Established 1958

Original album remaster released by EMI in March 2007. Liner notes, recording data and discography (with Peter Lewry).

Established 1958

In the summer of 1968, Cliff Richard went into Abbey Road studios with The Shadows for the last time. The track recorded was Not The Way It Should Be and would be one of the 14 tracks for this, their tenth anniversary and last studio album together. ESTABLISHED 1958 was released in September 1968, three months after they celebrated the end of their first decade together in show business and three months before Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, John Rostill and Brian Bennett broke up and went their separate ways. The Shadows would not come into existence again until 1974 when the line-up would be Hank, Bruce, Brian and John Farrar.

In ten years, The Shadows had gone from being Cliff’s backing group to an internationally recognised band in their own right, and without question Britain’s most successful instrumental group. During the time they played with Cliff, they had fifteen top ten singles and six top ten albums, and had knocked Cliff off the top spot more than once.

Like any other band that had been together for so long and toured so hard, they were beginning to irritate each other. John Rostill and Hank Marvin were constantly falling out. Bruce Welch had met Olivia Newton-John whom he wanted to spend more time with and Brian Bennett had recorded a solo album titled, perhaps ironically, Change of Direction.

Their story, however, began long before their first chart entry. As journalist Derek Johnson, then a writer for the pop music paper of the day, the New Musical Express, noted on the sleeve notes of The Shadows Greatest Hits album, released in 1963, ‘it started when a young singer named Cliff Richard walked into London’s 2i’s coffee bar in Soho in search of a backing group – and came out with four young men, who in those days, chose to call themselves The Drifters. And as Cliff developed into one of Britain’s top attractions, so the group rose to fame with him. In September 1959, the boys elected to change their name to The Shadows, owing to confusion between themselves and an American group called The Drifters – confusion which was sparked off when Cliff’s Living Doll was released in the States.’

Although this album was recorded and released as both a celebration and a goodbye, commemorating ten years of Cliff and the Shadows together, it is interesting to note that one year earlier, in 1967, less than a fifth of all Cliff’s sessions were recorded with The Shadows. If anything, under Norrie Paramor’s musical direction, Cliff had moved away from the rock ‘n’ roll group sound and was now almost always backed by an orchestra so, , as far as the faithful fans of Cliff and The Shads were concerned, the idea of this album was a bonus. The fact that the album would be shared – with an equal number of tracks by Cliff and by the Shadows – was an ideal concept to satisfy both sets of fans. The fact that all the tracks had been composed by the Shadows was yet another bonus. As Tim Rice correctly observed in his original sleeve notes for the album, they were among Britain’s most prolific and popular songwriting teams, but without the same public furore that surrounded Lennon & McCartney during the height of Beatlemania.

Four months before this album reached the shops in September 1968 – the first of Cliff’s to be packaged with the elaborate gatefold sleeve usually reserved for double albums – Cliff had released Congratulations, the British entry for the Eurovision Song Contest that year. Although it lost by just one vote, it would end up as a massive hit for Cliff, selling over two and a quarter million copies, and, to all intents and purposes, would nail Cliff to a jaunty Eurovision sound for the next few years. Perhaps from that point of view alone, ESTABLISHED 1958 was extraordinary, in that it returned Cliff to the sound that was so familiar to so many, and a distinctive style that has never been successfully imitated, before or since. It is ironic though that Rice’s original sleeve notes predicted that The Shadows would still be together in another ten years when Elvis would be 43. As Cliff says today, ‘Sadly neither of these things were to happen.’ Despite The Shadows’ various reunions at different times since, it was unthinkable to Rice, and indeed everyone else, that Elvis would be dead by the time he was 42…