British instrumental kings evolved from the Five Chesternuts to become Cliff Richards backing group, The Drifters. By late 1958 the line up had settled and they were to change their name to the Shadows to avoid any confusion with the American Drifters. The line up was Hank B. Marvin, Bruce Welch, Jet Harris and Tony Meehan. Not long after backing Cliff Richard on his first single, they were signed as a group by EMI Columbia’s A&R manager Norrie Paramor. After two singles under their old name the Drifters came the vocal ‘Saturday Dance’, which didn’t make any impression with the buying public. It was in 1960 that things took a huge step forward when they met up with singer / songwriter Jerry Lorden who gave them the finest instrumental of the era ‘Apache’ and became a UK number 1, topping the charts for six weeks as well as being voted single of the year by much of the music press. Establishing the Shadows in their own right especially as they had knocked Cliff’s ‘Please Don’t Tease’ off the top spot. They went on to be a huge influence on a new generation of groups that were to follow. The instrumental hits continued with number 1’s ‘Kon-Tiki’, ‘Wonderful Land’, ‘Dance On’ and ‘Foot Tapper’ as well as other top ten hits ‘The Frightened City’, ‘FBI’, ‘Guitar Tango’ and ‘The Savage’. Despite all the chart success both Tony Meehan and Jet Harris would leave the group to be replaced by drummer Brian Bennett and bassist Brian Locking.
The Shadows continued to chart in 1963 and 1964 although the Mersey Beat boom had taken hold. They continued with Cliff and appeared in films and their place in pop history assured they continued have a successful career over the decades to follow. With a career spanning five decades they became part of the U.K. Pop institution and a massive influence on generations of budding guitarists. It is these early days that this collection shines a spotlight on with those wonderful early EPs. For many they were mini LPs before the expensive LP became the norm. The two tracks included from The Drifters before the name change were on two of Cliff’s early EPs featuring 3 Cliff and one Drifters track. Cliff No.2 EP featured ‘Drifting’ and Expresso Bongo EP featured
‘Bongo Blues’ both from 1959.
The first of The Shadows EPs featured includes all four tracks from ‘The Shadows’ 1960 EP. These four powerful offerings included ‘Shotgun’ and two haunting and dramatic film themes and a new composition ‘Mustang’ from Jerry Lorden who also wrote their No.1 hit ‘Apache’. This is followed by all four tracks from ‘The Shadows To The Fore’ released in early 1961 and featured 4 top ten singles including the #1 hit ‘Apache’. Next up comes their early 1962 EP ‘Spotlight On The Shadows’ which featured another three top ten hits including another #1 with ‘Kon-Tiki’. All four tracks are included and as well as showcasing the Shadows instrumental virtuosity but also the composing talent of their recording manager, orchestra leader / arranger Norrie Paramor, who penned three of the tracks – two of which were also top ten hits. Following fast on the heels of the previous 1962 EP came The Shadows No. 2, although all the tracks were first published in 1961 and all four are included. Whatever next? Yep! ‘The Shadows No.3’ and all four tracks feature here from this 1962 collection. 1962 also saw the release of ‘The Wonderful Land Of
The Shadows’. All four tracks are again featured and include yet another #1 hit - also penned by hit maker Jerry Lorden. Also includes the B-sides of the hits FBI (’Midnight’) and Kon-Tiki (‘36-24-36’) plus ‘The Stars Fell On Stockton’ the b-side of ‘Wonderful Land’. Between August 1960 and the early months of 1962 the phenomenal success story of The Shadows had turned full circle. It began when they topped the charts with the huge seller ‘Apache’ a worldwide hit written by Jerry Lorden. In March 1962 they were back at the top of the charts with another Lorden composition. The EP cover is the first to feature the newly arrived Brian (s) - Locking and Bennett on the sleeve.
All four tracks from ‘The Boys’ EP as featured in the film starring Richard Todd, Robert Morley and Felix Aylmer. The front cover shot is a production still from the set of the film. Finally we managed to squeeze two tracks from the ‘Dance On With The Shadows’ EP. Included are yet another #1 hit ‘Dance On’ from December 1962 and the Welch and Marvin composition ‘All Day’ the ‘b-side’ of the above and both tracks featured on the 1963 EP.
These ‘Extended Play’ sides will evoke nostalgic memories, not only from the music of the day but fond memories of the EP’s they came from. 32 stunning tracks - many were hits and all deserve their place on this collection of EP tracks.