Mono Vs. Stereo

 

Cliff Richard Song Database
Mono Versus Stereo

The Recording Techniques

This section only examines the recording techniques that Cliff used in his early career using one- and two-track machines. It does not review the mono or stereo releases except for how they provide information on how Cliff recorded his music. All information provided here is based upon the Peter Lewry and Nigel Goodall books The Complete Recordings Sessions and The Complete Chronicles as well as observations of Cliff's released recordings.

Terms and Definitions
  • One-track recording - Recording to a recorder that puts all audio information into one channel on the tape. One-track recordings can only produce mono tracks.
  • Two-track recording - Recording to a recorder that puts different audio information into two channels on the tape. Two-track recordings can produce either mono or stereo tracks, although most often in Cliff's pre-1962 career they were used to make stereo tracks exclusively.
  • Multi-track recording - Recording to a recorder that puts different audio information into two or more channels on the tape. Multi-track recordings can produce either mono or stereo tracks. Cliff did not use multi-track recording beyond two-track until some undetermined time in 1961 or 1962.
  • Stereo - Audio format where different sounds are intended to be played back simultaneously through both right and left channels.
  • Mono - Audio format where all sound is intended to be played back through a single channel or the same signal played back simultaneously through both right and left channels.
  • Mastering - The process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from a source containing the final mix to a data storage device.

In a nutshell, at the beginning of Cliff's career he was recording exclusively on one-track recording machines for songs intended for single release and simultaneously on one-track and two-track recorders (separate machines) for the songs intended for LP or EP release. In mid-1960, he switched to recording on two-track recorders only, regardless of the mono or stereo format on which the songs were intended to be released, and all mono versions were mixed separately from the two-track recordings. Of course, there are exceptions to the above statements which are detailed below. This section also does not address when and how Cliff began using multi-track machines beyond a simple two-track recorder, as that is difficult (if not impossible) to determine with the limited resources available. All of this has led to some interesting variations in Cliff's recordings beyond the simple mono and stereo variations-- variations such as alternate takes, alternate edits and alternate mixes.

The table below shows a graphical representation of recording techniques that Cliff used from July 1958 to July 1961, when the recording on multi-track machines appears to have stabilized as the standard technique.

x Recorded on one-track recorder only
x Recorded simultaneously on both one-track and two-track recorders
x Recorded on two-track recorder only
x Recorded some songs on one-track recorder only
and some on both one-track and two-track
x No Recording done

May 1958
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
June 1958
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930
July 1958
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031
August 1958
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31
September 1958
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930
October 1958
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031
November 1958
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30
December 1958
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031
January 1959
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
February 1959
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
March 1959
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031
April 1959
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930
May 1959
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31
June 1959
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930
July 1959
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031
August 1959
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031
September 1959
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930
October 1959
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
November 1959
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930
December 1959
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031
January 1960
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31
February 1960
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829
March 1960
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031
April 1960
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
May 1960
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031
June 1960
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930
July 1960
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31
August 1960
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031
September 1960
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930
October 1960
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031
November 1960
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930
December 1960
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
January 1961
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031
February 1961
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728
March 1961
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031
April 1961
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30
May 1961
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031
June 1961
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930
July 1961
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031
August 1961
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031
September 1961
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
October 1961
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031

In the very early days of Cliff's career, multi-track recording was still a relatively new technique. It was a more expensive process, calling on costly equipment and the expertise of skilled sound engineers. As Cliff was an unproven artist in the early days and as most pop singles at that time were released in mono format only, all of Cliff's very early material from 1958 was recorded for mono only on one-track recorders. This includes not only the singles of the period, but the Oh Boy! album tracks as well.

Any stereo versions of songs from this period are not true stereo, but mock stereo-- a technique to separate the mono track into two separate slightly out of phase tracks, giving the song a fuller sound and slight echo effect. The technique of creating mock stereo tracks was started in the early 1960s, came to prominence in the early 1970s, but had fallen out of favor by the mid-1980s and is today generally considered an undesirable format.

