The Shadows is a story about a group of talented musicians from England. Furthermore, they became the fourth most successful act in the UK singles chart, behind Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Cliff Richard. They were virtually unknown in the US. Mostly because they were an English instrumental rock group and their music was never released in the US at the time.
Consequently, they were also Cliff Richard’s backing band from 1958 to 1968 and on numerous reunion tours. They have 69 UK charted singles from the 1950s to the 2000s. At the same time, 35 credited to the Shadows and 34 to Cliff Richard. The group, in the forefront of the UK beat-group boom, were the first backing band to emerge as stars. As pioneers of the four-member instrumental format, the band consisted of lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums. Their range covers pop, rock, surf rock and ballads with a jazz influence.
The Core Members
The core members from 1958 to 2015 were Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch. Along with the Fender guitar, another cornerstone of the Shadows sound was the Vox amplifier. The Shadows, with Cliff Richard, dominated British popular music in the late 1950s and early 1960s in the years before the Beatles. The Shadows’ number one hits included “Apache”, “Kon-Tiki”, “Wonderful Land”, “Foot Tapper” and “Dance On!”. They disbanded in 1968 but reunited in the 1970s for further commercial success. The Shadows and Cliff Richard & the Shadows each have had four No. 1 selling EPs.
Cliff Richard and The Shadows record a song called “Summer Holiday” performed in a film with the same name. It’s released as the second single from the film. The track is one of Richard’s best-known titles and it remains a staple of his live shows. The Shadows have been cited as a major influence on American guitarists and many British, Australian, Canadian and continental European guitarists, including Brian May, Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour, and Tony Iommi. A tribute album, Twang! A Tribute to Hank Marvin & the Shadows, in October 1996 features Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, Peter Green, Randy Bachman, Neil Young, Mark Knopfler, Peter Frampton and others playing Shadows hits.
That’s it for this week, be sure to check back next week!
Keep the Blues Alive in schools! To learn more or donate to Keeping The Blues Alive, visit our website at https://keepingthebluesalive.org/