1958A Year In The Career
Early in 1958 Harry Rodger Webb became Cliff Richard. The Planets was a name suggested for his backing group. However, they became The Drifters, unaware that in the U.S.A there was a famous soul group of the same name. Eventually they became The Shadows. Cliff was signed by EMI to their Columbia label on August 9th. His first single (released August 29th) has remained an all-time classic - "MOVE IT" reached No. 2 in the British charts. Cliff made his television debut on September 13th and began his first UK tour on October 5th. On tour he experienced "Cliff hysteria" as girls screamed for his attention in the face of their boyfriends' objections. Tired of American pop heroes, British music fans wanted their own - Cliff was their answer. It was not long before film parts were being discussed.
1959A Year In The Career
As in nearly all the years ahead, there were plenty of hit singles with both"LIVING DOLL" and "TRAVELLING LIGHT" reaching No. 1 in the British charts. He was involved with two films: "Serious Charge" and "Expresso Bongo". The then major British teen music paper - New Musical Express - gave Cliff his first award - fans had voted him "Best New Singer". He bought himself a fabulous pink and black motor scooter and from the royalties of "MOVE IT" could also afford one of the new super hi-fi stereos (with some change to spare). He was hot magazine copy: Reveille headlined with "He Doesn't Try To Be Sexy", while the top-selling Daily Mirror thought the fans loved his eyes, calling them "dark, luminous and slumberous."
1960A Year In The Career
There were TV specials, more awards, royal performances and a season at the famous London Palladium. "PLEASE DON'T TEASE" and "I LOVE YOU" topped the singles charts. In March his film "Expresso Bongo" opened in the States and he made his first visit to the U.S.A. This, his last year as a teenager, saw him chart success with 5 singles, 6 EP's and an album. British newspapers said that he earned more than the Prime Minister. On his birthday, October 14th, he received more than 5,000 cards.
1961A Year In The Career
He filmed "The Young Ones" and the title track gave him another No. 1 with more than one million sales. He became an international star and toured in many parts of the world while his backing group - The Shadows - were fast becoming stars in their own right. Cliff topped the LP charts with "21 TODAY" - issued by EMI to commemorate his 21st birthday -and The Variety Club of Great Britain made him "Show Business Personality of the Year".
1962A Year In The Career
"The Young Ones" film was an enormous success in the many countries where it was released. The follow-up "Summer Holiday" was shot, involving over 3,000 miles of travel in five different countries. The album saw the emergence of Cliff as a songwriter - he was co-credited on the massive hit "BACHELOR BOY" - and he was quoted as saying "It's always been an ambition of mine to write". He named his favourite male stars as Elvis Presley, Rick Nelson and Ray Charles while Julie London, Helen Shapiro and Connie Francis were at the top of his list of female vocalists.
1963A Year In The Career
Although this was the year that Beatlemania began, Cliff stole the limelight when "Summer Holiday" was premiered on January 10th - huge crowds prevented him reaching the cinema on time. He embarked on another tour, playing in Kenya and Spain amongst many other countries. In Britain, over 200,000 people saw him play live and he estimated that he signed over 4,000 autographs. He visited the U.S.A. again and appeared on the legendary Ed Sullivan TV show.
1964A Year In The Career
Cliff starred in another film, "Wonderful Life", which was filmed in north-west Africa, the soundtrack reached No. 2. He appeared on a number of TV shows in the U.K. and Europe and starred in a one-hour TV special for ATV with Liza Minelli. He had five Top 10 hits in the UK singles charts (compared to the Beatles' three) and although it was The Beatles who made the headlines, Cliff held his own as a British pop star. He ended the year by starring in a pantomime, "Aladdin And His Wonderful Lamp".
1965A Year In The Career
Elvis was cast aside and individual Beatles ignored as readers of the New Musical Express voted Cliff as the World's Top Male Singer. He recorded three TV specials, toured Europe and again appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in the USA. "THE MINUTE YOU'RE GONE" topped record charts all over the world. Although he talked about growing Christian awareness and was attending church regularly, few realised the major change it would make to him as a person and, to his career.
1966A Year In The Career
On June 16th Cliff appeared on stage at a Billy Graham campaign meeting and spoke openly of his Christian faith. Many of his fans wept when they read this news the following day, fearing the end of his career as a pop star. There was a new film "Finders Keepers"; he starred in another pantomime "Cinderella" at London's famous Palladium Theatre; the now legendary "Thunderbirds" TV series featured Cliff and The Shadows in puppet form, and there was talk of him touring Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. It proved that his fans had wept unnecessarily.
1967A Year In The Career
Would he or wouldn't he stay in show business? It seemed the most popular question of 1967. A new film was announced - Cliff would star in "Two A Penny", sponsored and financed by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. There was speculation that he would become a clergyman or a teacher of religious education but Cliff stayed with music and his fans breathed again! However, appearing on numerous religious TV programmes, he condemned pop stars who took drugs, said that pre-marital sex was unhealthy, and told the Beatles that they were wasting their time consorting with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He performed in Tokyo with a Japanese orchestra and finished the year by landing a role as a straight actor in the TV thriller "A Matter Of Diamonds".
1968A Year In The Career
Cliff represented Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest and failed by one point to take the top place. However, his song "CONGRATULATIONS" topped the charts in the U.K. and many other countries (including Germany where it stayed at No. 1 for seven weeks), and sold over one million copies, giving him his fifth Gold Disc. Cliff played some Gospel concerts, including one at Coventry Cathedral and a special party was held to celebrate his 10th anniversary as a star. It begun to be apparent that Cliff and The Shadows would go their separate ways.
1969A Year In The Career
The Shadows toured the U.K. and Japan with Cliff before they split. Cliff had a very busy year: he worked on a six-part Gospel series for TyneTees TV; sang in German when he appeared on a TV programme there; he visited Romania, Italy, Holland, and Israel where he made a documentary about the Holy Land. He starred in his own TV show on the BBC and the longevity of his career brought about the album "The Best Of Cliff ". He continued to publicly support Christian charities and also appeared in a gala at the London Palladium in aid of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
1970A Year In The Career
Cliff made two pop albums and two religious albums and although The Shadows occasionally appeared on stage with him, they were not present when Cliff played at the prestigious "Talk Of The Town" in London. He pursued his straight-acting career by appearing in "Five Finger Exercise" and continued to appear on many religious programmes. He was voted both "Mr. Valentine" and "Best Dressed Star" by readers of the music paper, Disc and Music Echo.
1971A Year In The Career
Cliff's own TV series ran for the first three months of the year and he also appeared in a TV play. Thirteen years on from his debut, at the age of 31, he was still able to capture the votes of the NME's readers as "Top Male Singer"and "Top Vocal Personality". He toured in Europe and duetted with Olivia Newton-John. He received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Services to British Music. His most successful single was "SING A SONG OF FREEDOM".
1972A Year In The Career
Cliff was refused admittance into Singapore because his hair was too long and his 1971 single "SING A SONG OF FREEDOM" was banned in South Africa and Mozambique. He hosted another 13 week series for the BBC and did a 26 date tour of the U.K. His single "BRAND NEW SONG" was his first chart miss.
1973A Year In The Career
Cliff again represented Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest with "POWER TO ALL OUR FRIENDS" - it came third behind Luxembourg and Spain. In terms of sales and the British charts, it became his biggest hit since "CONGRATULATIONS" in 1968. He starred in the film "Take Me High" and agreed to play the part of "Bottom" in his old school's production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". He toured extensively in Europe and Australia and sang in St. Paul's Cathedral.
1974A Year In The Career
Cliff denied that he had asked Olivia Newton-John to marry him. An 85 track set of Cliff's songs (plus seven by The Shadows), making up six albums, was released. Statisticians revealed that up to December 1973, he had received 19 silver discs for singles selling in excess of 250,000 and 3 gold discs for singles selling more than one million copies. Together with The Shadows he gave a special concert in aid of the dependants of one of the producers of Top Of The Pops, who had died. He starred in yet another BBC TV series "It's Cliff Richard". It was not a good year for his health and he suffered from bronchitis, laryngitis and back problems. His album "31ST OF FEBRUARY STREET" was not as successful as it deserved to be. There was another tour taking part in the UK and Japan amongst other countries. He also undertook a Gospel tour.
1975A Year In The Career
Whilst it was not a good year for records, there was no problem in finding radio, TV and live outlets throughout the world: his films were shown on TV in Korea; a double live album was released in Japan; he appeared on TV in Scandinavia; and his concert at the Sydney Opera House coincided with the release there of a compilation album, " Cliff ENTERTAINS". He also had a 13 part Gospel series on BBC Radio 1. Again he toured extensively and there was talk of him recording in Russia. As with every year, there were countless awards and media specials.
1976A Year In The Career
This year saw the return of Cliff to the charts. His "I'M NEARLY FAMOUS" album received much praise and singles such as "MISS YOU NIGHTS" and "DEVIL WOMAN" re-asserted him as a major recording artist. "DEVIL WOMAN" became a huge hit in the U.S.A. and he toured Russia (the first western rock star ever to do so) playing eight concerts in Moscow and twelve in Leningrad. He also played in Hong Kong. In France they released " Cliff CHANTE EN FRANCAIS". On top of all this, he did not neglect charity and religious work.
1977A Year In The Career
In terms of records, the highlight was the chart-topping album " Cliff RICHARD'S 40 GOLDEN GREATS". He received the annual Music Therapy Silver Clef Award for his services to the music industry. His autobiography "Which One's Cliff?" was published, and during one hour at London's department store Selfridges, he signed 333 copies of it, setting a new record by beating the previous best of former British Prime Minister Edward Heath, whose total had been 30. There was a visit to India and Bangladesh on behalf of the Christian relief agency "Tear Fund". He appeared on American TV in both The Merv Griffin Show and The Mike Douglas Show. In October the fan club organised a National Cliff Week in Britain.
1978A Year In The Career
It was the 20th Anniversary for Cliff and The Shadows and there was a series of get-together concerts. It was not a year for hit singles but the pace of life for Cliff hardly differed from more successful years. He refuted suggestions that he might retire: "It's been a fantastic 20 years. People keep asking me how long I think I might go on...... I'm just looking forward to the next five or six years". There were countless concerts and on the religious side he supported evangelist Dick Saunders and gave a charity concert at the Ford Motor Works in Essex in aid of multiple sclerosis.
1979A Year In The Career
Suddenly it was O.K. to like Cliff. All kinds of writers and magazines fell over themselves to hail his vocal ability and talent. He achieved his tenth No. 1 record and his first No. 1 since 1968 with "WE DON'T TALK ANYMORE" which also went Top 10 in the U.S.A. and sold just under 3 million worldwide. His second album of the year, "ROCK'N'ROLL JUVENILE", confirmed that he was back in business. There were celebrations for another reason: it was his 21st year with EMI and he was presented with a gold replica of the key to the company's main London offices. As well as the usual media and religious events, he joined in carol singing outside Buckingham Palace with 30,000 people just before Christmas.
1980A Year In The Career
The hit records continued: "CARRIE" reached No. 4; "DREAMIN'" made the Top 10 and a duet with Olivia Newton-John from the film soundtrack of "Xanadu" reached No.15. The album "I'M NO HERO" received rave reviews worldwide and got to No. 4 in Britain. This success was mirrored in the U.S.A. and he appeared in TV specials in Germany, Australia, Holland and New Zealand. He was awarded the BBC/Daily Mirror award as Best Family Entertainer and, best of all, was awarded the O.B.E.,receiving it in person from the Queen. It was the year that Cliff reached 40!
1981A Year In The Career
It was another year of amazing accolades and, amongst other awards, he received the nomination for "Best Male Singer" in the top-selling Daily Mirror, and Germany's biggest-selling pop magazine Bravo named him "Top International Male Singer". On TV, four 50-minute programmes on BBC documented his career. His singles "DADDY'S HOME" and "WIRED FOR SOUND" went high into the charts and he undertook a major tour of the U.S.A. and Canada.
1982A Year In The Career
Once more Cliff toured the world, playing in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Europe and the U.S.A. again. As part of their 50th anniversary, the London Philharmonic Orchestra presented "An Evening With Cliff Richard and the LPO". His album "NOW YOU SEE ME...NOW YOU DON'T" made the top 5 in Britain and he had a big Christmas hit with "LITTLE TOWN".
1983A Year In The Career
Another historic moment in Cliff's career arrived - it was Silver Anniversary time. His career had spanned 25 years, from 1958 to 1983. There hadbeen no real lapses. His work rate had continued yearly on a major high and although a few records had failed to chart, they were a small fraction of an astounding chart single and album run. Fan club celebrations occurred all over the world. His duet with Phil Everly "SHE MEANS NOTHING TO ME" was a Top 10 hit, followed by two more chart successes: "THE ONLY WAY OUT" and "WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?". As part of his "Silver" tour he played six weeks of sell-out concerts at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre.
1984A Year In The Career
Cliff and The Shadows joined forces once more for a series of concerts at London's Wembley Arena and Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre and he also did a series of British Gospel dates. Abroad, he visited Japan and Australia. He began playing tennis again after suffering back trouble and took part in his own Pro-Celebrity Charity Tennis Tournament for the second year running. He duetted with Janet Jackson on a single entitled "TWO TO THE POWER OF LOVE" (taken from her album "Dream Street) and achieved moderate success with his solo singles "SHOOTING FROM THE HEART" and "BABY YOU'RE DYNAMITE".
1985A Year In The Career
There was speculation that Cliff would play a leading role in a West End musical in 1986. He featured as The Bellman on Mike Batt's album "THE HUNTING OFTHE SNARK". There was more touring in Europe (including Poland) and more Gospel dates. Although invited to duet with Elton John at Live Aid, he was unable to do so as he already had two charity bookings for that day. However, he did manage to attend the Live Aid party held that evening where he sang one song which was broadcast on TV. His religious work continued and included a visit to Amsterdam where he took part in the Luis Palau mission. Health problems arose again and he had to cancel five British concerts (the first time he had ever been forced to cancel a professional appearance in 27 years!) due to severe laryngitis. Stevie Wonder arranged, produced and played on Cliff's first single from "Time -The Musical", "SHE'S SO BEAUTIFUL". It was announced that he would star in the musical which was to open in April 1986. In December he appeared in Carol Aid along with Duran Duran, The Pet Shop Boys and many other bands.
1986A Year In The Career
Cliff's total involvement with "Time" meant no Gospel tour and no other concert dates. At the end of January he got together with The Young Ones and recorded a special remake of his 1959 hit "LIVING DOLL" for part of Comic Relief,a project designed to raise money for charity. "LIVING DOLL" repeated it's previous success and again topped the charts. "Time" premiered at London's Dominion Theatre on April 9th and broke all advanced booking records in the history of the West End theatre. Cliff's year-long run completely sold out! Cliff took part in the International Sport Aid day and over 250,000 people were in Hyde Park when he appeared on stage to start his "workout". In December he took time off from the musical to open a special Tear Fund/Tearcraft exhibition in London, showing that this charity was still one of his main priorities. He also took part in the recording of "Live-In World" a Band Aid type collaboration of stars. It was announced that he would leave "Time" in the following spring.
1987A Year In The Career
It was announced that David Cassidy would take over the leading role in "Time". Cliff's departure from the musical on April 11th was followed by a well-deserved holiday. A U.K. Gospel tour ran the length of June which also saw the first record release of the year - the No. 6 single - "MY PRETTY ONE". This was followed, in August, with "SOME PEOPLE" (No. 3) both singles from the Top 5 album - "ALWAYS GUARANTEED" released in September. Three warm-up shows at the Wimbledon Theatre were followed by over 50 concerts in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark (where Cliff received a platinum disc for sales of "ALWAYS GUARANTEED" - only the second to be awarded in Danish pop history!). In December Cliff became the first artist to sell out 6 nights at Birmingham's N.E.C.(capacity 11,600). The last official engagement of the year was his now annual fund-raising Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament in Brighton on 19th.
1988A Year In The Career
A tour of Australia and New Zealand took up the first three months of 1988 and further European dates took place during May. Recording, planning and promotion(for the projected U.K. tour and "PRIVATE COLLECTION" album) and Wimbledon tennis took care of the summer. For the most part, September was devoted to tour rehearsals interrupted only be previously arranged media commitments. All this in preparation for his 47-date U.K. tour for which the 200,000 plus available tickets had been completely sold out within 72 hours of going on sale! Stories and pictures of fans camping out overnight were carried in the newspapers ofevery city he was to appear. November 7th saw the release of "PRIVATE COLLECTION" (a double album compilation of hits from the past ten years of Cliff's career) followed by the 99th single "MISTLETOE AND WINE". By selling nearly 3/4 million copies it became the biggest selling single of 1988 (the last time Cliff achieved this was in 1959 with "LIVING DOLL" and "TRAVELLIN' LIGHT" was fourth). Cliff's 30th year ended spectacularly with his single, million-selling album, video and CD all at the No. 1 position in their respective charts!
1989A Year In The Career
Cliff spent January in Australia and New Zealand dividing his time between his Christian activities, pro-celebrity tennis and relaxation. Upon his return, the recording of his new studio album became the priority though he was happy to take a break for a series of presentations. He picked up his award from TV Times after readers had voted him "Best Male Singer". A fund-raising "Music Therapy" lunch celebrated 30 years of Cliff and The Shadows then, a few days later, he was presented with a special BPI award in recognition of 30 years service to the Music Industry. Within a fortnight Cliff was once more out on the town, this time to collect a special Ivor Novello award for his "Outstanding Achievements". Private club dates in Luton, Usk and Windsor were followed in June by the biggest dates of his entire career, Cliff RICHARD - THE EVENT, two nights at Wembley Stadium before capacity audiences of 72,000 per night! Meanwhile, on May 30th, Cliff became the first British artist to release 100 singles. The disc in question "THE BEST OF ME" was co-written by Richard Marx and reached No. 2 in June. In July he toured the country with a series of low-key gospel presentations which raised nearly £100,000 for various charities. The Stock/Aitken/Waterman written and produced "I JUST DON'T HAVE THE HEART" was released and peaked at No. 3 in August. The autumn single "LEAN ON YOU" became the third Top 10 hit of 1989 and all three were featured on Cliff's 53rd album "STRONGER" released on October 30th. This album and its predecessor "ALWAYS GUARANTEED" are still vying with each other to become the best selling LP of Cliff's entire recording career. A few weeks later he was in the TOP 20 once more with "WHENEVER GOD SHINES HIS LIGHT" the duet with Van Morrison, and finished the year contributing to the Christmas No. 1 the Stock/Aitken/Waterman re-recording of "DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS".
1990A Year In The Career
"STRONGER THAN THAT" the fourth and last single to be lifted from "STRONGER" came out in mid-February and cruised into the Top 20. At the time Cliff was on the other side of the world undertaking his most extensive tour to date of New Zealand and Australia. He returned in May for six weeks of major European dates. On 30th June Cliff took part in the U.K's biggest open-air rock show of 1990 at Knebworth in aid of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Charity. In August, a new single "SILHOUETTES" reached the Top 10. Both this and the follow-up single ("FROM A DISTANCE" released on 1st October) were taken from the double album " Cliff RICHARD - THE EVENT" out on 5th November and featuring many of the highlights from the previous year's Wembley Stadium shows. Interrupted only by a week of club dates in Wales and his 50th birthday celebrations, Cliff devoted the whole of September and October to gruelling rehearsals in preparation for a record-breaking sell-out U.K./Irishtour. With audiences totalling some 420,000, Cliff became the only artist to have filled the 12,000 capacity N.E.C and Wembley Arena halls for 14 and 18 concerts respectively within a single tour. The format of these shows - inspired by 1989's Wembley Stadium concerts saw Cliff and his band opening the first half with an "Oh Boy!" section - an intricately choreographed collection of classic rock and roll songs from the '50's and '60's. The second half concentrated on more recent highlights from this artist's spectacular career! An appropriate conclusion to a remarkable year saw Cliff achieve his second Christmas No. 1 hit within three years with "SAVIOUR'S DAY". After a couple of tantalising weeks at No's: 2 and 3, it justified the bookies' early prediction by toppling Vanilla Ice in the critical week! Cliff 's over-all contributionto the Christmas charts was the single at No. 1; the video "FROM A DISTANCE" at No. 2; and the album "FROM A DISTANCE" at No.3.
1991A Year In The Career
After a brief holiday in Florida and a whirlwind promotional visit to Toronto (34 media interviews in two days!) Cliff's first main project of 1991 was his Gospel charity tour. The 12 date tour around the UK ended at London's Royal Albert Hall on Easter Saturday; an extra matinee performance there had to be added because of demand. The recording of a Christmas album, featuring a number of seasonal 'standards', took up much of the summer, and various one-off TV appearances at home and in Europe resulted in the usual busy diary. After holidaying in Portugal, it was straight into rehearsal and production for a video of the entire Christmas album, which was subsequently transmitted on nationwide television in December. A recording of the title track of 'Trainer' a BBC drama series was an 'off the wall' single release in September and reached No. 23 in the charts. The song, called "MORE TO LIFE" was written by Simon May and Mike Read. A week at Savvas Club in Usk preceded another successful concert tour of New Zealand and Australia, and Cliff was home just in time to promote his Christmas single "WE SHOULD BE TOGETHER". It reached the No. 10 spot in the charts, matching the success of the album, entitled "TOGETHER".
1992A Year In The Career
A second single from "TOGETHER", appropriately titled "THIS NEW YEAR" was released early in January, but only managed a No.30 chart position. A week's skiing in Austria, followed by another week shortly afterwards, introduced another passion to Cliff's life, although tennis still featured heavily, with the major media launch of the Cliff RICHARD TENNIS TRAIL. Primary schools in six U.K. towns were to be targeted during the summer months under this new scheme to introduce the game to youngsters who might otherwise never pick up a racquet. Again, European promotion and occasional TV appearances for diary space with the start of studio recording for a new album scheduled for 1993 release. The spring and summer also gave priority to a major promotional campaign by EMI in France for a compilation album aimed at the Continental market. One track in French was released as a single there. The first half of the year also saw time ear marked for a number of specifically Christian commitments, including a week spent in Uganda, filming a promotional film for the charity Tear Fund. The latter part of the year was monopolised by a major U.K.concert tour which, with nearly 30 sold-out shows at Birmingham's N.E.C. and Wembley Arena, not to mention other sell-outs at the Sheffield and Glasgow arenas, became Britain's biggest and most successful concert tour of the year, with a total audience of over 420,000. A number of Cliff's albums had never been available on CD. Plans were announced in October to release 36 titles in CD format for the first time. Packaged in pairs, 12 of them were made available in October, with a further 12 released in November. November also saw the release of a brand new single. Entitled "I STILL BELIEVE IN YOU", it was a taster for the forthcoming album and reached No. 7 in the charts.
1993A Year In The Career
This year began with Cliff in the studio, finishing off his new album which is due for release in late April. A single from it "PEACE IN OUR TIME" entered the charts at No. 8 in March. The same month saw the publication of a new biography of Cliff by rock writer Steve Turner, published by Lion Books. A Gospel tour started in late March, with dates in the U.K. and Eire. As always it was sold out, with all proceeds from the tour going to charity. With the release of "Cliff RICHARD - THE ALBUM" in April (which entered the charts at No. 1), the remaining 12 CD titles out in September, and celebrations for his 35th year in the industry, Cliff looks set to have one of his busiest and most successful years yet.
1994A Year In The Career
Cliff's priority for the early part of 1994 was intensive meetings and media interviews for the much-anticipated "Heathcliff" production, originally planned to open in November. The first five tracks, written for the show by Sir Tim Rice and John Farrar, were recorded for the album and momentum was gathering, when it was reluctantly decided that more time was needed for the writing and complex technical planning. In place of "Heathcliff" (now scheduled for Autumn 1996) Cliff will perform the 'Hit List Tour' in the UK and Eire. Thirty-five Top 5 hits coincided exactly with his 35th anniversary, which will be accompanied by the October release of the 'Hit List' album and video, supported by EMI's biggest marketing campaign on the year. The 31-date tour begins at Birmingham's NEC on 8 November, and includes arena performances in Sheffield, Wembley, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast and Dublin.
1995A Year In The Career
A continuation of 'The Hit List' tour - in the Far East, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa - virtually monopolised the diary until the end of April. Cliff's first commercial concerts in South Africa for nearly 20 years were hugely successful, with audiences of 30,000 in Pretoria and 20,000 in Cape Town.In the summer Cliff was privileged to be invited to perform as a principal artist during the VE Anniversary celebrations, both in Hyde Park and in front of Buckingham Palace, and he was honoured again some weeks later when he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for 'services to charity'. The actual investiture ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace in October. Cliff's 'Heathcliff' musical project occupied a great deal of the autumn, with visits to Los Angeles for recording and mixing the album, numerous production meetings, a UK radio promotional tour, and several television appearances, both in the UK and on the Continent, to support the release of the album 'SONGS FROM HEATHCLIFF' and the singles 'MISUNDERSTOOD MAN' and 'HADTO BE'. The headline role in November's Royal Variety Show also offered an ideal showcase opportunity for 'Heathcliff'.
1996A Year In The Career
Apart from live performances in Belgium and Denmark during the first half of the year, Cliff's time was occupied solely by 'Heathcliff'. The show was launched in March to great media interest, and box office records were broken for first-week ticket sales. The tour opened in Birmingham on 16 October for a four-week run, after which it transferred to Edinburgh for four weeks.
1997A Year In The Career
'Heathcliff' continued its run through January in Manchester, and, when the final performance closed at Labatt's Apollo, Hammersmith, in May, Cliff had played to audiences of close on half a million people, and had broken box office records at almost every theatre. Not a bad achievement in the light of dismissive and discouraging media attitudes.
Preparations for a new studio album, planned for release in the autumn of 1998, began with Austria-based producer, Peter Wolf, and a gospel concert tour - the first for four years - occupied the peak autumn period. Teaming up with the All Souls Orchestra proved to be a successful partnership, and the BBC TV transmission of the show on the Sunday after Christmas attracted over six million viewers.
'Heathcliff' made the first and final mark of the year, when the video of the show ran for eight weeks at the top of the music video charts and, with sales of well over 400,000, gave Cliff his biggest-selling video to date.
1998A Year In The Career
1998 not only marked Cliff's 40th anniversary in the music industry, but was one of the most relentlessly busy years ever.
After two months of concert touring in Australia and New Zealand, with guest artist Olivia Newton-John, he spent several weeks in Austria completing a new studio album which was released in the autumn. Videos for singles from the album - entitled 'REAL AS I WANNABE' - were shot in Portugal, and there were visits to France and Bulgaria for charity and television projects. One of the summer highlights was participation in the tribute concert at Althorp for Diana Princess of Wales.
The year ended with a four-week celebratory season of concerts in London's Royal Albert Hall. All tickets were sold within 48 hours of the box office opening, and a further twelve concerts were scheduled for early 1999.
1999A Year In The Career
Completing the record-breaking run of 32 sold-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in March, Cliff was presented with a special award to mark this extraordinary achievement.
More concerts followed in Germany, Denmark, Belgium and Holland, and the summer highlight was a series of three open-air concerts in London's Hyde Park. Audiences of nearly 40,000 watched those spectacular shows in ideal summer weather.
A major autumn TV show - 'An Audience With Cliff Richard' - gave Cliff the opportunity to launch his Christmas/Millennium single, combining the words of The Lord's Prayer with the melody of Auld Lang Syne. 'The Millennium Prayer' became Cliff's 14th No 1 hit during December. Alongside the single release, Cliff's 'Live inthe Park' video was launched, recalling memories of the Hyde Park concerts.
There was no way that Cliff would let the new Millennium arrive quietly - a series of ten 'Countdown' concerts, culminating in a charity gala spectacular on 31 December, all at Birmingham's NIA, made for a frantically busy end to the year. A live television transmission of one of the shows by Sky Box Office added to the high profile that Cliff has sustained for nearly half the century. A sabbatical year throughout 2000 - when Cliff hits 60 - seemed massively deserved.
2000A Year In The Career
For the first time in his 42-year career, Cliff took the year off. Instead of focussing on new lyrics and media deadlines, he planned trips abroad and visited friends. Instead of a diary crammed with personal appearances, interviews and tour schedules, there were blank pages, allowing Cliff to do as he pleased.
There was the occasional call to pick up his guitar - a local charity concert in Weston Super Mare, for instance - in memory of Jill Dando - and in July he headlined a Christian music festival in Glastonbury. But for the most part Cliff was overseas - often in the USA, where virtual anonymity allowed him the luxury of being able to shop, sight-see, and just wander about without hassle or staring eyes.
Undoubtedly the year's highlight was a 60th birthday celebration which began with a huge dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, organised by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, which culminated with a memorable week's cruise in the Mediterranean with 80 friends and family.
Certainly the year 2000 marked a watershed in Cliff's life and career. There are no thoughts of retirement but a definate determination to shift his future career into a lower gear.
2001A Year In The Career
The gear-shift seemed to get off to a good start. It was May before Cliff appeared in front of an audience and before that he eased himself back to business by laying down tracks for his new album Wanted, scheduled for November release.
Working with favourite producer Alan Tarney, Cliff has come up with an album which is a mix of old and new songs. The first single from the album is likely to be Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World.
Cliff's May concert season at the Royal Albert Hall was a huge success - very much a Reunion Of The Heart for many. The overwhelming verdict was a 'thumbs up' for Cliff's treatment of old songs such as Moon River and Every Time We Say Goodbye, though he has no intention of abandoning the old favourites.
Prominent in Cliff's new-style schedule is time spent overseas, and this year Portugal, Barbados, Italy, France and America have featured in his itinerary. After his long summer break, he returned to a hectic schedule of media promotion for his new Wanted album, both in the UK and in Europe, including the filming of a major television special The Hits I Missed for ITV. December saw the release of his single Somewhere Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World.
2002A Year In The Career
A happy and increasingly busy year, with the kick-off to a world tour, and the Queen's Golden Jubilee concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace among the highlights.
Early in the year it was evident that Cliff had lost none of his pulling power! Within 48 hours of box offices opening, virtually every ticket for the UK leg of the Wanted tour was sold. Fans reportedly queued for over a week at many of the venues.
During March and April a number of tv appearances and radio interviews were scheduled to promote the Spring release of the single Let Me Be The One.
The most high-profile of the television shows was a Des O'Connor Special, a segment of which was filmed at Cliff's Portuguese vineyard. The imminent launch of Cliff's wine Vida Nova was a lively talking point, and Des's prediction of a speedy sell-out proved accurate. When Vida Nova appeared on supermarket shelves later in the year, it became as hot an item as a Cliff concert ticket, and there were many would-be wine-tasters left waiting for the 2002 vintage.
Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee concert was memorable. Cliff sang two songs - one with S Club 7 - and appeared in the finale line-up alongside Paul McCartney and Rod Stewart. The atmosphere, both backstage and out front among the audience, was heartening and inspiring.
During the year Cliff paid two or three visits to his new home in Barbados. The headaches involved in dealing with shipping items of furniture and coping with Customs procedures were, he says, worth it!
After a September visit to La Manga in Spain for a fund-raising event in aid of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, it was time for intensive rehearsals for the Wanted tour which began in Belfast in mid-October and continued through the UK for several weeks.
In mid-December, after touring in Europe, Cliff paused for a break. Another Tennis Classic saw 10,000 people at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena, and then it was back to Barbados to recuperate before the longest leg of the tour - Australia. New Zealand and the Far East.
2003A Year In The Career
It was mid-March before Cliff and the crew returned home from Australasia but despite itching to get back to Barbados, there was recording to be done - six tracks for a new Christmas album.
Then it was back to Barbados for an extended holiday, combined with some recording work in Nashville for a 2004 album release.
2004A Year In The Career
Following a private visit to Australia at the beginning of 2004, Cliff returned via Cambodia where he visited a number of projects set up by the relief and development agency Tearfund. A promotional video was subsequently released by Tearfund, highlighting the impact of HIV/AIDS on the children of Phnom Penh.
Fourteen sell-out concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall were presented in April, during which Cliff was able to debut seven tracks from his new album - albeit nearly six months prior to its release!
Similarly, those new songs featured in the hugely successful and enjoyable 'Summer Nights' concert tour in July, staged outdoors at some of Britain's most impressive stately homes and castles. The Castles In The Air video, filmed at Leeds Castle in Kent, was released in the autumn and by Christmas had sold over 100,000 units.
The long-awaited released of Cliff's Nashville-recorded album Something's Goin' On occurred in October and made the Top 10 the following week. Similarly the first single Somethin' Is Goin' On notched up another Top 10 hit for Cliff, though the second single I Cannot Give You My Love just failed to make it - at Number 11!
The three months leading up to Christmas saw a relentless round of promotional commitments, both in the UK and Europe, one of the highlights being a performance at the Royal Variety Show when Cliff was joined for one song by Olivia Newton-John.
2005A Year In The Career
During a three-month stay at his home in Barbados early in the year, Cliff performed a charity concert with his band in aid of the Barbados Children's Trust. On his return to the UK in April, there were a number of media promotion commitments around the release of his What Car single.
In May Cliff took part in the spectacular VE Day concert in London's Trafalgar Square, performing the new single and Sentimental Journey. There were further tv appearances, mainly in Europe, and in June an outstanding radio concert performed with the Metropole Orchestra in Amsterdam's Carre. Theatre and broadcast in many European countries.
With the Wimbledon Championships over, Cliff headed to his home in Portugal for several weeks, though his holiday was interrupted by a flying visit to Germany in August, to sing at the Catholic church's World Youth Day in Cologne. Over a million people were gathered there to take part in the Papal Mass which preceded the concert.
In October Cliff celebrated his 65th birthday in Portugal with a group of friends.
2006A Year In The Career
2006 began quietly but built to a frantically busy conclusion. Taking part in Dionne Warwick's 45th anniversary show in Los Angeles was a January highlight, and in the spring Cliff was honoured by Portugal who, at a ceremony at the Portuguese Embassy in London, bestowed their equivalent of a knighthood in recognition of his personal and business involvement in that country over 40 years.
Recording tracks for Two's Company - an album of duets - enabled Cliff to share studios with the likes of Brian May, Barry Gibb and Daniel O'Donnell, and the release of the album by EMI in November registered another Top 10 chart success.
After a house move in the summer, Cliff began rehearsals for the UK leg of his Here & Now tour, which played to arenas around the UK and Ireland through November and early December. Immediately after the final concerts in Dublin, Cliff began a short but intense media promotion schedule for the duets album, the Here & Now show DVD, and a new single 21st Century Christmas. Although the latter just failed to make the No 1 spot in the downloads chart, it nevertheless went to the top of the 'over the counter' sales chart!
2007A Year In The Career
After a few weeks in Barbados at the start of the year, Cliff took to the road again, with the resumption of his Here & Now tour in overseas territories – South-East Asia, South Africa, Europe and Iceland.
Following a visit to the US in April, Cliff returned to Barbados where, during the next two or three months, he recorded some tracks in Eddie Grant's studio for the 'Love Songs' album, and also spent several days talking to Penny Junor, who had been commissioned to co-write a new Cliff autobiography.
After a brief return to the UK for part of the Wimbledon Championships, Cliff spent the rest of the summer in Portugal. While there he recorded 50 Bible stories for three CDs to accompany a children's book to be published early in 2008, and also filmed the television advertisement for the album release later in the year.
Cliff was in America again for the US Open Tennis in New York at the end of the summer. Later in the year he returned to the UK for a flurry of television and radio commitments to promote the EMI release of Love... The Album, plus more conversations with Penny Junor for the autobiography. Christmas was spent in New York.
2008A Year In The Career
Cliff spent the early months of the year in Barbados, before travelling to Brazil in early March to visit Tearfund projects. He was accompanied by Penny Junor, gathering more material for the new book, plus a camera crew from the BBC's Songs of Praise, filming for a special programme later in the year.
After returning to Barbados for a few weeks, Cliff flew to China in mid-April to take part in Olivia Newton-John's Great Walk To Beijing, a walk on the Great Wall of China to raise funds for her special cancer unit at a hospital in Melbourne, Australia.
This was followed by travel in the Middle East, Europe and the USA, during which time Cliff recorded a track with the Olsen Brothers (a Danish duo) and had the photo-shoot for his 2009 calendar. He returned to the UK for the second week of the Wimbledon Championships, before spending the rest of the summer at his home in Portugal.
Cliff arrived back in the UK in early September to launch his autobiography My Life, My Way and to undertake several book signings around the country. There were several media interviews to promote not only the book, but also his forthcoming Time Machine tour, and the 8CD box set - And They Said It Wouldn't Last - released by EMI to mark his 50th anniversary in the music business.
September also saw a 50th anniversary Tribute Lunch for Cliff, given by The Variety Club, and the unveiling of a plaque at Elstree Film Studios to mark his film work there in the 1960s.
The 14-date Time Machine tour ran through November to enthusiastic audiences. EMI released a double CD Cliff Richard – 50th Anniversary Album, and Universal released a DVD of the Time Machine tour – which spent over two months in the DVD Top Ten.
In December Cliff reunited with The Shadows to perform at the Royal Variety Show, a 'taster' for their UK and European tours in 2009.
2009A Year In The Career
Cliff spent the first few months of the year in Barbados, with a few days in Florida at the end of March to record his vocals for the Cliff & The Shadows – Reunited album. While in Barbados he recorded the audio version of his biography My Life, My Way, did the photographic shoot for the 2010 calendar, and filmed an interview with Piers Morgan which was screened on ITV in September.
In early May Cliff recorded tracks for his swing album in Nashville, then flew back to the UK for an intensive week of meetings, interviews, and charity events. After a few days in France - taking in the Monaco Grand Prix - he returned to the USA for much of June, arriving back in the UK at the end of the month for the second week of the Wimbledon Championships.
The rest of July and August was spent in Portugal. At the beginning of September he flew to Ireland for two weeks of rehearsals with The Shadows in Killarney, where their Final Reunion tour started on 19 September, moving on to Dublin, Belfast, London's O2 Arena, Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester and finishing at Wembley Arena towards the end of October.
Cliff & The Shadows took the tour around Europe throughout November, taking in France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Germany.
September saw the only single release of the year - Singing The Blues from the Reunited album, which itself was released at the end of that month. A DVD of The Final Reunion tour was released in November and topped the DVD charts for two weeks; it remained in the Top 10 in the UK until well into 2010, and achieved No 1 status in many other countries around the world.
After a few days in the UK in early December, Cliff flew to the US for Christmas.
2010A Year In The Career
After a New Year break, Cliff and The Shadows continued their 'Final Reunion' tour through February and much of March, travelling around Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Cliff spent April and May at his Barbados home, though he did return to Europe for a brief visit when Queen Margrethe of Denmark invited him to sing Congratulations at her official 70th birthday celebrations. In June he spent a few days in Dublin, recording a duet with Majella O'Donnell while there, for her new album. A short visit to friends in France was followed by his return to England for a family wedding and, of course, the Wimbledon Championships.
Most of the summer was spent in Portugal then, following a few days in New York in early September, Cliff took his keyboard player and a technician to Portugal, where he began rehearsals for his six nights of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in October. The Bold As Brass concerts ran across the week of Cliff's 70th birthday and also coincided with the release of his eponymous album.
2011A Year In The Career
Following a New Year break in the USA and Barbados, Cliff flew in to the UK in March to a Press Conference in London announcing his collaboration with David Gest together with Lamont Dozier and Ashford & Simpson Producing tracks on his Soul Album which was to be named "Soulicious". Cliff returned to Barbados to prepare, and in April travelled to Memphis to record with Lamont Dozier Producing at Willie Mitchell's Royal Studios, Ardent Studios with the majority of the album's artists.
Cliff took a short break at the end of April before travelling on to Orlando to shoot his 2012 Calendar at a number of well known locations.
In Mid May Cliff flew in briefly to the UK to attend his nephew's wedding before spending a few days in France with friends. In May Cliff became a Knight of the Order of St John at a ceremony in Malta, and also received the Palma D'Oro (a Peace Award). Cliff returned to the USA after his trip to Malta, and in early June recorded the final tracks of the album with Nikolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson Producing at Above Asia Studios in New York.
Once the album tracks were recorded, Cliff travelled to join friends on a European cruise, arriving back in the UK in time for the second week of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, but even his time at the championships this year was interrupted by the album photo shoot, an appearance on BBC1's "The One Show" and a close family friend's wedding.
After Wimbledon, Cliff spent a few days in Dublin with friends. Cliff was invited to appear in a cameo role in Ray Cooney's new British film, so a day in London filming, was conveniently squeezed in before his appearance on ITV's "Loose Women" in mid-July, allowing Cliff to debut the track "Saving a Life" together with Freda Payne who flew in from Los Angeles to perform with Cliff.
Cliff then travelled on to Portugal for the remainder of the summer, managing to accommodate a hectic week of promotion pre-recorded TV and Radio interviews and magazine articles for the album and imminent tour whilst there. Cliff even agreed to perform an acoustic set for a Charity concert fundraiser on the Algarve.
Cliff had been invited to attend the US Open Tennis in Flushing Meadow in early September, so a short trip to New York was followed by more UK promotion on television and radio; Freda invited once more to perform with Cliff on ITV's "The Alan Titchmarsh Show". Cliff returned to Portugal to begin preparations with Keith Hayman for the tour. Cliff joined the Band and Dance rehearsals in Dublin in early October where the performances took shape. The full touring party, including the Guest Artists arrived in the UK in October to begin Production Rehearsals in Yorkshire. Cliff celebrated his 71st Birthday after rehearsals in Nottingham with friends and on 15th October "The Soulicious Tour" opened at the Nottingham Capital FM Arena to a great reception.
The short UK tour of only 8 concerts ended in Newcastle on 28th October where Cliff bid farewell to his Guest Artists and took a few days break in Portugal.
In November Cliff was awarded the Honorary German Sustainability Award in Dusseldorf, and performed a short musical set at the Gala evening. The next day Cliff was signing bottles of his Vida Nova wine range in Dusseldorf. Cliff spent a few days in Paris with friends before a week's promotion for the album and the Tour DVD release "Cliff Richard – The Soulicious Tour, Live at The 02". Cliff was a guest on BBC 1's "The Graham Norton Show", BBC's "The Festival of Remembrance" and ITV's "Loose Women", attended the exclusive fans screening of the DVD at The Odeon West End, Leicester Square and also signed DVD's at HMV, Birmingham.
Following the whirlwind week of promotion Cliff flew to New York for Thanksgiving with friends, and then travelled on to his home in Barbados to work in his garden.
2012A Year In The Career
Cliff celebrated New Year 2012 in Paris with friends. He spent a short spell in NYC in January before his return to his home in Barbados. A holiday cruise in February followed by a few days with friends in Florida, and then back to Barbados. A brief trip to Germany was next, to perform with RTL AllStars at Sixt's 100 year celebrations in Berlin. He returned to Barbados to finish up work in the garden and begin to prepare for his upcoming performances.
In May Cliff visited RHS Chelsea representing BHS Barbados exhibit "Summer Holiday" and enjoying the other gardens on show. He was honoured to be asked by Dionne Warwick to take part in the Hunger Project Charity Gala performance at the Royal Albert Hall in the same week, and then began his rehearsals for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert. Even when rehearsing Cliff managed to fit in a Patron visit to Shooting Star Hospice, Weybridge where he caught up with staff, patients and parents to witness the wonderful care the hospice provides.
The Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace was one highlight in an amazing 2012 for Cliff. Despite the weather he also managed to celebrate the Jubilee Boat Pageant with friends in London, catching a bus to beat waiting in the rain for a taxi amongst the crowds.
A brief trip to Aalborg, Denmark, followed to open the "Park of Singing Trees" (Cliff planted the first tree there many years ago). Cliff then managed to take a short Mediterranean cruise with friends before performing at another charity event, for St John's Beaumont School in Windsor raising essential funds for their sister school in Africa.
Cliff was honoured to be asked by Samsung to carry the Olympic Torch in Birmingham and (ever one to combine events) he took the opportunity to visit staff and patients at the Birmingham Women's Hospital Neonatal Unit to see the equipment the Birmingham Fan Club have purchased through their fundraising in Cliff's name. Cliff then joined the bus of fellow torch bearers for a few hours en route to his designated spot in Birmingham for an uplifting and memorable run.
Cliff's annual Wimbledon Tennis Championships visit enabled him to catch up with friends and fellow tennis fanatics before his annual Portuguese summer holiday.
A brief return to the UK from Portugal for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics courtesy of friends, and then he spent an enjoyable month at his Quinta, enjoying the peace and quiet and catching up with local friends.
Cliff performed at a cancer charity event in London in October before heading off to Thailand, Cambodia and Burma for a memorable and educational trip with close friends.
Cliff was delighted to be the guest of honour at a charity Lunch given by The Lady Taverner's at the Dorchester in November, hosted by Judith Chalmers, then a return home to Barbados again to begin preparations for his 2013 Australasian Tour.
2013A Year In The Career
Early 2013 saw Cliff travel to Australia to begin rehearsals for his Still Reelin' and A-Rockin' Tour. The tour kicked off in New Zealand and after 16 dates in New Zealand and Australia he travelled on to perform in Singapore and Manila. The Sydney Opera House concert was recorded for a DVD release later in the autumn.
Cliff then spent a month or so at home in Barbados following the tour before moving on to Nashville, TN to record The Fabulous Rock 'N' Roll Songbook, some of the tracks having already featured on the concert tour. Whilst in Nashville Cliff was invited to perform at The Grand Ole Opry which was well received.
A photographic shoot followed for the 2014 Calendar, and then another break back home in Barbados provided some well-deserved R&R. After a short holiday with friends in France Cliff began rehearsals for an unusually chilly and windy UK open air tour of 6 stately homes followed by 2 nights at the stunning Hampton Court Palace.
A short cruise in the Med and a week at Wimbledon (the highlight was watching Andy Murray in his historic win) preceded Cliff's first return to Israel for over 25 years, performing 2 concerts in Tel Aviv. Whilst in Israel, Cliff took time to personally witness the work carried out by the Freddie Krivine Foundation that he originally helped fund, seeing children of all faiths playing tennis together.
Cliff's annual summer break in Portugal provided a fabulous setting in which to catch up with family and friends before heading off in early September to catch the US Open Tennis.
Cliff returned to a relentless promotion period late autumn, carrying out over 100 TV and radio interviews to announce his 100th album release and the DVD recorded in Sydney. Finally, a week of European promotion rounded off a very busy year, with Christmas and New Year spent at home in Barbados.
2014A Year In The Career
2014 began where 2013 had ended with a well-earned break in Barbados. Cliff was asked to perform at a Give Back QC charity event in early February, fundraising to build a Multipurpose Sports Facility at Queen's College, Barbados, which he really enjoyed.
Cliff shot his annual Calendar images whilst in Barbados with the Photographer Alan Olley. After a brief time in the USA Cliff flew into the UK to join friends at The Aintree Grand National at the beginning of April. Time in Europe followed, with TV, radio and various other media interviews prior to rehearsals with his band for the European leg of his Still Reelin' and Rockin' Tour which kicked off early May in Hamburg and ended in Paris, and then 3 further dates in Ireland.
Cliff and friends enjoyed a short Mediterranean cruise before the eagerly anticipated Guest Appearance in NYC with Morrissey. Sadly, the event was cancelled at the last minute due to Morrissey's ill health, so as not to disappoint his loyal fans, Cliff and the CRO hastily reassembled to put on an intimate 'evening with Cliff' accompanied by Suzi and Keith from the band, and interviewed on stage by Phill Silverstone. It was a huge success, and most enjoyable for all concerned.
The annual Wimbledon Championships provided an opportunity to catch up with UK friends and family before Cliff's departure to Portugal for the summer months. Cliff performed at a charity concert at the Winery in early August.
Cliff visited Verona with friends in October after which he departed UK for the USA where he was to record his 2nd Rock 'N' Roll album with Steve Mandile in Nashville, TN. Christmas was spent at home in Barbados.
2015A Year In The Career
The beginning of the year in Barbados provided a perfect setting to begin planning Cliff's 75th birthday concert. There was a short diversion with the new calendar shoot in various beautiful locations on the island with UK photographer, Alan Olley.
In May Cliff flew to Denmark for some wine signings which were extremely popular, and then he went on to Portugal to recharge his 'batteries' which, he says jokingly, 'get run down in Barbados.' Of course there was still further planning for the tour.
Cliff departed for Salzburg in June for a friend's wedding (four days of partying!) and this was followed by a Mediterranean cruise with a group of friends. Calm seas, bright sun and nothing to do but relax. He said on his return, 'I think I'm getting too old for partying.'
Tragically, after a brave fight with her cancer, Cliff's niece Linzi passed away in late June. Cliff spoke at Linzi's funeral and also at the funeral of David Bryce, his former Manager. Both funerals were held the same week in July. Two funerals were difficult enough, but as you know Cilla's passing was a huge shock for everyone and once more Cliff was called upon to participate. 'I don't think anyone 'likes' a funeral but the request from Cilla's family was too great an honour to pass up,' he said looking back to that dark day.
August was spent back in Portugal to prepare for rehearsals for the tour.
Cliff enjoyed a busy wine signing at the Adega do Cantor in early September and was serenaded by the fans singing Golden to him, the track having just been released by the Record Company.
Rehearsals for Cliff's 75th Birthday Tour began in Killarney, Ireland, in mid-September where Cliff, the band and crew celebrated the general release of his 101st album - Cliff Richard 75 at 75 - another top 10 success!
Cliff's birthday tour, in more intimate UK concert hall venues, was a sell out with rave reviews, and showed such an overwhelming sense of fun both on stage and in the audience too. The tour ended with a final 6 nights at the Royal Albert Hall. Cliff's 75th birthday night was recorded for the DVD, and Cliff was subjected to a few surprises - Paul O'Grady introducing video tributes on stage, and Olivia Newton-John wheeling on a cake - he admits that he knew that Olivia was going to be there, but he knew absolutely nothing of the interruptions beforehand! He said, 'I won't be forgetting my 75th birthday in a hurry. I loved being on stage with my band but I have to say that the welcome I received from my audience each night was an emotional experience that I will NEVER forget and although it seems inadequate to say just thanks, never-the-less...I must. So I say, thank you for your love and support'
Shortly after the Albert Hall concerts, he departed for a week's birthday celebration in LA with John and Pat Farrar and, of course, Olivia. John was 70 and Cliff was the surprise guest.
The DVD made it to #1 in the UK DVD Music Chart.
Cliff ended 2015 celebrating Christmas in New York and then welcomed the New Year in Florida.
2016A Year In The Career
Cliff's new year kicked off with friends in Florida, and he then travelled on for his annual rest and relaxation in Barbados, which was only broken by a short trip with friends to Oman in March then return to Barbados.
A family wedding in Italy in July provided a diversion before rehearsals in the UK for the tour dates in the Faroe Islands and on to Denmark. Both venues were enjoyed by fans and locals, and of course Cliff.
A new venture for Cliff - performing on a Mediterranean cruise in late August was well received and thoroughly enjoyed by Cliff and his sister Joan as well as countless fans joining him too.
Early September was spent in NYC enabling Cliff to attend the NY Open Tennis, and after a few weeks in the USA, Cliff returned to celebrate a special birthday with another friend, and a short Mediterranean cruise with close friends.
October was spent planning media opportunities and Cliff made a presentation at the Pride of Britain Awards to the Song and Dance Man, raising funds for Alzheimers.
After a brief sojourn to his beloved Portugal, Cliff returned in November to 2 weeks of whirlwind promotion for the Just...Fabulous Rock 'n' Roll album release with Sony Music. TV and Radio appearances and an HMV signing created the necessary buzz to lift the Gold Award winning album to chart success.
Cliff performed at and auctioned his personal Mercedes off at a NSPCC Charity Ball in early December, and he concluded his UK Promo with a Christmas appearance on This Morning making his legendary gravy and performing 2 tracks with his band.
Cliff spent Christmas in the USA before departing for sunnier climes and celebrating the New Year in Barbados.
2017A Year In The Career
Cliff celebrated the 2017 New Year in Barbados with friends. Whilst in Barbados he performed at the "Because of Jenner" Fundraising Charity Gala.
The "Blue Suede Shoes" duet with Elvis from the "Just…Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll 2016 album was released in February, and Cliff was interviewed by ITV’s Ross King for the "Lorraine" show to promote the duet. He still can’t believe that he finally sang with the King !
Cliff enjoyed a short sailing holiday with friends at the end of March, before heading to the USA.
Cliff returned to Portugal earlier than previous years to prepare for his summer tour, and whilst there invited fans to a wine signing at the Adega do Cantor in late May.
