Celebrating his 56th anniversary in the music business this year, Cliff Richard is indisputably Britain’s all-time greatest hit-maker – the ultimate pop star! No other UK band or solo artist is even close to equalling his 100 Album Releases, 123 single hits, or can claim to have occupied a place in our charts for the equivalent of over 20 years!
Highlights of this remarkable career are too numerous to mention, but successful films, musicals, concert tours and television shows have all contributed to the Cliff Richard legend.
Cliff’s 50th anniversary as a show-business phenomenon was marked by a celebratory UK concert tour – ‘Cliff Richard – The Time Machine Tour’ –in 2008, plus the publication of a new autobiography – My Life, My Way – and the release by EMI of an 8-CD box set – And
They Said It Wouldn’t Last! – comprising some of Cliff’s well-known hits, but also featuring rarer tracks and 35 previously unreleased songs.
In 2009/10 Cliff reunited with The Shadows for an extensive sell-out tour of Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
To mark his 70th birthday in October 2010, Cliff played six concerts in London’s Royal Albert Hall. Entitled Bold As Brass, they introduced a new musical genre as Cliff performed with a swing band. His album of the same name entered the UK album charts at No 2 that same week, and the DVD of his London shows was No 1 in the music DVD charts.
Cliff released a soul album in 2011, Soulicious, recorded in Memphis and New York, a 15-song collection featuring some of the greatest voices ever in Soul music (including Percy Sledge, Roberta Flack, Billy Paul, Freda Payne, Peabo Bryson). It was Produced by Lamont Dozier and Ashford & Simpson. The DVD of Soulicious was released in November 2011.
Cliff performed in the Queens Diamond Jubilee concert in June 2012 and was honoured to be one of the Olympic torch bearers for the opening of the London 2012 Olympics.
Amidst a flurry of publicity Cliff released his 100th album ‘The Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll Songbook’ on 11 November 2013. This new studio album of 15 great rock ‘n’ roll tracks was recorded live at the Blackbird Studio and The Parlor in Nashville, Tennessee, and is Cliff’s tribute to the greats of rock ‘n’ roll who inspired and influenced him, such as Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. Sir Cliff released his debut album in 1959, and has since released 46 studio albums, seven soundtracks, 11 live albums and 35 compilations.
Cliff’s knighthood, bestowed in the 1995 Birthday Honours for his tireless charity work, was the first such to be given to a pop star. His practical support of so many good causes reflects the reality of his deep Christian commitment, which began in the mid-1960’s, and which, despite the media critics who claimed it was a passing fad or a publicity gimmick, has been the motivating force in his life ever since.