As Cliff's success grew, the decision was made to invest in two-track recordings for his full length albums. Thus beginning in 1959 until June of 1960, the Cliff, Cliff Sings and Me And My Shadows LPs and a handful of other non-LP songs (including, but not limited to the Expresso Bongo EP tracks and Willie And The Hand Jive) were recorded simultaneously on one- and two-track machines. As a result, many of these songs have interesting variations. Certainly on the very early material, such as the Cliff album that was recorded using this technique, the use of separate machines is evident when comparing the mono and stereo recordings side by side. The songs-- although the same take-- often go in and out of phase with each other as the result of the tape machines running at slightly different and variable speeds. Later in 1959 and early 1960, this tape drift is not as obvious (if not missing altogether), but as there were separate one-track and two-track recording engineers and there are a lot of song variations, it is presumed that the songs were still recorded separately, although there is not solid proof of this.

This technique of recording simultaneously on both machines has also led to many interesting variations. Songs such as Mean Woman Blues and She's Gone have different fade-outs. Many songs, such as The Snake And The Bookworm, I Gotta Know and I'm Willing To Learn are completely different takes. It's not always clear why different takes were chosen for the stereo and mono releases of these songs, but it is presumed that the recording of one or the other was deemed inadequate due to a recording error and an alternate take was used. And in a few cases, the band can be heard experimenting with recording directly to the one-track master recording, such as the harmony vocals added to the intro of Tell Me and an added guitar track to I Love You So.

During this same period of 1959 to June of 1960, some songs intended for single release were recorded to one-track machines only. Thus songs such as Please Don't Tease and Dynamite are mono only. The songs recorded for the Serious Charge EP, including the #1 hit Living Doll were only recorded on one-track as well. The few exceptions include Never Mind, Don't Be Mad At Me, Willie And The Hand Jive and Nine Times Out Of Ten, which were recorded on two-track machines and it's probably the case that they were simultaneously recorded in mono, but that remains unclear because no obvious differences can be determined (with the exception of Willie And The Hand Jive which is addressed below). It is also known that during this period, recording of mono tracks were created with a two-track recorder, where layers were added to a song (such as strings or backing vocals) by bouncing the performances back and forth on the two tracks. Perhaps these songs were recorded using this technique and were an experiment in two-track recording. Or perhaps they were not originally meant for singles so were recorded on a one-track machine. Whatever the reason they were recorded on two-track machines during this period remains a mystery.

The curiosities of the Willie And The Hand Jive releases bear special attention as it gives some insight into how it was recorded. The original single release was in mono only. The first appearance of a stereo recording, although missing the backing vocals, surfaced on the 1987 Rock On With Cliff Richard compilation (Music For Pleasure MFP6005) and a true stereo with backing vocals appeared on the The Early Years set as part of Cliff's 50th anniversary boxed set. This proves that the song was recorded on a multi-track machine. It is the same basic take as the mono version, so they were probably recorded simultaneously on separate machines. However, the backing vocals on both the mono and stereo versions are markedly different.

Also of note is that the 1960 sessions on March 25 and March 30 appear to be mixed, with some songs being recorded (or having survived) on one-track machines only and some being recorded on both one- and two-track machines. The March 25 session produced a mono only version of Please Don't Tease and a stereo (and possibly mono) version of Tell Me. The March 30 session produced an alternate intro for Tell Me that was edited onto the earlier recorded two-track recording and yielding the final one-track recording of the song. Several other songs were recorded at the March 30 session that were recorded in both formats, but the alternate intro version of Tell Me has only ever appeared in mono from this session. It is also known that during this period, the recording of mono tracks were created by bouncing overdubs back and forth on a two-track machine, so it is likely that the curiosities from these dates is a result of this.

Beginning in July of 1960, Cliff began recording exclusively on two-track recorders and all mono masters were mixed from the two-track recording. Thus there are very few variations between the mono and stereo versions of the songs recorded after this point (other than the mix). The only known exception to this is the foreign release single songsDie Stimme Der Liebe, which was recorded on one-track machines only. These were probably recorded only on one-track machines because they were done fast and cheap for the foreign market and there is a possibility that the backing tracks were recorded without The Shadows in Germany (despite what the Lewry and Goodall publications claim) and Cliff simply did a vocal overdub directly to the one-track master.

Again, the evidence for this is taken from information provided in the books The Complete Recordings Sessions and The Complete Chronicles and observations of the released songs. It is very possible (and likely) that some of this is not 100% correct. Any corrections or comments are welcome.

Below is another graphic that examines each session chronologically and addresses the songs that were recorded and their releases. This was also used to support the above statements.

Session Date Song Title Recording Format Session Engineer Original Release Notes
July 1958 Breathless One-track Unknown The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1958-1963 CD album (1997)
July 1958 Lawdy Miss Clawdy One-track Unknown The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1958-1963 CD album (1997)
July 24 1958 Schoolboy Crush One-track Malcolm Addey Schoolboy Crush 7" single (1958 August 29)
July 24 1958 Move It One-track Malcolm Addey Schoolboy Crush 7" single (1958 August 29)
October 3 1958 High Class Baby One-track Malcolm Addey High Class Baby 7" single (1958 November)
October 3 1958 My Feet Hit The Ground One-track Malcolm Addey High Class Baby 7" single (1958 November)
October 3 1958 Don't Bug Me Baby One-track Malcolm Addey The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1958-1963 CD album (1997)
October 21 1958 TV Hop One-track Malcolm Addey (vocal) Oh Boy! LP album (1958 December)
October 21 1958 Rockin' Robin One-track Malcolm Addey (vocal) Oh Boy! LP album (1958 December)
October 21 1958 High School Confidential One-track Malcolm Addey (vocal) Oh Boy! LP album (1958 December)
October 21 1958 King Creole One-track Malcolm Addey (vocal) Oh Boy! LP album (1958 December)
October 21 1958 I'll Try One-track Malcolm Addey (vocal) Oh Boy! LP album (1958 December)
October 21 1958 Somebody Touched Me One-track Malcolm Addey (vocal) Oh Boy! LP album (1958 December)
November 14 1958 Livin' Lovin' Doll One-track Malcolm Addey Livin' Lovin' Doll 7" single (1959 January)
November 14 1958 Mean Streak One-track Malcolm Addey Mean Streak 7" single (1959 April)
November 19 1958 Steady With You One-track Malcolm Addey Livin' Lovin' Doll 7" single (1959 January)
February 9 or 10 1959 Apron Strings One- and Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 My Babe One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 Down The Line One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 I Get The Feeling One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 Baby I Don't Care One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 Donna One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 Move It One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 Ready Teddy One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 Too Much One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 Don't Bug Me Baby One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 That'll Be The Day One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 Danny One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 Whole Lotta Shakin' One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Cliff LP album (1959 April) [mono]
Cliff No. 1 EP (1959 June) [stereo]
February 9 or 10 1959 One Night One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1958-1963 CD album (1997) [mono]
March 9 1959 Never Mind One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Mean Streak 7" single (1959 April) [mono]
Rock On With Cliff Richard CD album (1987) [stereo]
March 9 1959 Dynamite (Take 4) One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey The Early Years CD (2008 September) [stereo]
April 28 1959 Living Doll One-track Malcolm Addey Serious Charge EP (1959 May or July)
April 28 1959 No Turning Back One-track Malcolm Addey Serious Charge EP (1959 May or July)
April 28 1959 Mad About You One-track Malcolm Addey Serious Charge EP (1959 May or July)
May 25 1959 Apron Strings One-track Malcolm Addey Living Doll 7" single (1959 July)
July 25 1959 Travellin' Light One-track Malcolm Addey Travellin' Light 7" single (1959 October)
July 25 1959 Dynamite (Alternate) One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Time To Rock! Holland 10" album (1962) [mono]
Pioneros Del Rock Spanish album (1985) [stereo]
July 26 1959 The Snake And The Bookworm One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd (mono) / Peter Bown & Stuart Eltham (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
July 26 1959 I Gotta Know One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd (mono) / Peter Bown & Stuart Eltham (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
September 6 1959 Dynamite One-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Peter Bown & Norman Smith (stereo) Travellin' Light 7" single (1959 October) 1
September 6 1959 Here Comes Summer One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Peter Bown & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 1 EP (1960 February) [stereo]
September 6 1959 Twenty Flight Rock One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Peter Bown & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 2 EP (1960 March) [stereo]
September 6 1959 Snake And The Bookworm (Alternate) One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Peter Bown & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings No. 1 EP (1960 February) [stereo]
September 6 1959 I Gotta Know One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Peter Bown & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings No. 1 EP (1960 February) [stereo]
September 6 1959 Choppin' 'N' Changin' One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Peter Bown & Norman Smith (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October 7 — UK — Columbia 33SX 1261) [mono]
September 7 1959 Blue Suede Shoes One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 1 EP (1960 February) [stereo]
September 7 1959 Pointed Toe Shoes One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 2 EP (1960 March) [stereo]
September 7 1959 Mean Woman Blues One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 2 EP (1960 March) [stereo]
September 8 1959 I'm Walkin' One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 2 EP (1960 March) [stereo]
September 8 1959 Love One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Expresso Bongo EP (1960 January) [mono]
Expresso Bongo EP (1960 January) [stereo]
September 8 1959 A Voice In The Wilderness (EP Version) One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Expresso Bongo EP (1960 January) [mono]
Expresso Bongo EP (1960 January) [stereo]
September 9 1959 I'll String Along With You One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 3 EP (1960 April) [stereo]
