I wanted to show the genres of music that existed in Britain before the onset of Beat Music, which we will be looking at in a couple of weeks. The charts started in Britain in 1956, two years after we began our musical adventure with jazz. The first album to top the chart was Songs for Swingin’ Lovers!, and this was followed by a string of film soundtracks and rock ‘n’ roll records. This week, we are listening to Cliff Richard’s debut, Cliff, to represent the genre pop, and next week we will explore country.
Cliff is a rock ‘n’ roll record, but it represents the start of pop music in Britain. All of the genres we have looked at so far have their roots in the USA, but this album is the first time rock ‘n’ roll was made in the UK. A few months after the release of Cliff, he released Living Doll, which gained him his first number one single. A ballad, it had a sweeter, pop sound. Following the success of the song, it is with this pop sound that Cliff and his backing group, The Shadows, dominated music in this country for the next few years.