Monday, May 16, 2011

Cliff Richard - On The Continent ( BOX SET)

CLIFF RICHARD On The Continent (Stunning 1997 German-only Bear Family 102-track 5 x picture CD set, compiling for the first time all of the German, French, Spanish and Italian recordings made by Cliff between 1961 and 1974. )

On the Continent brings together every single track Cliff Richard recorded for exclusive European release -- that is, those he recorded in each of the four foreign languages deemed representative of his biggest non-English markets: German, French, Italian, and Spanish. And if the idea of hearing "Congratulations" rendered into any one (or, in fact, all four) of those tongues does not immediately strike you as compulsive entertainment, then you probably don't need to know that the collection does not end with released material. Outtakes and alternates also creep in, for a total of 102 tracks spread across four discs (the fifth recalls an early-'60s interview with the German magazine Bravo). And there is also a beautifully designed 96-page hardback book, recounting the singer's European adventures in words, pictures, and record covers, plus a full sessionography covering the collection's contents. It was EMI's German office that first suggested, in December 1960, that Richard record a unique German language version of his latest hit, "Fall in Love With You," as a gift to his local fans; it was the immediate success of the venture that prompted a follow-up just three months later, "Theme for a Dream." Both of these singles, in their original form, have remained Holy Grails of a kind for collectors: "Fall in Love" for its totally rearranged backing track; "Theme" for its exclusive B-side, "Vrenelli." And both remained isolated offerings for another couple of years -- it would be 1963 before Richard again attempted a foreign language, when the unprecedented continental success of Summer Holiday demanded a slew of immediate follow-ups. Comprising a mixture of both new material and re-recordings of familiar hit songs, When in Spain was performed completely in Spanish, When in France in French, and When in Rome in Italian. All three sets are presented here in their entirety, each rounded out by a string of singles recorded and released in their respective territories toward the end of the 1960s: "Questions" (French), a re-recording of "On the Beach" (Italian), and the eternal "Congratulations" included. 

The performances are, generally, superb. Unlike such misbegotten renderings as the Beatles' "Sie Liebe Dicht," Bowie's Italian "Space Oddity," and sundry other well-intentioned continental concoctions, Richard usually sounds as assured and unflappable as ever, no matter what tongue he's performing in. It is also interesting to compare the backing tracks with the familiar English language releases. On many occasions, local session musicians would overdub a touch of regional flavor to the original tape, essentially creating a whole new recording. Although all of Richard's foreign language recordings were successful in their intended markets, Germany remained his strongest continental audience, and he constantly rewarded that loyalty in song. Between his return to language classes in 1963 and his career reinvention in 1974, the singer would record 54 songs in German, maintaining an average of two exclusive 45s a year through the 1960s, and topping this impressive record off with a series of German language sessions through 1967-1968. Versions of "Visions," "A Girl Like You," "What Would I Do," "All My Love," "London's Not Too Far," and "Twist and Shout" were all issued, the highlights of which emerge as an incredibly cohesive, and absurdly previously unavailable, album. Other peaks on the German discs, surprisingly, include great swaths of the early-'70s material hitherto overlooked by all but the most devoted fan; titles such as "Anabella Umbrella," "Sally Sunshine," "I'm Not Getting Married," and "Shoom Llama Boom Boom," after all, scarcely bode well for anyone awaiting the next "Move It" or "Dynamite," but Richard acquits himself well, and Norrie Paramor's production, of course, remains sterling. Richard's final foreign recording, appropriately enough, was a German rendering of "You Keep Me Hanging On" ("Es Gehoren Zwei Zum Glucklichsein"), in 1974. It was that song, after all, that announced his return from the directionless MOR that had plagued his early-'70s work; it was that song, too, that reminded him of another foreign market out there, which wouldn't need anywhere near as many language lessons. And one day, perhaps, somebody will compile all of Richard's American releases into one boxed set. Until then, On the Continent stands as the ultimate study of a musical arena into which too few performers ever dared venture...and from which even fewer emerged unscathed. Cliff Richard was one of those who did.

