Cliff Richard

Cliff in the 80's

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The fourth volume in Disky's ambitious five-CD Cliff Richard anthology, 1980s might well be the weakest of them all. It is certainly the most unmemorable, as Richard succumbed to the same musical curse that benighted almost every other veteran superstar of the day. He let the producers call the shots. In terms of both success and self-determination, Richard was now untouchable, a part of the rock & roll furniture, and absolutely independent from the hit singles and critical acclaim that once defined a viable artiste. So the decade saw him flit from seething rock & roll revivals to mawkish Christmas ballads, from inspired duets to ill-informed power ballads, and while this collection does trim away the more unbearable (or maybe just overplayed) excesses, it is still a reminder of just how unpleasant mainstream music in the 1980s sounded, and how anonymous even the most individual superstars became. Those drums…those keyboards…those hairstyles. The 1980s were a conveyor belt of sickly sound-alikes, and Cliff Richard rode it as willingly as every one of his peers. Thank goodness it only lasted ten years.

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