Cliff Richard

Love... The Album

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AllMusic Review by Sharon Mawer

Almost at the same time as Radiohead were experimenting with the price of their album In Rainbows and making product available in digital formats before physical release, so along came the most uncool of artists in Cliff Richard, one of the last people associated with new media and technological advances, who together with EMI Records, stated that the price of the album Love...The Album would depend entirely on how many people pre-ordered it online. It was unclear how many albums would need to be sold in order to reduce the price, but obviously enough were pre-ordered as when the album was finally released, it had a price tag of £3.99, well under half the normal price that albums were being sold for in 2007. As for the album itself, the question was, was it a new album or was it a compilation of love songs put together for the Christmas market (and potentially Valentines Day 2008) since of the 15 tracks, no fewer than seven had already been hits for Cliff sometime during his very, very long career. These included his '60s songs "It's All in the Game," "Constantly," and "The Twelfth of Never" through to his '80s singles "True Love Ways," "Some People," and "The Best of Me," and the interpretations presented on Love...The Album were almost identical to the original hits. Five of the new tracks were covers of rather famous songs, "Waiting for a Girl Like You" (Foreigner), "If You're Not the One" (Daniel Bedingfield), "When I Need You" (Leo Sayer), "When You Say Nothing at All" (Ronan Keating), and "All Out of Love" (Air Supply), all of which were delivered in the usual "Cliff" way, ironing out all the feeling and emotions from the songs and presenting them in the most bland and MOR way possible. For most artists, that would sound like an insult, but for Cliff Richard, who simply revels in his role as elder statesman of the British music industry, it would be taken as a compliment, and since fans had been buying his product for nearly 50 years before this album was released, there would be no reason to assume that they wouldn't continue to buy his albums for another 50, long after Cliff would no longer be with us. Such a project as Love...The Album was obviously not as successful as Cliff and EMI would have hoped for; the album limped into the chart at number 13 in mid-November, and even at the reduced price, it vanished entirely as soon as Christmas passed.

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