[16] Cliff Richard, ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’

Junior insisted she knew who this was: “He’s got black spiky hair and he dances like this…” She crouched down, stood up slowly and lifted her arms in fifth position, then rocked back and forth, bending at the waist. It looked like a balletic version of The Ting Tings in their ‘Great DJ’ video. There you are – Junior thinks Cliff is a member of our premier Mancunian flash-in-the-pan guitar/drums duo.

Is it any more outlandish than Cliff hitting No.1 at the pinnacle of New Wave? That’s the thing with musical movements; they’re never as all-encompassing as history tells us. Punk washed away the dinosaurs!!! Meanwhile ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ became the biggest selling single of all time.

This is the most astonishing of the great man’s later chart-toppers – coming 11 years after ‘Congratulations’ – because it isn’t hung on festive schlock or Young Ones larks, and it’s a good record. A truly solid pop song, with Sir Cliff emoting, falsetto and all, and a chunky synth foundation presaging any number of ‘80s FM hits. If it seems naff, it’s only the fault of the cloak he can’t shake off – and he wouldn’t care anyway. You need the hide of a rhinoceros to plough bloodymindedly on, held up by a dwindling yet voracious fanbase. If the mask ever slips, the mums stick it firmly back on.

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