Off Topic Messages

Cliff Richard blames radio ban 4 ending his recording career

Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:19 am

For his diehard fans it will be a cause for dismay. Others might see it as an excuse for a celebration. Either way, Cliff Richard's announcement that he will not be releasing any more records closes the door on one of the most prolific careers in popular music.

Sir Cliff's music is no longer as popular as it was - at least not with the arbiters of taste at UK radio stations. The 64-year-old yesterday blamed an unofficial boycott for driving him out of the recording industry.

Article continues
"I just don't have the time to waste making a record that no one will play," he told the Daily Mail. "As a musician you make a record for the radio so that the public can hear it, but my songs don't get played. It's not that DJs don't like them, it's that the stations have a policy that says, 'We don't play him'." By way of a concession, he added: "I will be playing concerts until the day I die because I love the atmosphere - but I'll never make another record."

Born Harry Webb, Sir Cliff ranks with Elvis Presley as the only artists to appear in the UK singles chart in six consecutive decades. He has released 128 singles, beginning with Move It, which reached No 2 in 1958. In recent years he has become associated with saccharine Christmas ditties of the Mistletoe and Wine variety, while his last high-profile appearance came when he regaled startled tennis fans during a 1996 rain break at Wimbledon.

Sir Cliff's status as a radio star began to wane in 1998 when Chris Evans - then the breakfast show host on Virgin Radio - vowed he would never again play one of his records. Other stations took up the cause to such an extent that the DJ Tony Blackburn was suspended from his job on Classic Gold for breaking the ban.

Sir Cliff's final album was Something's Goin' On, recorded in Memphis and released last October. It yielded the single I Cannot Give You My Love, which peaked at No 13 in the UK.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story ... 89,00.html

Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:35 am

This is a problem we have here in the states to a much more extreme extent in that once you hit a certain age you can't buy airplay for your new music. It can be very frustrating.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:44 am

Today's country does not always reflect the rural lifestyle of its audience as the classic country. Perhaps because our culture that has become so homogenized that that culture is lost. When I hear a lot of today's country, I hear light rock with a twang.

Johnny Cash had extreme trouble getting access to country airwaves in his final years. He even took a controversial ad expressing the problem through a middle finger. Amazingly, Cash's commercial prospects were saved when independent alternative stations picked up his new sound. (People wonder why the corpratization of our culture is a bad thing.)

What's funny is that it's not that these artists no longer have an audience or that anyone is offended by their music. It is that mere association with age is considered bad.

Re: Cliff Richard blames radio ban 4 ending his recording ca

Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:47 am

Jove wrote:Cliff Richard said:
"I just don't have the time to waste making a record that no one will play," he told the Daily Mail. "As a musician you make a record for the radio so that the public can hear it, but my songs don't get played. It's not that DJs don't like them, it's that the stations have a policy that says, 'We don't play him'."


Unfortunately, radio stations try to get a younger audience and do not play the classic performers anymore. Every now and then, you can stumble upon a classic station, but for the most part the "old timers" are left out in the cold.

Even in country music, you'll have a hard time finding stations that play the likes of Conway Twitty, George Jones and Merle Haggard. They were the country music kings of the 1970's, but cannot get air time today.

Had Elvis still been around and visiting the recording studio from time to time, the only way to hear his music would more than likely be to buy the CD's.

My personal favorite category of music is country. However, I don't even listen to today's country because with the exception of a couple of performers, I can't stand to listen to it.

If I'm cruisin' down the highway, you can bet that I'm either jammin' to a CD, or listening to a classic oldies station.
Last edited by Rob on Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:47 am

This was frustration on Cliff's part! It's true a lot of radio stations geared towards the younger market don't play him but that applies for lot's of artists. Status Quo went through the same thing years ago. Cliff is continuing to record he was just having a pop at the stations that don't play him and I think his frustration is fair. He's still immensely popular in the UK and is recording as we speak.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:50 am

Sorry LTB.

I edited and our posts got crossed.

Both points were still made though.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:49 am

LTB -

You wrote:
What's funny is that it's not that these artists no longer have an audience or that anyone is offended by their music. It is that mere association with age is considered bad.


Tell me about it.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:02 am

What surprises me is that his loyal fan base (which does seem pretty huge judging by the sell out concerts) don't get his singles into the top 5. It doesn't take very high sales to land an impressive chart position, as we saw with the Elvis singles earlier this year. Perhaps his latest offerings leave even the diehards a little cold. Personally, I think he recorded some good tracks in the 70s (Miss You Nights, My Kinda Life etc) and had firmly established his own style, rather than borrowing from Elvis as he did in his early days. I can't think of anything from the last 15 years that I'd be tempted to buy though.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:12 am

Last year I told a friend of mine, who had some major hit records here in The Netherlands, that I had not seen any new records by him for years.
He told me "What's the use of making a record if the radio stations don't play it?".
So now he earns his money as a backing musician/singer and/or producer.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:25 am

TJ -

You wrote:
I can't think of anything from the last 15 years that I'd be tempted to buy though.


Make that 45 years.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:30 am

ColinB wrote:TJ -

You wrote:
I can't think of anything from the last 15 years that I'd be tempted to buy though.


Make that 45 years.


