Album: Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Reunited (EMI)

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The Independent Culture

In the current hubbub over the Beatles, the reunion of Cliff and the Shadows may have been overlooked, despite representing an even more venerable anniversary of 50 years since their first chart appearance.

It's a valedictory affair, the impending arena tour representing their last appearances together – so these revisitings of their finest moments are the final studio recordings of an illustrious alliance, best captured in an ebullient "Do You Wanna Dance" and a countrified "Bachelor Boy". As you'd expect from rockers pushing 70, it's a sedate affair: there's no curled-lip delinquency about "Move It", which has lost its youthful snarl but gained a verse in the intervening years. Hank Marvin's neat picking, however, has lost none of its sparkle, recalling the work of James Burton which inspired this most influential of guitarists. Coincidentally, Burton's old boss Ricky Nelson is the closest comparison to Cliff's clean-cut charm on "Travelling Light" and "Living Doll", while less well-known songs such as "On the Beach" and "I Could Easily Fall" are (with hindsight) reminiscent of early Beatles album tracks, suggesting the Fab Four's revolutionary impact was built on similar foundations to their most imposing predecessors. Ultimately, though, it's a soft-centred souvenir.

Download this: 'Bachelor Boy', 'Do You Wanna Dance'