September 9 1959 Little Things Mean A Lot One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 4 EP (1960 September) [stereo]
September 9 1959 Somewhere Along The Way One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 4 EP (1960 September) [stereo]
September 9 1959 That's My Desire One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 4 EP (1960 September) [stereo]
September 10 1959 Embraceable You One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 3 EP (1960 April) [stereo]
September 10 1959 As Time Goes By One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 3 EP (1960 April) [stereo]
September 10 1959 The Touch Of Your Lips One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 3 EP (1960 April) [stereo]
September 10 1959 I Don't Know Why One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Norman Smith (stereo) Cliff Sings LP album (1959 November) [mono]
Cliff Sings No. 4 EP (1960 September) [stereo]
October 19 1959 The Shrine On The Second Floor One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Alan Kane (stereo) Expresso Bongo EP (1960 January) [mono]
Expresso Bongo EP (1960 January) [stereo]
November 19 1959 Fall In Love With You One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Peter Bown (stereo) Fall In Love With You 7" single (1960 March) [mono]
The Early Years CD (as an alternate take) (2008 September) [stereo]
November 19 1959 Don't Be Mad At Me One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Peter Bown (stereo) A Voice In The Wilderness 7" single (1960 January) [mono]
The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1958-1963 CD album (1997 June) [stereo]
November 19 1959 Willie And The Hand Jive One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Alan Kane (mono) / Stuart Eltham & Peter Bown (stereo) Fall In Love With You 7" single (1960 March) [mono]
Rock On With Cliff Richard CD album (1987) [stereo]
December 20 1959 A Voice In The Wilderness One-track Malcolm Addey A Voice In The Wilderness 7" single (1960 January) [mono]
March 15 1960 Nine Times Out Of Ten One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Nine Times Out Of Ten 7" single (1960 September) [mono]
Rock On With Cliff Richard CD album (1987) [stereo]
March 15 1960 I Don't Know One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 16 1960 Thinking Of Our Love One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Nine Times Out Of Ten 7" single (1960 September) [mono]
The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1958-1963 CD album (1997 June) [stereo]
March 16 1960 Evergreen Tree One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 16 1960 Left Out Again One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 16 1960 You're Just The One To Do It One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 17 1960 She's Gone One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 17 1960 Gee Whizz It's You One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 17 1960 I Love You So One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 25 1960 Please Don't Tease One-track Malcolm Addey Please Don't Tease 7" single (1960 June) [mono] 4
March 25 1960 Tell Me (basic track) One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 30 1960 Tell Me (acapella intro) One-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono] 5
March 30 1960 Where Is My Heart One-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Please Don't Tease 7" single (1960 June) [mono] 6
March 30 1960 I'm Gonna Get You One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 30 1960 I Cannot Find A True Love One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
March 30 1960 Lamp Of Love One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
April 1 1960 You And I One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
April 1 1960 Working After School One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [mono]
Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo]
April 1 1960 I Live For You One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
June 24 1960 We Have It Made One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo] 7
June 24 1960 I'm Willing To Learn One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo] 7
June 24 1960 Choppin' 'N' Changin' One- & Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith (mono) / Peter Bown & Alan Kane (stereo) Me And My Shadows LP album (1960 October) [stereo] 7
July 26 1960 Memories Linger On Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
July 26 1960 It's You Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
September 9 1960 I Love You Two-track Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd I Love You 7" single (1960 December) [mono]
Cliff's Hit Album LP album (1971 August) [stereo]
September 9 1960 'D' In Love Two-track Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd I Love You 7" single (1960 December) [mono]
Rock On With Cliff Richard CD album (1987) [stereo]
September 9 1960 Catch Me Two-track Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
September 20 1960 Now's The Time To Fall In Love Two-track Malcolm Addey A Girl Like You 7" single (1961 June) [mono]
The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1958-1963 CD album (1997 June) [stereo]
September 27 1960 True Love Will Come To You (Alternate) Two-track Malcolm Addey Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo] 8
October 13 1960 True Love Will Come To You Two-track Malcolm Addey Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
October 13 1960 First Lesson In Love Two-track Malcolm Addey Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
October 13 1960 I Want You To Know (Alternate) Two-track Malcolm Addey Listen To Cliff! South Africa LP album (1961) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
9
November 17 1960 Blue Moon Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
November 17 1960 Idle Gossip Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
November 17 1960 We Kiss In A Shadow Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono] 10
December 5 1960 Bin Verliebt Two-track Malcolm Addey Bin Verliebt 7" single (1961 January) [mono] Die Story LP album (1988?) [stereo] 11
December 5 1960 Die Stimme Der Liebe One-track Malcolm Addey Bin Verliebt 7" single (1961 January) [mono] 11
January 11 1961 Almost Like Being In Love Two-track Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
January 28 1961 Theme For A Dream Two-track Malcolm Addey Theme For A Dream 7" single (1961 February) [mono]
Cliff's Hit Album LP album (1971 August) [stereo]
January 28 1961 Mumblin' Mosie Two-track Malcolm Addey Theme For A Dream 7" single (1961 February) [mono]
The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1958-1963 CD album (1997 June) [stereo]
January 28 1961 A Girl Like You Two-track Malcolm Addey A Girl Like You 7" single (1961 June) [mono]
Cliff's Hit Album LP album (1971 August) [stereo]
January 28 1961 Tough Enough Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
January 30 1961 How Wonderful To Know Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
January 30 1961 Fifty Tears For Every Kiss Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
January 30 1961 Outsider Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
January 30 1961 To Prove My Love For You Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
January 30 1961 A Mightly Lonely Man Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
March 4 1961 What'd I Say Two-track Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
March 4 1961 Unchained Melody Two-track Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [mono]
Listen To Cliff! LP album (1961 May) [stereo]
March 4 1961 I Want You To Know Two-track Malcolm Addey & David Lloyd 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
April 10 1961 Schön Wie Ein Traum Two-track Malcolm Addey Schön Wie Ein Traum 7" single (1961 June) [mono]
On The Continent CD album (1997 November) [stereo]
April 10 1961 Vreneli Two-track Malcolm Addey Schön Wie Ein Traum 7" single (1961 June) [mono] 12
April 19 1961 Poor Boy Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
April 19 1961 My Blue Heaven Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
July 4 1961 Forty Days Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
July 4 1961 The Night Is So Lonely Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
July 4 1961 Tea For Two Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
July 11 1961 Y'Arriva Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
July 11 1961 Without You Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
July 11 1961 Shame On You Two-track Malcolm Addey 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
July 28 1961 Happy Birthday To You Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith 21 Today LP album (1961 October) [mono]
21 Today LP album (1961 October) [stereo]
July 28 1961 We Say Yeah Two-track Malcolm Addey & Norman Smith The Young Ones LP album (1961 December) [mono]
The Young Ones LP album (1961 December) [stereo]
1 Although two-track recordings were done at the September 6, 1959 session, the recording of Dynamite from this session has only ever been released in mono. It is assumed that as this song was intended to be a single only, it was only recorded using a one-track machine.
4 As a two-track recording of Tell Me was done at the March 25, 1960 session and stereo engineers were used, it may be the case the Please Don't Tease was also recorded in on a two-track machine, but has not yet been mixed and released. It may also be the case that as this song was recorded with the expectation that it would be a single release only, it was only recorded on a one-track machine. It is assumed that it was only recorded on a one-track machine.
5 The acapella intro for Tell Me was likely recorded direct to the one-track mono master, thus a stereo version with the acapella intro does not exist.
6 Although two-track recordings were done at the March 30, 1960 session, the recording of Where Is My Heart from this session has only ever been released in mono. It is assumed that as this song was intended to be a single only, it was only recorded using a one-track machine.
7 Documentation indicates that songs from the June 24, 1960 were recorded on both one- and two-track machines. However no mono recordings from this session have been released. Could these be the first true stereo recordings? The mono and stereo releases of We Have It Made and I'm Willing To Learn are different takes and no documentation exists that indicates when the mono takes were recorded. They may have been from the same session, but that is uncertain. Also, the released mono recording of Choppin' 'N' Changin' is from an earlier session, so it is also uncertain if a one-track recording of the song was done at this session.
8 The September 27, 1960 session produced an alternate take of True Love Will Come To You which has only ever been released in stereo format. As no mono mix of this take has been released, it is assumed that the song was only recorded in on a two-track machine and a mono mix was never done for this recording.
9 Although the mono version of I Want You To Know from the March 4, 1961 recording session was the preferred version for this song, the mono version of this song from the October 13, 1960 session slipped out on the South African release of the Listen To Cliff! album, demonstrating that the song was mixed to mono from the two-track recording.
10 The stereo version of We Kiss In A Shadow is a previously undocumented alternate version, so the record date of that version is uncertain. It is assumed that it is from the same session.
11 Although the record credits The Shadows as playing on Bin Verliebt and Die Stimme Der Liebe, it appears from audio evidence that they were not really on the track and all instruments are by Berlipp's Band. It is always possible (and somewhat likely) that Cliff's German vocals and the Berlipp's Band instrumentation were recorded separately (possibly on a multi-track) and mixed together straight to a one-track mono master.
12 The recording of Schön Wie Ein Traum from this session has been released in stereo, demonstrating that two-track recording was performed during the April 10, 1960 session. However, a stereo version of Vreneli has never been released so it is uncertain if it was ever truly recorded on two-track. It is also possible that the April 10, 1960 session refers only to Cliff's vocal take and the instrumental parts were recorded on a separate undocumented date.


Although it is difficult to pinpoint when Cliff started using multi-track recorders with more than two-tracks, it is an educated guess that their use started with the April 4, 1962 session. This can be verified by the usage of split stereo. On the two-track recordings the instruments are spread across the two speakers, but when multi-track exceeding two-tracks was introduced the basic rhythm track was recorded all on one channel of the multi-track machine and audio evidence indicates the first recordings that have the rhythm section on one side and in some cases Cliff's vocal on the other side are the tracks recorded April 4, 1962, Walking The Blues and For Me, For You. On some of the remastered CDs, these wide splits have been brought more to the center but on the original vinyls the splits are very wide.

Also, as stated above, there are a handful of songs that were only ever recorded on one-track machines and were mixed to mock stereo at some point. The use of mock stereo is a strong indicator that these songs were never recorded on two-tracks or the two-track recordings were destroyed with the exception of Nine Times Out Of Ten which saw eventual release of an original stereo recording.


The Releases

This section examines the mono and stereo releases of Cliff recordings up until the early 1970s. After 1972, all of Cliff's releases were stereo only. All information provided here is based upon the UK releases only, although there is some comment about foreign releases as well.

At the beginning of Cliff's musical career, mono was the dominant format for popular music in the UK. Stereo releases were generally reserved for classical or the most popular pop artists, as most pop music fans bought mono recordings only. Therefore, more care was taken with the mono recordings and releases, with stereo releases relegated to the odd EP or the rare LP only. Although it was true for most of the 1960s that stereo releases were not top sellers in the UK, in the USA it was quickly becoming the dominant format and that, in turn, began to effect the UK market. By the late 1960s, stereo sales began outstripping mono sales and by the early 1970s, mono releases were phased out altogether.

Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, if it was known in advance that a song being recorded was to be a song for a single, then it was recorded in mono only with no consideration at all given for a stereo recording. Only if a song was to be an LP or EP release or its release was undecided was a song recorded in stereo for possible stereo release. Even then, some songs recorded in stereo that ended up on singles did not see stereo release for many years, such as Never Mind on a 1987 Rock On With Cliff Richard compilation and Don't Be Mad At Me on the 1997 The Rock 'N' Roll Years 1958-1963 compilation, both recorded in 1959 and not released in stereo before. And often in the early years, the more experienced engineer was given the task of overseeing the mono recording with the stereo recording given much less consideration. As such, even though some stereo releases of the early songs exist, the mono recording is the preferred version of the song. This has also led to a considerable amount of variation on the releases of these early recordings, including different mixes, takes and fade-out points. As such, many fans prefer having both the mono and stereo versions of these songs because there can be such a variation on their content beyond the obvious one/two channel variations.

The table below documents all the known variations between the mono and stereo versions on releases of a song. All songs are the same take unless otherwise stated.