:lol:

There are some great songs though Colin. My Kinda Life in particular is suprisingly good. This might be blasphemous, but I'd like to have seen similar care taken with the production of Elvis records in that period. It's a classy updating of old time rock n roll, with great guitar work, not dissimilar to the Jerry Reed style of picking. Elvis could have done wonders with it.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:09 pm

The Brothers Gibb (Bee Gees) also were victims of a radio playlist ban
- but not due to age,
but for being as they say: "too popular"

circa 1979-80, in an effort to kill disco, the very successful group was allegedly banned to force that type of music off the air.

source: When Disco Ruled The World (VH1 special)


of course, getting them back on the air would be tough
because for them, AGE would be a factor nowadays.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:47 pm

F*ck it...I don't agree it all. While it is entirely more difficult to get radio airplay....tell it to Cher or Madonna.

It just takes a damn good song to compete. Music today is sh*t, but still young audiences want to see young and vibrant artists..even if they aren't original and are commercialized, industrialized crap.

BUT collaborations seem to be working. It will come around someday. My guess is with the next big rock explosion that will surely happen eventually.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:12 pm

genesim wrote:F*ck it...I don't agree it all.


Imagine our surprise!

Tom

Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:48 pm

The Grateful Dead is an example of a band that did not live off radio or singles(maybe one or two) and did great to the end and looking old and cool.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:57 pm

Tom in North Carolina wrote:
genesim wrote:F*ck it...I don't agree it all.


Imagine our surprise!

Tom


Tom can you explain to me why you have been a condescending assshole no matter what I post?

What is even more rude is the fact that you dismiss both my stellar examples.

Could it be that Cliff Richards output is not quite up to caliber...nah...couldn't be that! Its those bad ol' radio stations.

Yet Elvis dead still produces #1's. :roll:

Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:04 pm

The only reason this particular artist kept on issuing singles was that he held the record for Top Ten entries, and he wanted to extend it.

Then two things happened:

1] His singles started peaking outside the top ten.


2] Another artist had a string of top ten hits earlier this year, and blew him out of the water.

So, no more singles !

Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:11 pm

Exactly..and it had very little to do with the radio..and more to do with the quantity of sales.

Cliff will never beat Elvis in my book, and that is exactly what he tried to do.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:27 pm

Hey - Geno - we agreed on something !

What's that sound ?

Is that hell freezing over ?

Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:36 pm

That Eileen bit was out there though. Nutty. Even you would have to admit that my points were sound in that regard.

We all let the debates get heated, but at the same time it is there in the post to be read. Obviously there is a hate running through many in regards to my unwavering pollitical views.

As it stands I would much rather debate music or movies anyday.

Sat Sep 24, 2005 1:34 pm

Cliff Richard has always had the good grace to admit that without Elvis Presley there would be no Cliff Richard. Great. Blame Elvis.

And there is no denying his chart success in the UK, which now spans exactly 47 years. But sadly Cliff is also saddled with a number of problems. First, his talent is mediocre at best. Creatively, he had one purple patch, so to speak, between 1976 and 1981, when he produced easily the best records of his career. If Elvis could have learned one thing from Cliff Richard, it would be to actually take an interest in the records he was making.

Second, Cliff seems to think he has the God-given right to be the most successful chart act of all time here in the UK. And I have no doubt that Elvis' 17-hit run in the Top 5 earlier this year played its part in Cliff's current strop. Cliff can be extremely negative when things don't go his way, blaming everyone and everything else except himself, as he proved on his website earlier this week (so my Granny tells me). Basically his last album didn't do as well as he thought it should, in spite of the fact that he thought it was brilliant, and he all but blamed his fans for not buying enough copies.

Third, and perhaps related to the second, Cliff is a sanctimonious little tit. This does not simply relate to his religious beliefs, but to the fact that an act whose fanbase is almost universally "older" is trying to dicatate how the charts and pop music should be today. ie with him in it.

Fourth, his desire to retain some sort of youthful look long ago passed over the border of Ridiculous. Trying to stay fit is one thing, but Botox injections are quite another. In five years time he'll look like a cross between Marty Feldman and a salmon - you heard it here first.

Sat Sep 24, 2005 7:43 pm

Stephen Butler wrote:First, his talent is mediocre at best.


Stephen Butler wrote:Creatively, he had one purple patch.


Stephen Butler wrote:Cliff seems to think he has the God-given right to be the most successful chart act of all time here in the UK.


Stephen Butler wrote:Cliff can be extremely negative when things don't go his way, blaming everyone and everything else except himself.


Stephen Butler wrote:Cliff is a sanctimonious little tit.


Stephen Butler wrote:Fourth, his desire to retain some sort of youthful look long ago passed over the border of Ridiculous.


Stephen Butler wrote:In five years time he'll look like a cross between Marty Feldman and a salmon.


I take it you're not a Cliff fan Stephen? :wink:

Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:27 pm

What's it been? Seven years for Cher? Five years for Madonna? Once in awhile you can slip through with a fluke but most of the time your mainstream airplay is done at a certain age.

Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:15 am

So Sir Precipice Dick's career finally gives up the ghost.

To the relief of music-lovers everywhere.

Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:20 am

Delboy:

I have no idea what gives you that impression.