100th Single

 

Cliff Richard Song Database
Cliff's 100th Single
It's not as simple as you think...

Letter from CRO about 100th single
A letter from Cliff Richard offices to a fan explaining the 100th single issue
According to EMI, Cliff and most reputable sources, Cliff's 100th single release is the song The Best Of Me, released in May of 1989. But it's not really so simple. This page examines the concept of Cliff's 100th single and it may or may not be The Best Of Me, depending upon how you interpret the evidence.

First off, we must define what a single is as some releases defy the standard definitions. Should the double A-sides such as The Next Time/Bachelor Boy or Baby You're Dynamite/Ocean Deep be counted twice? Or should they be counted only once because it was only one physical single that happened to have two hits? Then there is the four song single to consider from the 1973 to consider, which featured both Help It Along and Tomorrow Rising together on the A-side. At the time, this was called a "maxi-single", although that definition would be used again years later to describe a 12" single as well. Most discographies and the most reasonable assumption that lends credence to The Best Of Me as the 100th single only considers the physical single so The Next Time/Bachelor Boy and Help It Along/Tomorrow Rising singles are only counted once each. In addition, both Mean Streak and Never Mind charted separately, although the single they were on was never considered a double A-side. This single is also only counted once.

Steve Turner's biography enumerates 126 singles up to Somethin' Is Goin' On, with The Best Of Me listed at number 100, which seems like a reasonable first proposal. But comparing this list to the A-sides on the tracklisting on The Singles Collection, Steve's is missing What'd I Say and adds the two singles with Hank, Throw Down A Line and The Joy Of Living. So the implication from The Singles Collection is that Cliff's 100th single was I Just Don't Have The Heart, and The Best Of Me was #99.

If we surmise that Steve doesn't count What'd I Say because it was an export single, then we have to wonder why it does include Gee Whizz It's You and Angel both of which were also export singles. Gee Whizz It's You is different from the other two export singles in that when people began to import quantities of it and it suddenly showed up in the charts, EMI began to promote it as a regular single and it was played on the radio. What'd I Say and Angel got no known UK promotion or airplay. Curiously, if this is the criteria, then neither What'd I Say nor Angel should be included. Even more curious is that The Singles Collection includes all three foreign singles.

Both The Singles Collection and Steve's list exclude This Was My Special Day. Although only sold at the Palladium, for all intents and purposes this was a normal release in 1964 with a normal catalogue number (DB 7435). Interestingly, if it is a normal release then this is the one that takes the honours for Cliff's first chart miss, rather than A Brand New Song nearly a decade later. But by most authorities, the way it was promoted, sold and its exclusivity excludes it. It was also billed as the show's cast with Cliff Richard, so that may be a reason to exclude it as well.

There is also the issue of the non-solo singles: Throw Down A Line and The Joy Of Living with Hank, Suddenly with Olivia Newton-John, She Means Nothing To Me with Phil Everly, Drifting with Sheila Walsh, Two To The Power with Janet Jackson, Living Doll with the Young Ones and Hank, All I Ask Of You with Sarah Brightman, Slow Rivers with Elton John and Whenever God Shines His Light with Van Morrison. Some of these were quite big hits, and it is interesting to ponder the implications of not counting Living Doll with The Young Ones and Hank as one of Cliff's first 100 singles while still including it in his 14 UK number ones. Also, Throw Down A Line and Joy Of Living were not initially regarded as duets. It wasn't until The Singles Collection that EMI started to treat them as such and excluded them.

Reports at the time regarded Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha as Cliff's 50th single release and Cliff has gone on record stating as such. In order to achieve that count, Gee Whizz It's You is included, the other two export singles and This Was My Special Day are excluded, and the two singles with Hank are included.

To get to the count of The Best Of Me as the 100th single, the non-solo singles must be excluded, but then why should the singles be included that are credited to Cliff Richard and The Shadows, or the Norrie Paramor Orchestra or the Bernard Ebbinghouse Orchrestra, etc.? These latter singles are surely included because they are Cliff on lead vocals, not duets proper, but that also brings up the question of why EMI is treating the Throw Down A Line and The Joy Of Living differently.

Another method, probably more accurate, to get to The Best Of Me as the 100th single is to simply exclude all the singles that were not produced by EMI. This would also seem to generally jibe with the exclusion of the duet singles. Counting Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha as the 50th single, then going forward and excluding all non-EMI produced singles, this would then exclude Suddenly (on Jet), Drifting (on DJM), Two To The Power (on A&M), Living Doll with The Young Ones (on WEA), All I Ask Of You (on Polydor) and Slow Rivers (on Rocket). This includes the Phil Everly duet of She Means Nothing To Me as that single was on EMI. This does, indeed, place The Best Of Me as the 100th single.

Below is a table that attempts to show the ranking for different ways to count the singles. The first column, "All singles", lists everything, regardless of whether it is a duet, export single, etc. All other columns intentionally exclude This Was My Special Day because all known single counts exclude this song and it likely should not be counted at all. By most authorities, the most accurate count excludes all the duets except for the two Hank Marvin duets, excludes the three foreign singles except for Gee Whizz It's You, and excludes the This Was My Special Day single. This scenario is shown in the next to last column and curiously indicates that I Just Don't Have The Heart is actually Cliff's 100th single with The Best Of Me at #99. The only known way to get to The Best Of Me as the 100th single is to add an additional single to the count. But which one? Steve Turner's book mentions Angel in the discography, but not What'd I Say. The next to last columns shows the ranking with a guess of Angel as the additional single, but that remains simply a guess in order to achieve The Best Of Me as the 100th single. And finally, the last column simply excludes the This Was My Special Day single, the foreign singles Angel and What'd I Say, and all the non-EMI singles. This also achieves the goal of making The Best Of Me the 100th single.

