fri 23/10/2020

CD: Cliff Richard - The Fabulous Rock'n'Roll Songbook | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Cliff Richard - The Fabulous Rock'n'Roll Songbook

CD: Cliff Richard - The Fabulous Rock'n'Roll Songbook

Great American classics have the sex syringed out

Don't bother to wake up, little Susie

When asked about sex, the newly famous Boy George cocked an eyebrow and said he’d rather have a cup of tea. He was actually at it with the drummer. Compare and contrast with Cliff Richard, into whose afternoon beverage a vat of bromide was dumped somewhere back in the Fifties. His songs have reeked of sexlessness ever since. All that mucky business involving eager groins and sweaty throbbing is not really his department.

When asked about sex, the newly famous Boy George cocked an eyebrow and said he’d rather have a cup of tea. He was actually at it with the drummer. Compare and contrast with Cliff Richard, into whose afternoon beverage a vat of bromide was dumped somewhere back in the Fifties. His songs have reeked of sexlessness ever since. All that mucky business involving eager groins and sweaty throbbing is not really his department.

But they are the department of rock'n'roll, which was so offensive to the parents of its fans because it was overtly about kids getting into each other's knickers. Cliff cashed in when the UK was on the hunt for its very own Elvis. He had the quiff and the prettiness and the energy. You can tell by the voice, which has changed as little as the waistline in the last half century, that he was up to no bad. So should he really be syringing all the sex out of an album of standards like “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Johnny B Goode” that once upon a time caused hot flushes?

Recorded live in Nashville, these are Saga takes on rebellious youth. Think Dame Edna singing Never Mind the Bollocks. “I feel desire,” swoons Sir Cliff. Oh no he doesn’t. “Such a Night,” croons Cliff. What would he know about such things? “I want a girl to call my own,” moons Cliff. The other one's got bells on it. The great American gods of rock’n’roll, with the obvious exception of Haley and Holly, mostly had the sulphurous whiff of lawbreakers who may easily fetch up in the penitentiary for dodging taxes or interfering with nymphettes. Cliff was always just a living doll. When he sings “I just want to be your teddy bear”, he means it: unlike Elvis, a cuddle is all he ever wanted. The Fabulous Rock’n’Roll Songbook, appropriately for the old fella's 100th album, is music for the nursing home. 

You can tell by the voice, which has changed as little as the waistline in the last half century, that he was up to no bad

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Share this article

Comments

If Cliff Richard was all that bad would he have had a career for more than 50 years?

Yes!!!

What a load of nonsense. Cliff Richard is an original British rock 'n' roller. He is the singer on the best British rock 'n' roll record "Move It!" With the Shadows he started the modern music pop scene in the UK five years before the Beatles. His tour of Australia, New Zealand and the UK earlier this year drew much critical acclaim from concert go-ers and the media alike. He performed much from this album including all time classical pop songs like "Devil Woman" and "We don't talk anymore". He is an outstanding vocalist and was backed by outstanding musicians who appreciated his work in the UK and Europe.

Well unless you are gay how would you know if there is any sexuality or sensuality in cliff richard's singing voice? Having looked at your face on the review page you mustn't be long for the old peoples home yourself, so I would be careful about throwing stones because you look like you live in a very vulnerable glass house. The fact is that tens of thousands of tickets have already been sold for the concerts that support this album which only goes to prove that there are more than a few hundred thousand female fans who would be very happy to throw a stone or two in your direction, mr.

Boilerplate review. I honestly think that the sneering at Cliff is thinly disguised homophobia. Honestly, I do. Yes, he's not David Bowie. He is, nevertheless, an important and talented part of British rock history who sang on a number of extremely good songs.

There's more than one kind of person in this world and I think we've moved beyond the need for artists to display a certain kind of sexuality in a certain way. I won't pretend to be as familiar with how Cliff Richard has lived his sexuality as the reviewer seems to be, but I would think that a look at his professional and professional life does have something interesting to say about attitudes to sexuality since the 1950s beyond the idea that some people have it and some don't. It doesn't really seem that subtle a point to make, in all honesty. Does this make this particular album any better or worse? I wouldn't have thought so, although I guess it could provide interesting context. In this case, however, the reviewer begins with lazy comments about the artist's sexuality and ends with a dig at his age that all ends up coming across as a narrow-minded and vaguely offensive.

How ridiculous!! Of course Cliff has talent in abundance and no, you cannot have a long successful career if you're not talented....he still has thousands and thousands of people attending his concerts all over the world, except the US (although I know quite a few fans from there)...and you're saying that all these people who love to go and see him would torture themselves by watching someone that can't sing! What rubbish!!. He is amazing in concert, his voice is in really great shape and he can sing many different styles of music. This album is rock & roll at it's best, sung live and well, fresh and back to his roots. Does an author have to have lived the life he portrays in a book...no, of course not. It's the same with portraying songs. And on a different note there is NO evidence to prove Cliff's sexuality one way or another! He always denied he was gay...so leave the subject alone as it bears no relevance at all to a review of his album.

totally lazy journo, who is trying to be cool by portraying old stereotypes. Cliff along with the Shads were the first brit band to have phenomenal world wide success. His appeal has not set boundries, to gender, age or sexuality.

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters