And They Said It Wouldn’t Last! (My 50 Years In Music)

Box set released by EMI in September 2008. Compilation, tape, photo and memorabilia research, chronology and liner notes (with Peter Lewry).

And They Said it Wouldn't Last (My 50 Years in Music)

Disc 1: The Early Years

Every artist has a selection of music they have recorded that has stood the test of time and become forever associated with that artist. There is no doubt that the early recordings made by those whose career started in the 1950s have become legendary in the world of popular music. For Elvis Presley there are the classic recordings he made at Sun Records in Memphis, and who can forget Chuck Berry’s recordings for the Chess Label in Chicago, while for Cliff Richard those early tracks that he cut at EMI’s studios in Abbey Road in London have gone down in British rock ’n’ roll history. The Early Years gives the listener the opportunity to relive those golden days of rock ’n’ roll on a 30-track compilation based on an unreleased album project from the 1980s…

Disc 2: Rare B-Sides 1963-1989

With the advent of the CD single, the concept of the B-Side has gone the same way as 12-inch vinyl albums – a format prized by collectors but alien to much of today’s music-buying public. Although CD singles are a popular format and also feature more than one track, it is common for the extra tracks to be remixes, instrumentals or dance mixes of the lead song. However, to many there will always be a fondness for the often overlooked song that appeared on the other side of a 7-inch vinyl hit single. Cliff Richard has released over 130 singles, most of which were original vinyl 45s and Rare B-Sides 1963-1989 brings together some often forgotten tracks that, with the exception of the extended version of Stronger, are making their first appearance on CD…

Disc 3: Rare EP Tracks 1961-1991

Extended Plays were a popular format in the late 1950s and early1960s. They looked like regular 45rpm releases and played at the same speed, but contained twice as much material. They sold for about double the price of a regular single and were aimed at those who either couldn’t afford albums or were only looking for a selection of an artist’s material. Unlike the singles of the time, these releases came in laminated, glossy, full-colour sleeves and looked every bit like miniature album sleeves. Common practice at this time was to take an artist’s current album and release the tracks over several EP releases. More often than not, the original album cover would be featured on all the releases but sometimes alternate cover photos were featured. However, many artists released tracks that would only be available in this format, so they became very collectable and can still command high prices today. Between 1959 and 1968 Cliff Richard released 46 extended play discs with an additional release issued in 1991 featuring some previously unissued Christmas songs that had originally been recorded for the Carol Singers EP in 1967. Rare EP Tracks 1961-1991 brings together 22 songs that are making their first appearance on CD, along with some previously unreleased tracks…

Disc 4: Stage and Screen

It seemed a natural progression for most pop stars of the 1950s and 1960s to capitalise their rock ‘n’ roll beginnings on to the big screen and into the theatre, and for many, it was ideal for broadening their appeal beyond that of their teenage audience. Billy Fury, Adam Faith, Elvis Presley and Fabian all landed highly successful starring roles on the silver screen during the period when pop movies and musicals were all the rage. Many from Britain also tried their hand at acting in plays, pantomimes and television dramas, which in turn resulted in an unprecedented run of hit singles and albums. Throughout his career Cliff Richard has starred in a series of top-grossing musicals and pantomimes, and won some serious acting roles in the London theatre and on the small screen. Stage And Screen brings together 22 classic performances that demonstrate Cliff’s approach to the genre and how he was as much at home in this field as he was in the recording studio or in front of a live concert audience…

Disc 5: The Hits: Number Ones Around The World

Every artist who releases a single hopes that it will get to the top of the charts, but for many that coveted place seems to always be beyond reach. Despite this there are hundreds of artists who have seen one of their songs at #1, although only a handful can have the satisfaction of achieving this feat with a total in double figures. Chart success is not just measured on the UK charts but on charts across the world, and artists like The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson can all claim to have had over twenty #1’s throughout the world. The Hits: Number Ones Around The World brings together 23 of Cliff’s 36 singles that reached the top spot on charts internationally. Although it was a musical delight to compile such a disc, limiting it to 80 minutes was no easy task, and choosing which tracks to leave off was no easy decision, but we have selected #1s from the UK pop charts and then considered some of those that made it in other countries. Another criterion in our selection was to include #1s that weren’t duplicated elsewhere in this box so, although not every #1 is included on this disc, others are spread around the rest of the discs in the set.

Disc 6: Faith and Inspiration

One of the most powerful influences on popular music in the early 1960s was the African/American Gospel music that was made popular by slaves who had been transported from Africa to America in the nineteenth century and which was often heard on the plantations in the Southern States. Thomas A. Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and The Golden Gate Quartet brought the music to a wider audience and were a major influence on many of the 1950s rock ‘n’ roll stars like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. These artists would record the songs in a similar style while adding their own individuality. However, in the 1970s a new style of gospel music was born. Combining gospel influences with modern pop and rock music a new genre was created that Cliff Richard dubbed ‘Rockspel’. Cliff was one of the major exponents of this genre and Faith And Inspiration brings together nineteen songs, compiled by Cliff, that fit into this category…

Disc 7: Live in Japan

In a career spanning 50 years there have been many occasions when a Cliff Richard concert was recorded for record release. His first album, although recorded in a studio, was actually taped before an audience and over the years there have been many live albums released including Live At The ABC Kingston, Live At The Talk Of The Town, Dressed For The Occasion and From A Distance: The Event. Of particular note is the fact that no less than three were recorded in the Far East, a territory that had a huge following for Cliff and his music. Live In Japan gives the listener the opportunity to hear one such concert dating from 1972 and previously unavailable on CD…

Disc 8: Lost and Found

In today’s digital world of computers and hi-tech recording studios, the idea of multiple takes of a song is a thing of the past. It is also unlikely that an artist would spend valuable studio time recording tracks that would never be released. However, back in the days when recordings were made on to magnetic tape and computer wizardry was a thing of the future, an artist would record a song over and over until a suitable master was put on tape. An artist would also try various songs with the intention of them being released, but, due to timing or other issues, these songs would remain unheard. That is why on Lost And Found (From The Archives) the listener is given the opportunity to listen to songs that were left in the vaults. Of the 21 tracks, three are alternate takes of songs that were eventually released and the remaining eighteen, as recorded by Cliff, have never been issued in any form…