This disc is the companion volume to the 40 Golden Greats double-CD set, containing the 22 Cliff Richard chart hits (many of which made the U.K. Top Ten, and a few the Top Five) from 1959-1972 that didn't make the cut on that earlier anthology. The quality of this collection is extraordinary, considering that these are not the hits for which Richard is known -- if these were all the chart successes that he'd enjoyed, Richard would still have been competitive with the likes of Billy Fury and Adam Faith at their respective bests. Some of the sounds are a little unusual -- the first half-dozen numbers are raw rockabilly, closer in spirit to "Move It" than, say, to "Living Doll," and the middle section of the collection, covering the early '60s, shows Richard moving in the direction of Tom Jones from that same period, with a slick pop/rock sound (still with some cool guitar flourishes over a pop beat). A lot of what's here rocks harder than certain of his big hits of the period, and shows off some worthwhile and relatively little-known sides of Richard's music, including songs with a soul influence ("Big Ship," a number eight U.K. hit in 1969) and a belated thrust into psychedelic territory ("The Joy of Living"). The sound is excellent and, while there's no real annotation to speak of, the insert includes the chart history of each song.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder