The Shadows know and, thanks to Gary Pig Gold, now you can too

For those still old enough to peg the launch of British rock to the evening of February 9, 1964, when four young Liverpudlians appeared, as if from nowhere, on the stage of The Ed Sullivan Show, think of this: last year a different U.K. band celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with a series of sold-out concerts at London’s mammoth O2 Arena. At the height of their success, this band placed an astounding twenty-eight hits atop the British charts, have released over one hundred albums worldwide and their lead singer was knighted by the Queen before Elton John, Tom Jones, Mick Jagger or even Paul McCartney. That singer’s name? Cliff Richard. His band? The Shadows.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s grand new release, Cliff And The Shadows: The Final Reunion DVD, documents the band’s landmark 2009 O2 Arena performances and constitutes the perfect two-hour primer of and for pre-Beatles British rock. Accordingly, barely a minute into the proceedings and legendary Shadows guitarist Hank B. Marvin claims Cliff’s 1959 chart-topper “Living Doll” as, and I shall quote,”The first real British rock and roll record.” That classic is duly performed herein, along with forty-one! other songs and it’s all in just under 137 minutes. Every song comes fast and furious, short and sweet, and at a near assembly-line pace. All the excitement is captured in sight and especially in sound, which is clean, bright and sharp from the very beginning until the final encore.



Despite an alarming amount of critical mass to (and by) the contrary, there truly was much, much more worth hearing this decade just past than those big Big Star, Beatle, Bob Dylan and even Neil Young box sets.

No, really!

So then, strictly alphabetically speaking as always, here’s what I spent much of January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2009 listening very closely to whilst Rock and Roll Reporting…..

Apartment – Sparkle Bicycle
Waikiki Record (2008)

Tatsuya Namai’s radiant pop of the Daniel Johnston-meets-Shonen Knife variety.

Alex Brennan – The Last Smile Of The Pied Piper (2004)

Hopefully Mr. Brennan will be duly hired to give the Beach Boys’ catalog that Beatles Love treatment when the time inevitably arrives.

Lindsey Buckingham – Under The Skin
Reprise Records (2006)

Once insane, always insane.

Candypants – Candypants
Sympathy For The Record Industry (2000)

Ronnie Spector fronts Elvis’ Attractions …and THEN some!