more true. Cliff is an enigma, who despite thousands of interviews has always somehow kept some questions unanswered and some parts of his life private. Turner - surely Britain's finest music writer - is to be congratulated for his exhaustive research to bring out as much information and insight as he has. The new chapters take us from 1998, bring us bang up to date and include plenty of fascinating info - the white label pressings of the "Can't Keep This Feeling In" remix getting huge urban radio play until the embarrassed DJs discovered the identity of the artist; the extraordinary tale of "Millennium Prayer"; the 25 Nashville songwriters summoned to write material for the 'Something's Going On' album. The book also courageously documents the sad failings of Bill Latham, Cliff's long time Christian mentor, who became besotted by first a secretary then a German fan. But for Cross Rhythms readers probably the most disappointing perspective brought out by the book is that today Cliff no longer shows the spiritual zeal that once made him an evangelical icon. We can but hope the best of Sir Cliff Richard, spiritually as well as musically, still lies ahead of him.
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Turner's sympathetic, sagacious and highly enjoyable book tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Cliff.
What is so good about this book is that none of the gossip is too touchy to dwell on. All the innuendos are confronted head on. There are a lot of fine anecdotes.
Cliff Richard is now in the sixth decade of his career and has sold more singles in Britain than any other artist and his durability as an entertainer is unparalleled. Steve Turner's book is a triumph. No other writer has investigated Cliff's life in such depth and detail and with such objectivity. What emerges from the research is a refreshingly new picture of one of the world's most popular musical artists.