Cliff Richard and the Shadows - Reunited

2010-02-26 12:17
True story: my friend's mom Tannie Aletta and her best friend had an actual physical fight over who was better - Elvis or Cliff. They were in school back then and it must have been the late fifties. See, Cliff was a superstar even in Elvis' time. He's charted in at least five (or is it six?) different decades. And the Shadows are still regarded as one of the greatest bands of all time.

Even John Lennon allegedly said there was nothing worth listening to from Britain until Cliff and the Shadows appeared. That's John Lennon. The guy from The Beatles – the most successful rock band of all time.

Of course Reunited is a nostalgic cash-in. And as a critic there's a great temptation to tear efforts like these a new one. They're often cynical and soulless, and they reek of vinegar and camphor. But this is one of those rare cases where it’s done so incredibly well and with a certain kind of artistic stateliness, it’d be indefensible to crap on it.

For what this is, Reunited is one of the finest old-boys reunion efforts I've heard in a long time. On first listen, you'll even wonder if there wasn't some clever-ass trickery involved in lifting some of those original tracks, such is the faithfulness to the sound of the band (to the recordings that I can remember).

So, not to put too fine a point on it – respect will be paid to Cliff and co because of – and not despite – this recording. This large-ish collection of classic Cliff and Shadows remakes sparkles and rings remarkably smartly, even if the few extra surprises are a bit hit-and-miss. The band sounds buoyant and brisk, and Cliff Richard hasn’t really aged vocally either.

It's not even worth trying to pick out highlights from the tracklist – fans will know every song. It's probably suffice to say that you'll either dig all of it or none of it. And the album has even planted a seed in my mind that I’d like to see them at Kirstenbosch later this year. I'm certainly thinking about it now.

Great innocent-era rock 'n roll tunes, great recording. Nothing wrong here, except the knowledge that these guys are old enough to be your granddad.

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Pierre Celliers 2014/08/14 4:26 PM
  • Rating:
They've always excelled in their performances! But will I buy this CD? I don't think so, because I already have all the songs and, it's miraculous the way Cliff retains his tone after all these years, that it sounds exactly like the original songs!
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