Song Title Mono/Stereo Variation
The Snake And The Bookworm The mono and stereo versions are completely different takes. They use the same arrangement and they sound remarkably similar.
I Gotta Know The mono and stereo versions are completely different takes. They use the same arrangement, but the stereo version has a slightly faster beat.
Mean Woman Blues The fade-out on the stereo version is extended an additional nine seconds, allowing more of the guitar part to be heard.
A Voice In The Wilderness (EP version) The guitar backing is slightly different, notably between the first and second verses. Also, the machines used to record them were also running at slightly different and variable speeds, so that the playback speeds are different.
I Cannot Find A True Love The fade-out on the stereo version is extended an additional four seconds, allowing some backing bits by the Shadows to be heard.
She's Gone The fade-out on the stereo version is extended an additional few seconds, allowing for an additional "she's gone" lyric to be heard.
Choppin' 'N' Changin' The mono and stereo versions are completely different takes. They are the same basic arrangement, but the stereo version has a faster start (basically, cutting off a few beats), has a different, but similar guitar solo, and fades a few seconds earlier. It's most notable by some alternate lyrics: at the end of the second verse, following "Why'd you have to cause me so much worry", Cliff sings "Choppin' and changin', won't you say yes or no" on the mono version and "Stoppin' and startin', won't you say yes or no" on the mono version; at the end of the third verse, following "And leave you nothing baby but broken romances", Cliff sings "Rockin' and rollin', chasing away the blues" on the mono version and "Choppin' and changin', please make up your mind" on the stereo version; and finally, two lines on the fade out are changed from the "Rockin' and Rollin'" line on the mono version to "Choppin' and changin'" on the stereo version.
We Have It Made The mono and stereo versions are completely different takes. They are the same basic arrangement, but with slightly different instrumentation and vocal performances. The most notable difference is a changed lyric. Near the end of the song on the mono version, Cliff sings: "Let's make up darling, don't be afraid, if we have it made." On the stereo version, this line is changed slightly to: "Come take my love, don't be afraid, if we have it made."
Tell Me The stereo version of this song is the exact same take as the mono version, except for the a capella intro. Although the mono and stereo versions were recorded at the same time (i.e. they were the same take), the mono version was subsequently improved by replacing the a capella solo vocal with a harmonised section. This replacement did not occur on the stereo recording. As well as having The Shadows doing harmony vocals the mono version can be distinguished from the stereo by Cliff doing different adlibs and vocal inflections. Also of interest is that the stereo version has a slightly later fadeout, extending the song's end by about five seconds.
Gee Whizz It's You The fade-out on the stereo version is shorter by seven seconds, cutting some of the guitar.
I Love You So The stereo version cuts the guitar solo from the instrumental bridge.
I'm Willing To Learn The mono and stereo versions are completely different takes. They use the same arrangement, but on the mono version, near the end of the song and the second time Cliff sings the "freeze me out" lyric, he sings: "Oh, baby, baby, don't you freeze me out." On the stereo version, Cliff sings that same lyric as: "Oh, baby, baby, please don't freeze me out."
True Love Will Come To You The mono and stereo versions are completely different takes. They use the same arrangement, but the guitar solo is different and the fade-out is fifteen seconds earlier on the stereo version
I Want You To Know The mono and stereo versions are completely different takes. They use the same arrangement, but the guitar intro is missing from the stereo version and the guitar solos on the instrumental breaks are different. Also Cliff sings the fourth verse of "I want you to know, that I love her so much..." on the stereo version instead of "Well, can't you see, what she does to me..." as on the mono version. Cliff adlibs "Ah, let's go one more time" at the beginning of the second guitar solo on the stereo version, which is missing on the mono version.
We Kiss In A Shadow The mono and stereo versions are completely different takes. They use the same arrangement, but the beat on the stereo version is slightly slower.
Do You Wanna Dance The vocal overdubs are slightly different. On the mono version, at about the 0:55 mark, Cliff shouts "WOE!" and right after says "Let's rock!" with one of the Shadows agreeing. On the stereo version, Cliff shouts "WOE!" but the "Let's rock!" part is cut. Also on the stereo version, on the song's guitar fade-out after the final vocal part, Cliff again shouts "WOE!". This shout is missing from the mono version.
Summer Holiday The fade-out on the stereo version is shorter by ten seconds, cutting some of the repeated ending.
Wonderful To Be Young The fade-out on the stereo version is slightly longer, providing an additional "it's oh so wonderful" lyric. Note: this only applies to the original 1962 USA issues of the song as the later 1964 UK issues used a completely different mix of the song.

For a while, from the 1959 Cliff LP to the 1960 Me And My Shadows LP, Cliff was recording simulateously in both mono and stereo on separate machines. It is also notable that although these tracks may be the same take, they often have subtle differences in the mix, including the fact that the two different tape machines recording the songs were running at two different and variable speeds. Thus the mono and stereo versions vary in their speed and running time.

