Cliff Richard

Help It Along

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One more in that sorry procession of steadfastly middle-of-the-road albums that Cliff Richard was turning out during the late '60s and early '70s, Help It Along was indeed helped along by the title track, a modest U.K. Top 30 hit late in 1973. But hopes that it might capitalize on the Top Five success of "Power to All Our Friends" earlier in the year were quickly dashed. The problem does not lie with Richard himself. The voice is good, the emotions are apparent, the overall mood of the album is pleasant. But he remained so firmly out of step with absolutely anything else happening on the British scene at that time that even the token rockers sounded horribly out of date, while the rest of the album was simply empty noise. Even a fair stab at James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" failed to set the toes twitching, while remakes of "Silvery Rain" and "Jesus," which didn't do anything the first time around, just compounded the album's desperation. One more record like this and Richard might well have been finished.

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