Liner Note Author: Richard Allen Williams M.D.
There are probably as many Cliff Richard hits compilations as he's had hits to fill them with, but there is no faulting the logic behind this set. Released as part of the jamboree that celebrated the 50th anniversary of his first hit, "Move It," 50th Anniversary Album is a more than welcome successor to the 30-year-old 40 Golden Greats set, a 50-track extravaganza that might not round up every major hit he has ever scored, but certainly has an eye for the most important ones. Of course the CD opens with "Move It" before rushing into a recap of the tidal wave of hits that kept Richard at the top of the charts for the next five years. Thirteen tracks predate the arrival of (and his replacement by) the Beatles, although his decline was not quite so precipitous as the remainder of disc one might suggest -- the remainder of the 1960s are disposed with in just a dozen songs; the 1970s fly past with just three. But disc two opens with the so-stellar "Carrie" and, if the '80s, '90s, and 2000s pass by with considerably less excitement and panache than their predecessors, still there is no denying the sheer quality of the hits, nor their success. Anybody seeking a more representative, complete or (let's be honest) enjoyable survey of Cliff Richard's hits has a lot of discs to choose one. If you want a one-stop round-up o 50 years worth of the things, however, this is the set for you. ~ Dave Thompson