The light entertainer’s first album of new material for 14 years is a bet-hedging hotch-potch of styles and ideas, featuring – brace yourself – another Christmas song
Times change, tastes shift, stuff that was once thought irredeemably naff is re-evaluated, but somehow Cliff Richard remains perennially unhip. Sixty years and 250m sales into his career, there’s been no Rick Rubin v Johnny Cash-style back-to-basics reinvention, no reappraisal in the heritage rock mags, no suggestion of a young artist claiming him an influence. He was one of a handful of British rock’n’rollers whose early releases were raw enough to bear comparison with the records coming out of the US, but his work is still seen as strictly the province of blue-rinsed Daily Express readers. Mid-70s soft rock gets belatedly welcomed into the canon, but no one mentions Richard’s 1976 album I’m Nearly Famous, home to the flatly brilliant Devil Woman and Miss You Nights, the latter pillow-soft and emotionally racked. The odd adventurous DJ might play something from an arcane corner of his catalogue (the revered DJ Harvey has been known to drop his 1980 hit Carrie), but Richard’s name as an artist remains beyond the pale.
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Thu Nov 22 12:30:37 CET 2018