Cliff Richard


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Parting company with EMI, his label for the past 40-plus years, Cliff Richard simply marched over to the independent Papillon and scored his biggest hit in a decade, 1999's "The Millennium Prayer." He followed through with a beautiful cover of "Over the Rainbow," and who looked out of touch now? Wanted, the album that EMI apparently had no interest in, continues the renaissance that the singles portended. Reuniting with Alan Tarney, producer during Richard's early-'80s heyday, the singer turned his attention toward songs he'd been wanting (hence the title) to cut for years but had never gotten around to -- it's a good-natured good-time album, then, drifting from a lazy "Moon River" to a warm "And I Love Her," and even looking back to the "British Elvis Presley" tag he'd carried in the late '50s with a heartfelt "Love Me Tender" and a storming "All Shook Up." One might want to skip repeated listens to "What's Love Got to Do with It," but that is the only misstep here -- and is, in any case, more than remedied by the inclusion of "Let Me Be the One," a song that fans had been clamoring for ever since the Off the Record concerts in London earlier in the year. Memories of his 1980s union with Phil Everly are likewise gloriously reawakened by a cover of the Brothers' "Like Strangers," while the closing track, "When You Walk in the Room," allows him to walk out of it with his head held as high as it ever has been.

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