Cliff Richard On The Continent 1

01 - Bin verliebt
02 - Die Stimme der Liebe
03 - Schцn wie ein Traum
04 - Vreneli
05 - Rote Lippen soll man kьssen
06 - Zuviel allein
07 - Sag ґNoґ zu ihm
08 - Das ist die Frage aller Fragen
09 - Nur mit dir
10 - Es war keine so wunderbar wie du
11 - Es kцnnte schon morgen sein
12 - Glaubґ nur mir
13 - Nur bei dir bin ich zu Haus
14 - Du bist mein erster Gedanke
15 - Was ist dabei
16 - Das Glьck ist rosarot
17 - Was kann ich tun
18 - Ein Girl wie du
19 - Bilder von dir
20 - Ein Sonntag mit Marie
21 - Es ist nicht gut allein zu sein
22 - Mrs, Emily Jones
23 - Ich kann treu sein
24 - Sternengold
25 - London ist nicht weit
26 - Man gratuliert mir
27 - Wonderful World
28 - Marianne
29 - Geh deinen Weg nicht so allein
30 - Twist im Blut

Cliff Richard On The Continent 2

01 - Mr, Niemand
02 - Die Liebe ist immer nur heute
03 - Fragen
04 - Stell mich deinen Eltern vor
05 - Deine Augen trдumen, Mary
06 - Ooh La La ( sagt Cдsar zu Cleopatra )
07 - Zдrtliche Sekunden
08 - Shoom Llama Boom Boom
09 - Story ohne Happy End
10 - Kein Zug nach Gretna Green
11 - Du, Du gefдllst mir so
12 - Lieben kann man einmal nur
13 - Goodbye Sam, das ist die Liebe
14 - Umbarella
15 - Lass uns schnell vergessen
16 - Das Girl von nebenan
17 - Du fragst mich immer wieder
18 - Wenn du lachst, lacht das Glьck
19 - Ein Spiel ohne Grenzen
20 - Concerto
21 - Neben dir wirdґs keine geben
22 - Zum heiraten bin ich kein Typ
23 - Der Mann neben dir
24 - Ich trдume deine Trдume
25 - Kleine Taube
26 - Gut dass es Freunde gib
27 - Es gehцren zwei zum Glьcklichsein
28 - Liebesleid

Cliff Richard On The Continent 3

01 - O Mio Signore
02 - Come Prima
03 - Concerto D'autumno
04 - Arrividerci Roma
05 - Legatta Ad Un Granello Di Sabbia
06 - Per Un Bacio Mia Amore
07 - Che Cosa Farai Di Questo Mio Amore
08 - Carina
09 - Nel Blue Dipinto Di Blu ( Volare )
10 - Dicentincello Vuie
11 - Casa Senza Finestre
12 - Maria Ninguem
13 - Non L'ascoltare ( sag' no )
14 - Imagina Un Giorno ( Ein Sonntag mit Marie )
15 - Oh, No, No
16 - Congratulations ( Il Mondo Et Tondo )
17 - Chi Lo Sa  ( On The Beach )
18 - Non Dimenticar Chi Ti Arna
19 - Chi Lo Sa  ( On The Beach )

Cliff Richard On The Continent 4+5

01 - Boum
02 - La Mer
03 - J'attendrai
04 - 21 - Vaya Con Dios
04 - C'est si bon
05 - A Quelle Historie
06 - Releve Mon Defi
07 - Je Suis Formidable
08 - La Ballade De Baltimore
09 - L'amandier Sauvage
10 - Il Faut Chanter La Vie
11 - Je T'aime Pour Toujours Ce Jour
12 - Perfidia
13 - Frenesi
14 - Tus Besos
15 - Amor Amor Amor
16 - Solamente Una Vez
17 - Quizas Quizas Quizas
18 - Cancia De Orfeo
19 - Quien Sera
20 - Te Quiero Dijeste
22 - Me Lo Dizo Adela
23 - Maria No Mas
24 - Que Buena Suerte (Felicidades) ( Congratulations )
25 - Todo El Poder A Los Amigos ( Power To All My Friends)

Disc 05 
   - Cliff Richard Interview mit dem 'OK Magazine'

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