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I'm Nearly Famous, Cliff Richard, 1976
Believe it or not, Cliff Richard is this country's most successful male solo artist. With over 150 million singles sold worldwide and the only UK act to have had number ones in every decade from the 50's to the 90's and apart from Elvis is the only male artist to have had hits in every decade since the 50's until now. Richards (real name Harry Webb) is also credited for recording the UK's first ever true rock and roll record (1958's 'Move It') - in fact John Lennon once claimed that 'before Cliff and the Shadows there had been nothing worth listening to in British music.'
Cliff dominated the period pre The Beatles, especially with his squeaky clean backing group The Shadows. However as the 60's turned into the 70's Cliff's music became more muted and middle of the road mainly brought on by his conversion to Christianity and his Eurovision appearances. He hosted his own TV show (imaginatively titled 'It's Cliff Richard!) before the decision was made to repackage Cliff as a credible rock star - the result was 1976's I'm Nearly Famous.
I'm Nearly Famous saw Cliff return to his rock roots and saw celebs like Jimmy Page, Elton John and Eric Clapton all sport 'I'm Nearly Famous' shirts and badges.
What the hell are you doing Brown? First you review a David Essex album and now you're going for Cliff Richard?! Well yes I am - I make no apologies for that in the slightest! I'm Nearly Famous is a bloody good album highlighted by the fantastic 'Devil Woman'
The album gets off to a cracking start with the excellent 'I Can't Ask For Anymore Than You' which is pure bubblegum pop, but wouldn't be amiss on any album by Elton John or the Bee Gees. Its a really great warm up and sets the tone for the whole album.
The album's title track is also really good, and is actually probably more in tone with Just Jack's 'Starz in the Eyes' which talks about the sort of people who try to become famous, as opposed to having any actual talent to speak of.
While not quite 'Mistletoe and Wine', the only real hint of any religio-pap comes in the form of 'Such Is the Mystery' which while some may consider the lyrics to be suitably ambivalent, we all know who he's talking about (Jesus).
There is of course a sour blend of cheese on the album as well. However, as you might expect these songs are totally of the age and wouldn't really get a look in on many albums these days, but are very much 70's Edam.
The true standout track though is the magnificent Devil Woman. I have the remastered version of this album and the sound is fantastic -especially up really REALLY loud. Its got a great guitar riff throughout and some excellent lyrics. While the song doesn't go out all guns blazing, it is a decent rock song and is a perfect example of pop-rock. An absolute masterpiece.
As something different 'I'm Nearly Famous' is a really great album. Yes, its a Cliff Richard album, but once you've got past that initial stumbling block and you can really give anything a go, then this is well worth the effort.
1. "I Can't Ask for Anymore Than You" 2:50
2. "It's No Use Pretending" 3:22
3. "I'm Nearly Famous" 3:54
4. "Lovers" 2:58
5. "Junior Cowboy" 2:54
6. "Miss You Nights" 3:57
7. "I Wish You'd Change Your Mind" 3:04
8. "Devil Woman" 3:41
9. "Such is the Mystery" 5:11
10. "You've Got to Give Me All Your Lovin'" 3:06
11. "If You Walked Away" 3:02
12. "Alright, it's Alright" 2:33
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I Can?t Ask For Anymore Than You
2 It?s No Use Pretending
3 I?m Nearly Famous
5 Junior Cowboy
6 Miss You Nights
7 I Wish You?d Change Your Mind
8 Devil Woman
9 Such Is The Mystery
10 You?ve Got To Give Me All Your Lovin?
11 If You Walked Away
12 Alright, It?s Alright
13 Love Is Enough
14 Love On (Shine On)
15 Honky Tonk Angel
16 Wouldn?t You Know
17 It?s Only Me...
18 You?re The One