Cliff Richard's third movie was his first to be simultaneously granted a full soundtrack album, as opposed to the four-track EPs which accompanied Serious Charge and Expresso Bongo. It was, however, also the first to be conceived as a full-fledged musical, and the soundtrack captures the sheer exuberance and joy of that concept. The story of a millionaire's pop-singing son who helps save a local youth club from closure, The Young Ones was promoted upon release as "the first film ever to have three hits in the Top 10" -- a stupendous claim which actually sold itself short. Richard's "When the Girl in Your Arms" and the million-selling title track were joined not only by the Shadows' "The Savage," but also by the inclusion of "Living Doll" in the vaudeville routine. Aside from the Shadows (appearing in both instrumental and vocal roles), Richard is also accompanied by singer Grazina Frame -- the pair duet on "Nothing Is Impossible," while Frame alone performs "No-One for Me But Nicky." The implausibly polite-sounding Michael Sammes Singers, too, throw their considerable weight behind several performances, including "Mambo" and the aforementioned vaudeville routine, an eight-minute medley of corny jokes and light-hearted music which, unfortunately (but hardly surprisingly) works a lot better on film than on record. As a listening experience, then, the highlights of The Young Ones tend to be those you would expect -- Richard's solo performances ("Got a Funny Feeling," "We Say Yeah," "Lessons in Love") and the hit singles. Nevertheless, it remains an historic release, as its title track became the first single by a British artist ever to enter the chart at number one (on January 11, 1962), and only the fourth overall. Another domestic record was set by the song's six-week tenure in the pole position, a record which Richard retained until the Shadows, of all people, snatched it for themselves. The soundtrack itself topped the chart for a further six weeks, and spent longer on the U.K. listings than any other Cliff Richard album before or since. And finally, The Young Ones itself remains one of the highest-grossing homegrown music films in British cinema history. Just don't expect the album to be as much fun as the movie.
AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson