The Shadows At EMI was designed to complement the CD Guide. This time what I termed The Shadows’ "vinyl legacy" was the focus of attention.
The book was inspired as much as anything by the desire to take account not only of The Shadows’ recorded output in the 1960s but also of their recordings with Cliff Richard. As an early admirer of the Hank Marvin guitar technique and of the group sound overall, I was as much excited by what I heard on the LP Me And My Shadows as by ‘Man Of Mystery’, for instance. So this book documents in some detail each and every Shadows / Cliff & The Shadows (Drifters, from the time that Hank and Bruce were conscripted) UK release from ‘Livin’ Lovin’ Doll’ in 1959 through to Another String Of Hot Hits in 1980, the year the group parted company with EMI, taking in such timeless classics as ‘Please Don’t Tease’ and ‘The Young Ones’ along the way.
Built into the main entries on the individual releases is an analysis (where appropriate) of UK chart performance. The user should be able to piece together from these surveys a picture of how powerful a presence Cliff and the group proved to be in the first half of the 1960s, and also a notion of how The Shadows turned out to be the overwhelmingly dominant force in the realm of instrumental music. The historical importance of both singer and group is not something that can be seriously disputed. As for the aftermath, the fact is that Cliff is going strong to this day, while the influence of The Shadows in their own realm of music-making music is still pervasive, and not only in the UK.
Since some of the overseas releases in all three of the major vinyl formats proved to be of significance in the dissemination if the group’s recorded work, it was necessary to single them out for special mention in the course of the annual surveys occupying the bulk of the book. They are very much part of "Shadows history" after all.
Alternative versions, both for The Shadows and for Cliff & The Shadows, also occupy a fair amount of space. Some of these are just curiosities, but others are valid and worthwhile variants on what have come to be regarded as the "standard" cuts. Serious collectors, particularly completists, should profit from this material, the most comprehensive set of data available to date.
The three Discographies provided towards the close (taking in Singles, EPs and LPs) involved more labour than I care to think about. However, one gain is that for the first time, I believe, it is possible to take in at a glance and in a systematic way, the 19 EPs, for instance, or the 14 LPs, graced with the title The Shadows.
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