This is another of the early rocking classics much revered by Cliff and Shadows fans alike: a driving beat and great lyric perfectly suited for Cliff's voice at the time. The young Cliff tailored his image carefully and loved song titles which began with or strongly featured the letter 'D'. Cliff Richard and The Drifters had the magic 'D' ingredient and he would like seeing songs like Dynamite, Don't Bug Me Baby and Down The Line in newspaper print which accentuated the band's mean and moody image.
Down The Line was a perennial rock 'n' roll favourite of Cliff's, which appeared regularly in his live act during 1959 and 1960. It featured on the classic debut live album Cliff in February 1959 and also on BBC Radio's 'Saturday Club' on 14 March 1959 and again on 1 October 1960.
A brilliant rendition was also performed on television in the third of Cliff's ATV 'Saturday Spectaculars' on 30 July 1960 – and a telerecording of the show exists so we can witness this rare and priceless footage. This TV performance retains much of the raucous flavour of the Jerry Lee Lewis original. It also gives Cliff the chance to show off some fancy footwork during the two instrumental breaks and generate genuine excitement amongst the predominantly female audience.
The take of the song for the 'Me And My Shadows' shows was not made until later – probably 1962/63 – and is fairly good quality without too much distortion or interference.
MC: the raw powerhouse treatment of this number of the Cliff LP is not mirrored in this RL outing – this is rather the rock 'n' roll of the ever more cultured style of late 1961/1962: Cliff introduces it urbanely as "a little ditty". It rolls rather than rocks along one might say, and there is a rather flamboyant cheeky sounding flourish from Hank at the close.
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