Cliff Richard’s Biggest Hits By Decade

Cliff Richard’s Biggest Hits By Decade

cliff richards biggest hits
Cliff Richard, 1984 (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

From when he began releasing music in 1958 right up until the 2000s, Cliff Richard was a regular presence on the charts. In the UK, he reached the singles top 10 in every decade from the 1950s to the 2000s inclusive, hitting the number 1 spot 14 times. In Australia, while he only topped the singles chart once, he also registered a top 10 hit during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. These are the biggest of those…

THE 1950s

"Living Doll” (with The Drifters)
Released: 1959
Peak: number 9

The first UK number 1 for Cliff Richard And The Drifters (as The Shadows were then called), “Living Doll” was written by songwriter and Oliver! creator Lionel Bart for the movie Serious Change, in which Cliff made his acting debut and performed the song. The single version was recorded at a slower tempo than the one heard in the movie because Cliff was not a fan of that version.

THE 1960s

"Please Don’t Tease” (with The Shadows)
Released: 1960
Peak: number 2

Another UK chart-topper, this stand-along single was released after it was voted for by a panel of teenagers enlisted by EMI Records to choose a track from among those Cliff had recorded.

"When The Girl In Your Arms Is The Girl In Your Heart”
Released: 1961
Peak: number 2

Released a few months in advance of movie The Young Ones, this soundtrack ballad saw Cliff accompanied by the Norrie Paramor Orchestra and Mike Sammes Singers rather than The Shadows. That same year, American singer Connie Francis recorded a version of the song with the gender in the lyrics reversed that became a hit in the US.

THE 1970s

"Devil Woman”
Released: 1976
Peak: number 3

Cliff’s biggest ever single in the US, “Devil Woman” saw him return the Australian top 10 for the first time since his 1968 Eurovision hit, “Congratulations”. An atypical song for Cliff, “Devil Woman” is about a man who gets cursed by a yellow-eyed cat and seeks help to remove the curse from a fortune teller, only to discover she put the spell on him in the first place.

"We Don’t Talk Anymore”
Released: 1979
Peak: number 3

The song that heralded Cliff’s comeback as a major UK chart force – returning him to the number 1 spot there for the first time in over a decade – this lead single from Rock ‘n’ Roll Juvenile was the final song included on the album. “We Don’t Talk Anymore” was written by Alan Tarney, who would go on to produce some of Cliff’s most successful albums in the 1980s.

THE 1980s

"Wired For Sound”
Released: 1981
Peak: number 2

There are few images so ’80s as a leather-clad Cliff Richard roller-skating while wearing a Walkman, accompanied by a bevy of babes in skin-tight leotards, as he sings along to “Wired For Sound”, which was taken from the album of the same name. Although it was just beaten to being his biggest Australian hit of the decade, it’s always worth revisiting.

"Living Doll” (with The Young Ones and Hank Marvin)
Released: 1986
Peak: number 1

Cliff’s only single to reach the top of the Australian chart was a comedy remake of his own song from 1959 alongside the stars of British TV series The Young Ones (and with original Shadows member Hank Marvin on guitar). The track was the very first charity single for Comic Relief, which had been founded the previous year by Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry.

THE 1990s

"The Millennium Prayer”
Released: 1999
Peak: number 2

Debuting at number 2 on the final ARIA chart for the 90s, this mash-up of “The Lord’s Prayer” and “Auld Lang Syne” became Cliff’s only hit for the decade in Australia and, thanks to sticking around for eight weeks in the new year, also gave him a hit in the 2000s. “The Millennium Prayer” was one of many Christmas singles he released later in his career, a list which includes UK number 1s “Mistletoe And Wine” from 1988 and 1990’s “Saviour’s Day” – neither of which charted anywhere near as high locally.

To celebrate 60 years since  Cliff Richard and The Shadows hit the number 1 spot in the UK with "Travellin’ Light", a brand new 60 track collection, available as a 2CD + 2LP bundle will be released on November 29th.  This brand-new collection which focuses, for the first time, solely on Cliff’s output with The Shadows (or The Drifters for pre-October 1959 releases). All their classic hits are included going right the way up to their 2009 reunion; making it the most comprehensive Cliff Richard & Shadows collection to date. Pre-order the set here. 

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