He then began rehearsals with the band in London in early June before a short trip to Denmark for two shows in Copenhagen and Aalborg, followed by one in Cork, and then onto the UK mainland for a series of summer shows at stately homes. The tour was a hit with the fans, with decent weather, apart from the Harewood House concert where fans were positively soaking! He and the band were very impressed with the audience...because (despite the downpour) none of them left. The final two shows of the tour were at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, a spectacular way to end the tour with balmy summer weather and packed audiences.
Then, of course came one of Cliff’s favourite times of the year and he attended the second week of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships where he enjoyed his usual seat in Members, following his favourite sport.
After a long late summer break in Portugal and the USA Cliff travelled out to a new venue at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, where he received a hugely flattering review and then a return to Tel Aviv where he is always made welcome, for the final two performances of 2017. Whilst in Tel Aviv Cliff attended The Freddie Krivine Tennis Foundation fundraising afternoon with patrons, presenting prizes to the competition winners and watching the younger Arab/Israeli tennis players who have been supported by Cliff’s donations in the past.
A lengthy cruise from Los Angeles introduced Cliff to Hawaiian waters, before Christmas with friends in the USA.
2018A Year In The Career
Cliff started the new year in Cuba and found it fascinating. Early January he flew to Barbados to winter as usual at his home in sunnier climes, with plenty to do working alongside the A&R team choosing the eventual tracks for his “RISE UP” album.
With April’s High Court Trial completed, Cliff departed to visit friends in the USA, and to record the album at Criteria Studios in Miami. He loves it there as Barry and the Bee Gees have recorded some of their biggest hits in the studio....he is a huge fan!
After recording, Cliff travelled to Portugal, slightly earlier than usual, and attended the Adega do Cantor wine signing event – posing for individual photographs with 1600 fans (which surely must be a record?!)
A short Mediterranean cruise with friends was followed by attending the Wimbledon Championships, Cliff was extremely grateful to be invited into the Royal Box for the 2nd Thursday of the championships. He gets invited every year but has never taken that for granted and always feels honoured to be asked.
Cliff returned to Portugal to begin his pre-rehearsal routine, learning the lyrics for his upcoming tour.
Rehearsals began in September, and Cliff, the Band & Crew based themselves in Killarney, Ireland for Production rehearsals and the first show of his 60th Anniversary Tour. The Tour comprised 14 dates, including 2 special nights at the RAH (including Cliff’s birthday where he was serenaded by Bonnie Tyler). They have since, recorded a duet together titled “Taking Control” which is featured on her new album Between the Earth and Stars. His performance at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester was live streamed around the world to 100,000 fans in cinemas and then on to Denmark for a final 4 performances.
Cliff rushed back to perform at the Arora Charity Ball, raising an incredible £1 million for Royal Marsden Cancer Charity & Macmillan Cancer Support, and a couple of nights later, presented an award at the Pride of Britain, screened on ITV.
A short break to re-charge, and then Cliff began a hectic Promotional round for his album “RISE UP”, with TV, Radio and in person signings in London and Manchester. Sadly, the pace, and the winter bugs took their toll, and the final 2 promo dates had to be cancelled due to Cliff developing laryngitis – a very disappointing way to end the thoroughly successful year.
Cliff departed the UK to relax and recuperate before spending Christmas with friends.
2019A Year In The Career
Cliff was overseas at the beginning of January, continuing his tradition of wintering in sunnier climes.
He performed at a few charity fundraisers whilst in Barbados, and recorded duets with Howard Carpendale and Bonnie Tyler for albums that were released later in 2019.
In May Cliff did a wine signing at Jumbo supermarket in the Algarve which was extremely well attended by fans.
With open air concerts in June/July, it was time to rehearse with his band, before the first two dates in Denmark followed by a further 3 “Diamond Encore” shows in the UK.
Cliff supported Daniel Janner and Paul Gambaccini’s Press Launch for the Petition regarding Privacy until Charged in Westminster on 1st July.
Immediately after the tour dates Cliff departed on a cruise with friends around the Mediterranean, before returning for his favourite time of the year at The Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
During the Championship Cliff was honoured by Variety, The Children’s Charity, in a fundraising dinner at The Marriot Hotel, Grosvenor Square, which raised a formidable £200,000 for the charity.
After Wimbledon, Cliff performed at a charity dinner for Lost Chord Charity, held at Lincoln’s Inn, duetting with his Co. Patron Lesley Garrett.
Cliff spent the summer once again at his house in Portugal, with friends and family visiting. He also hosted 2 groups of fans for lunch at his Quinta, who had successfully bid for the lunch with private jet from the UK at the Arora Charity Ball in 2018.
At the end of August, Cliff attended the Fans Diamond Ball at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, raising funds for The Sir Cliff Richard Charitable Trust and also the Caron Keating Foundation. Again, incredible funds were raised and shared between both charities, and it was a hugely popular event.
Cliff spent the latter part of 2019 overseas and announced on his birthday in October on The Lorraine Show on ITV that The Great 80 Tour in 2020 will be his opportunity for 80th Birthday celebrations with his fans in the UK. He says he cannot wait!
2020A Year In The Career
1st January 2020 seen in from the USA dawned bright and sunny, hopefully a great start to the 80th Birthday year.
A hop over to Barbados in early January with days working in the garden and trans-Atlantic discussions over the theme and tracks for the new album. How fortunate to be at home in Barbados for the start of the Covid-19 Lockdown. Cliff was grateful to have the outside space and lovely weather in which to isolate, but housekeeping jobs had to be done too. Cliff also worked on the finishing touches to his book, The Dreamer, which would be released in the autumn, and started to learn his lyrics for The Great 80 Tour, always hopeful that it could still be staged.
The inevitable decision was taken in July to postpone the tour to 2021. It was extremely difficult to make the decision and of course, contingencies needed to be made to secure the venues for 2021, but safety for everyone was of paramount importance.
Cliff recorded the new album tracks in early September from NYC with Larry Klein (Producer) accompanying him online via Zoom. The delay in recording then put Warner Music under pressure to turn the album around in time, which of course they did.
With an album, comes promotion, so plans were made for Cliff to come to the UK. Every route provided issues, so eventually, Cliff arrived in the UK and began his 14 day quarantine of self-isolation. Fortunately, with the imminent release of his book, The Dreamer, Cliff was able to be productive during quarantine, and he recorded the audio version remotely, working full days with his Producer online alongside him. As soon as the quarantine period was over, Cliff was able to do a few promotional interviews to announce the new album “Music…The Air That I Breathe, and film the TV ad for the album in an empty Haymarket Theatre in London.
Cliff then embarked on a hugely busy, and successful promo period, despite the introduction of restrictions of the Covid-19 Tiers. With TV companies and radio studios strict guidance, many were done remotely via online interviews, some with Zoom, others sent equipment to the house – Cliff was getting very good at setting up his home studio, lighting and sound – technology!
Cliff managed to record an amazing number of interviews and TV appearances, for both the book, album, and of course, with much media interest in his 80th birthday - a socially distanced celebratory dinner with a tiny group of 6, rather than the intended celebrations with his fans at the Royal Albert Hall.
Cliff was delighted that the fans and public were hugely supportive of the album and book, securing a no.3 in the Album Charts, and a no. 2 in the book charts. The book was featured in the Sunday Times Bestsellers list for a number of weeks, and following the no.3 album chart position, The Official Charts Company confirmed that Cliff set a new all-time Official Chart record by becoming the first artist ever to score a Top 5 album in 8 consecutive decades!
With overwhelming Covid news changing by the day, it was difficult to secure Cliff’s return home to Barbados, but fortunately, he was able to get home to the sunshine (with a short mandatory quarantine) before the next lockdown.
2020 was certainly not the year he had planned or envisaged, and disappointing for so many, but health is more important, so 2021 will hopefully bring the celebrations intended in 2020.