CLIFF AND THE SHADOWS
The Final Reunion
(Eagle Rock Entertainment)

 

Because America was overflowing with so much great music in 1960, and because the AM radio boom of America of the ‘60s was about to really take off, and because in a few years the arrival of the Beatles would change rock and roll forever, The Shadows never had their chance for fame and fortune in America. Two short years after Buddy Holly died and 3 long years before America’s Beatlemania epoch, 1961 was nevertheless a brilliant year for music—both in the U.S. and the U.K. Established 1958, by the dawning of 1961 Cliff Richard and The Shadows had become the predominant rock and roll music force in England and throughout much of the world. While America was still licking it’s wounds following the senseless deaths of Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, and with the army coming to take Elvis away and the insane incarceration of Chuck Berry, at the start of the ‘60s England was paving a different kind of musical road that would reach an unimaginable climax by 1969. At the close of the ‘50s, with Cliff Richard becoming England's version of Elvis, and guitarist Hank Marvin becoming a guitar god, the war babies were starting to think about picking up a guitar just to try to be like Hank. Who were these great little English kids with stardom in their eyes back in 1959? Well, how about kids with last names like Clapton, Beck, Howe, Kirwan, Hackett, Oldfield, Frampton and Townshend to name a few. Even with their own music evolving in a complete different way, these rock guitar gods would go on years later and literally confess that “I'm Absolutely Hank Marvin!” So by late ‘62 with groups like The 4 Seasons and Brian Wilson's Beach Boys starting to take over the pop charts in America, Hank and the Shads and even Cliff basically ended up being forgotten by Top 40 radio in the U.S. even as quite the opposite happened in the rest of the world. Though it’s now 50 years since Summer Love ‘59, what goes around comes around and that’s exactly what you get with the 2010 Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD release of Cliff And The Shadows - The Final Reunion. Worshipped by millions across the globe, Cliff, Hank and the Shadows amazingly reunited for a series of live concerts in 2009 and the results can be seen on Eagle’s nostalgic 2010 DVD release of The Final Reunion. While the joy of watching Hank play guitar behind Cliff is indescribableespecially for those who’ve never heard them beforeI guess for these early fans who went to these 2009 shows it’s much like it was back in 1958 when Cliff and The Shadows rocked London with possibly England's first real rock and roll record, "Move It." Cliff’s early hits from the late ‘50s featured The Shadows as his backing band—and often as Cliff’s writers and arrangers too—and quite the showman, Cliff really does a fantastic job on reviving these songs with The Shadows on The Final Reunion. Featuring a complete concert experience taken from one of the shows that happened at the September 25th, 26th and 28th 2009 concerts in London at the 02 Arena, The Final Reunion is the ultimate nostalgic reunion trip and for the kids, it's a better late than never way to find out about some still vital music history. Will there be a CD of this show? Who knows but for a great companion piece to the 42 track, 2+hour DVD pick up on their 2009 50th anniversary remake / remodel 22 cut studio CD on EMI called Reunited. Hank Marvin may be older and wiser now (a Scorpio 11 months younger than Libra John Lennon) but his God-given hands are still the hands of an iconic guitar original. Watching Hank live, playing his intricate guitar riffs and melodies with Cliff on his huge early hits—in addition to a pair of mini instrumental sets featuring Hank, Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett (with Mark Griffiths and Brian's son Warren Bennett) playing a round of early Shadows classics—is a little like stepping into the time tunnel. The perennial teenager who quite skillfully mixes his Elvis moves with some early Beatles beats, Cliff looks like he’s having a blast throughout this DVD. At times Cliff almost looks amazed that Hank is right there with him on stage playing on these songs! The DVD also adds in some cool behind the scenes bonus footage that chronicles this historic tour, which is set to kick off again in early 2010 by the way. You can always hope for a new studio album (Re-Established 2010?) but chance are, we won’t see Cliff, Hank, Bruce and Brian doing these kind of live tours anymore... So pick up The Final Reunion DVD, dim the lights, crank up the flat screen and let Hank and the lads take you down to Wonderful Land. www.Cliff Richard.org

 

 
   
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