VIRGIN CDVM 9009
In 1987 this superb compilation CD was released: it originally contained 19 tracks. In 1992, it was re-issued with an additional track (as above). All the songs are original recordings and selected from Cliff's three early albums 'Home Thoughts', 'Mantle Pieces' and 'Escalator'. It is still available in the shops.
Here is a copy of the introduction to the CD, written by Radio D.J. Dave Cartwright and printed on the inside of the CD sleeve:
|'This is a breath of fresh air. Whatever your taste in music, you will
feel better for taking time out to listen to Clifford T. Ward.
Almost 20 years after his initial success, the music on this compilation still sounds as original, yet totally accessible, as it did all that time ago. Drawing on themes that we hear about and experience throughout our own lives, his unique style, marrying articulate observations with beautiful melodies, makes each of these themes seem special.
His life in music has absorbed many styles, from the young choir-boy he offers us almost classical song structure; from the early pop groups in his home town of Kidderminster we hear the perfect rhythms and unforgettable hook-lines and the precise yet flowing harmonies fuse each song into perfection.
O/K. Maybe I am getting carried away, but when I think of the potential that has been lost here, I get mad. Clifford T. Ward could have, should have been a huge star. He refused to capitalise on his early success by not touring; (maybe spending so much time away from his family in the pre - "Home Thoughts" day with his rock groups was reason enough) but then in the prime of his creative recording period he becomes ill. No, not just ill. It is that most cruel of all illnesses, multiple sclerosis. The mind so creative, inventive, unique, is now trapped in a frame that cannot function.
I did a one hour special on radio, interviewing and playing tracks from the Clifford T. Ward song book, which includes songs recorded by Cliff Richard, Jack Jones, Art Garfunkel, Judy Collins, Justin Hayward etc. and can honestly say it was the most refreshing radio hour I've spent. An incredible humour that is not evident in his songs, yet is the basis of his attitude to life, flowed throughout the programme, and the response from listeners proved that he sustains loyalty in all his admirers from all walks of life.
I could elaborate still further on the reasons why; that inversion, that rhyme, that string section, that pure, English voice. However, nothing can compensate for the listening experience . . .
At a time when 'real songs' are making a comeback, I don't understand why more artistes aren't covering his music. Maybe the re-release of these gems will redress the balance. A Clifford T. Ward revival is only a matter of time away, and you, here now, can be part of it.
Don't pass it by, he's waving - not drowning . . .
A superb compilation of early CTW recordings.
Marks: 10 out of 10
|'The Ways of Love'||'Gaye and Other Stories'||'CTW - Anthology'|
RETURN: Clifford T Ward