Cliff Richard

Lost & Found (From the Archives)

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With a career reaching back 50 years, it should come as no surprise that Cliff Richard's archive is bristling with unreleased material; indeed, the 1991 publication of Peter Lewry and Nigel Goodall's Complete Recording Sessions book alerted fans and collectors to a treasure trove of tracks that subsequent releases have only scratched the surface of. This set takes a somewhat bigger bite out of the collection, as it rounds up no less than 18 previously unreleased recordings, cut between 1965 (a soaring version of "Deep Purple") and 1977 (the oddly titled "Mobile Alabama School Leaving Hullabaloo"), plus three similarly unavailable alternate takes, of the singles "All My Love," "The Day I Met Marie," and "Honky Tonk Angel." It's a scattershot compilation, of course; the listener does occasionally wonder precisely what criteria were employed to select the songs here, and not every performance leaves you wondering why it was ever left in the vault. But enough of Lost and Found stands strong enough to suggest that somebody's ears were not working well on the day that these songs were consigned to the shelf, with Richard's rendition of "The Letter" in particular demanding attention. A clutch of songs recorded during his mid-'70s country phase, too, are impressive, and there's also a great take on "I (Who Have Nothing)" to remind us just how dramatic he could sound when the material demanded. The one major caveat that surrounds this album is, anybody who bought the 50th anniversary box set on the strength of its quotient of rarities and unreleased material is probably feeling a little sore right now. This disc rounds up a lot of that box's most stellar discoveries.

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