On one level Cliff Richard supporting the Moz in New York seems utterly bonkers. The ageing Brit rocker – err that’s Cliff to avoid any confusion – when interviewed on BBC Five Live forgot the name of Moz’s old band and couldn’t name a single one of his records. He said that once he’d established the invitation wasn’t a hoax he said yes because – the chance of playing to 15,000 people in New York are pretty minimal otherwise…
Then again it isn’t surprising. Moz loves his old Brit Rockers – Billy Fury etc – has a thing for MOR types – Sacha Distel videos before his gigs and recognises in Sir Cliff a fellow showbiz legend who is also a Bachelor Boy and is known for having fairly strident opinions.
I would pay millions to be a fly on the wall in the dressing room tho – fascinating
Besides, Cliff has some real gems in his back catalogue almost none of which he’ll play in New York.
1 Take Me High
The killer track from his 1973 movie. The film’s plot is fairly predictable; Cliff and his gang of young hoodlums stalk Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Manhattan desperately searching for hallucinogenic drugs. Well, sadly no, Take Me High revolves around our Cliff, his female accomplice Deborah Watling, and a host of British character actors like Richard Wattis and George Cole messing around in canal boats in Birmingham. There’s also an intriguing sub-plot that involves trying to open a burger joint. This is Cliff doing Red Rose Speedway era Macca very nicely indeed.
2 Apron Strings
It isn’t just me who loves this early Cliff rocker. Sir Bob put it on his ‘Under the influence album.’ There’s a killer riff that’s just begging to be repurposed sometime soon.
3 Power To all our Friends
Cliff’s stomping paen to worldwide revolutionaries, cunningly disguised as a Eurovision song contest entry. The Young Ones’ Rick was right – Cliff will always be cool.
4 Please Don’t Tease
This one is up there with Move It for me, as Cliff goes a bit Merseybeat a full three years before the Fabs hit the charts.
5 The Anti Brotherhood of Man
Alas this isn’t Cliff’s personal rant at the future Eurovision song contest winners. Rather it is a weirdly sinister piece of pop accompanied by odd choral effects that combine to sound in equal parts 60s psychedelia and Lloyd Webber music theatre. Very strange. From the Take Me High film again.
6 Why Should the Devil (Have All the Good Music)
Cliff covers the legendary Larry Norman to great effect. Top notch God-bothering. Though he doesn’t do Larry’s fantastic rap.
7 In The Country
Wonderfully zippy late sixties pop tune covered memorably by The Farmer’s Boys