I'm Nearly Famous is the album which marked Cliff Richard's return from the commercial and, in many ways, creative void which had consumed him since the end of the 1960s. Recorded with former Shadow Brian Bennett in the production chair and boasting the most consistently excellent clutch of songs and performances Richard had mustered in over a decade, the album was previewed by the lovely "Miss You Night," opened with the neo-disco "I Can't Ask for Anything More," and peaked with "Devil Woman," a rocker which became his first ever U.S. Top Ten hit. But they were simply the best-known standouts. "It's No Use Pretending" was an anthemic ballad with more than a hint of Elton John around its execution – quite coincidentally, it was John's Rocket label which oversaw the album's American release.
Cliff Richard is indisputably Britain’s all-time greatest hit-maker – the ultimate pop star! No other UK band or solo artist is even close to equalling his 123 single hits, or can claim to have occupied a place in our charts for the equivalent of over 20 years! Highlights of this remarkable career are too numerous to mention, but where is his music is concerned, Sir Cliff holds the record (with Elvis Presley) as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades (1950s–2000s). He is also the only singer to have had a No. 1 single in the UK in 5 consecutive decades. Stronger Thru The Years is a brand new 2CD collection bringing together his finest songs of love and reflection.
This triple-disc 79-song compilation looks pretty impressive, and in some ways it is, representing most of the best work of each incarnation of the Drifters from 1953 through 1976. There's a lot of classic music here, including all of the big hits and many interesting (even musically glorious) flops and B-sides, but the limitations of three CDs make this less than ideal. Atlantic had already released a pair of two-CD sets, Let the Boogie Woogie Roll: Greatest Hits 1953-58 and All-Time Greatest Hits & More: 1959-1965, eight years earlier, each of which covers those major periods in question far more generously than does this box – although it must be conceded that the sound on the cuts included on Rockin' & Driftin' is improved over those late-'80s digital transfers, good as they seemed at the time…
The original soundtrack to Steven Soderbergh's striking drug war drama Traffic features Cliff Martinez's sparse, evocative score, classical pieces, and electronica, resulting in a collection of music that's nearly as complex and diverse as the film it accompanies. Martinez, who has scored virtually all of Soderbergh's films (except Erin Brockovich), proves once again why they work together so often: the score's atmospheric drones and understated rhythms build a restrained, implosive tension far better than blaring orchestral pieces. Like the film itself, Martinez' pieces aren't obvious. They don't tell the listener what to feel; they just set the scene and let the audience fill in the blanks. And though big beat songs like Fatboy Slim's "Give the Po' Man a Break" and Kruder & Dorfmeister's remix of Rockers Hi-Fi's "Going Under" could be too much of a contrast with Martinez' airy compositions, the album is deftly sequenced, allowing for the highs and lows of the score and songs like Morcheeba's "On the Road Again," Wilhelm Kempff's "Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor," and Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)." Though it sounds even better in conjunction with the film, Traffic is still one of 2000's best soundtracks.