Cliff Richard

40 Years of Hits

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40 Years of Hits celebrated Cliff Richard's unprecedented longevity with 124 songs representing every hit single he had ever scored -- all crammed onto one single disc. Of course we don't get the full performance; rather, 40 Years of Hits rounds up half a minute or so of each song before it fades into its hit successor. Incredibly, he has scored a U.K. hit in all but two of those 40 years (1975 and 1978 are the sole exceptions), and 40 Years divides its contents up accordingly -- track one medleys 1958's hits, track two covers 1959's, and so on. It's not the best way in which to hear some of the most important records of the 1950s and 1960s, or some of the finest of the '70s and beyond. But it is an ingenious reminder of those accomplishments, and sitting through the entire disc is a dynamic reminder, too, of the sheer versatility which has ensured Richard's career has lasted so long. Plus, in the majority of instances you really don't need to hear the entire song anymore. Anyone who doesn't already have each of them permanently seared into their brainpan is either from another planet -- or the United States, in which case they only have themselves to blame.