Seq.All singlesExcluding This Was My Special DayExcluding duets and This Was My Special DayExcluding foreign singles and This Was My Special DayExcluding duets, foreign singles and This Was My Special DayExcluding duets, foreign singles and This Was My Special Day, but including Hank duetsExcluding duets, foreign singles and This Was My Special Day, but including Hank duets and Gee Whizz It's YouExcluding duets and This Was My Special Day, but including Hank duets. Also including Gee Whizz It's You and Angel, but excluding What'd I SayExcluding non-EMI singles, This Was My Special Day, Angel and What'd I Say
90 True Love Ways Drifting (with Sheila Walsh) Heart User Baby You're Dynamite/Ocean Deep Born To Rock 'N' Roll She's So Beautiful Heart User Shooting From The Heart Shooting From The Heart
91 Drifting (with Sheila Walsh) Never Say Die (Give A Little Bit More) She's So Beautiful Two To The Power (with Janet Jackson) My Pretty One It's In Every One Of Us She's So Beautiful Heart User Heart User
92 Never Say Die (Give A Little Bit More) Please Don't Fall In Love It's In Every One Of Us Shooting From The Heart Some People Born To Rock 'N' Roll It's In Every One Of Us She's So Beautiful She's So Beautiful
93 Please Don't Fall In Love Baby You're Dynamite/Ocean Deep Born To Rock 'N' Roll Heart User Remember Me My Pretty One Born To Rock 'N' Roll It's In Every One Of Us It's In Every One Of Us
94 Baby You're Dynamite/Ocean Deep Two To The Power (with Janet Jackson) My Pretty One She's So Beautiful Two Hearts Some People My Pretty One Born To Rock 'N' Roll Born To Rock 'N' Roll
95 Two To The Power (with Janet Jackson) Shooting From The Heart Some People It's In Every One Of Us Mistletoe And Wine Remember Me Some People My Pretty One My Pretty One
96 Shooting From The Heart Heart User Remember Me Living Doll (with The Young Ones and Hank Marvin) The Best Of Me Two Hearts Remember Me Some People Some People
97 Heart User She's So Beautiful Two Hearts Born To Rock 'N' Roll I Just Don't Have The Heart Mistletoe And Wine Two Hearts Remember Me Remember Me
98 She's So Beautiful It's In Every One Of Us Mistletoe And Wine All I Ask Of You (with Sarah Brightman) Lean On You The Best Of Me Mistletoe And Wine Two Hearts Two Hearts
99 It's In Every One Of Us Living Doll (with The Young Ones and Hank Marvin) The Best Of Me Slow Rivers (with Elton John) Stronger Than That I Just Don't Have The Heart The Best Of Me Mistletoe And Wine Mistletoe And Wine
100 Living Doll (with The Young Ones and Hank Marvin) Born To Rock 'N' Roll I Just Don't Have The Heart My Pretty One Silhouettes Lean On You I Just Don't Have The Heart The Best Of Me The Best Of Me
101 Born To Rock 'N' Roll All I Ask Of You (with Sarah Brightman) Lean On You Some People From A Distance Stronger Than That Lean On You I Just Don't Have The Heart I Just Don't Have The Heart
102 All I Ask Of You (with Sarah Brightman) Slow Rivers (with Elton John) Stronger Than That Remember Me Saviour's Day Silhouettes Stronger Than That Lean On You Lean On You
103 Slow Rivers (with Elton John) My Pretty One Silhouettes Two Hearts More To Life From A Distance Silhouettes Stronger Than That Stronger Than That
104 My Pretty One Some People From A Distance Mistletoe And Wine We Should Be Together Saviour's Day From A Distance Silhouettes Silhouettes
105 Some People Remember Me Saviour's Day The Best Of Me This New Year More To Life Saviour's Day From A Distance From A Distance
106 Remember Me Two Hearts More To Life I Just Don't Have The Heart I Still Believe In You We Should Be Together More To Life Saviour's Day Saviour's Day
107 Two Hearts Mistletoe And Wine We Should Be Together Lean On You Peace In Our Time This New Year We Should Be Together More To Life More To Life
108 Mistletoe And Wine The Best Of Me This New Year Whenever God Shines His Light (with Van Morrison) Human Work Of Art I Still Believe In You This New Year We Should Be Together We Should Be Together
109 The Best Of Me I Just Don't Have The Heart I Still Believe In You Stronger Than That Never Let Go Peace In Our Time I Still Believe In You This New Year This New Year
110 I Just Don't Have The Heart Lean On You Peace In Our Time Silhouettes Healing Love Human Work Of Art Peace In Our Time I Still Believe In You I Still Believe In You

There likely is no definitive answer to how The Best Of Me can be considered the 100th single. I'll leave it to the reader to decide how to interpret the evidence.


If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact me at my email address, August 2016