By the mid 1960s, stereo was more important and more care was given to its recording, thus these variations between mono and stereo stopped occuring. At some point (undetermined) in the mid-to-late 1960s, especially when Cliff and The Shadows began experimenting with multi-tracking themselves on tape, many of the mono mixes were simple mix-downs of the stereo recording so there is no variation at all in the two versions (besides the typical one/two channel mix).

There is also the issue of what type of stereo is released. Although the terminology may vary, for the purposes of this discussion, here are the types to be found on various releases:

  • Standard stereo - Also known as true or full stereo. The full spectrum of sound with vocals typically in the center and the instruments and backing vocals spread out over both channels, reflecting how the human ear hears live sounds.
  • Split stereo - The instrumental backing track isolated on one channel with the lead and backing vocals on the second channel. Also known as twin-track mono.
  • Wide stereo - Various instruments or vocals concentrated (not isolated) on one channel or the other; there may be some aural bleed between channels. Typically (but not always) vocals are mixed to both channels.
  • Narrow stereo - The mixing of a split or wide stereo recording such that both of the channels are brought more toward the center, giving the track a more natural and near mono sound; Also known as the 11 O'Clock/1 O'Clock mix.
  • Mock stereo - A mono only recording where the sound is split into two channels slightly out of phase; It may also just have stereo reverb added and in some cases the left channel is made brighter with the right channel being made duller with more bass emphasis.
  • Mono with stereo reverb - A remix of a mono track by Keith Bessey with reverb added to the track in an attempt to give a fuller sound.
Cliff's UK singles were released in mono only until the first UK stereo single release of The Joy Of Living with Hank Marvin in 1970. Following that, Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha (1970), I Ain't Got Time Anymore (1970) and Sunny Honey Girl (1971) were also released in stereo, but Silvery Rain (1971) and Flying Machine (1971) reverted back to mono releases. Then Sing A Song Of Freedom (1971) was again a stereo release and all UK singles after that were stereo only. As stated, this is in reference to UK singles only. Of interest is that in much of the rest of the world, the singles varied as to which were released in mono or stereo. Some were releasing stereo singles much earlier (With The Eyes Of A Child in Germany (1969)) and some were releasing mono singles much later (Jesus in Australia (1972)). The table below attempts to show the single and it's release format for various countries around the world.

* unissued for this country
Single UK Australia Belgium Denmark Germany Holland New Zealand
Good Times (1969) mono unknown
*
mono mono mono unknown
Big Ship (1969) mono mono
*
mono mono mono unknown
Throw Down A Line (1969) mono unknown
*
mono mono mono unknown
With The Eyes Of A Child (1969) mono mono
*
mono stereo mono unknown
The Joy Of Living (1970) stereo mono
*
stereo stereo mono unknown
Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha (1970) stereo mono unknown stereo unknown stereo mono
I Ain't Got Time Anymore (1970) stereo unknown unknown stereo unknown mono unknown
Sunny Honey Girl (1971) stereo unknown unknown stereo stereo stereo unknown
Silvery Rain (1971) mono
*
unknown unknown mono stereo unknown
Flying Machine (1971) mono mono unknown unknown mono stereo unknown
Sing A Song Of Freedom (1971) stereo mono unknown unknown unknown stereo unknown
Jesus (1972) stereo mono stereo stereo unknown stereo unknown
Living In Harmony (1972) stereo stereo unknown stereo unknown stereo unknown

The above list is only partially complete due to partial information, so any information to help fill out this table is greatly appreciated. Please contact me (Robert) at the email address listed at the bottom of this page.

There is also the issue of the foreign language singles released during this late 60s/early 70s period, such as the Italian Non Dimenticare Chi Ti Ama (1969) and the German Du, Du Gefällst Mir So (1970) and Wenn Du Lachst, Lacht Das Glück (1971). There is not enough information about these releases currently known to extensively analyze them, but it is known that all German singles up to and including the March 1969 Zärtliche Sekunden single were issued in mono and all German singles from the March 1970 Du, Du Gefällst Mir So single and later are stereo. It is assumed that the pattern is the same for other foreign language singles.

Cliff's first two UK issued LPs, Cliff and Cliff Sings, both from 1959, were issued in mono only (although they appeared in stereo on the later EP issues and album reissues many years later). All UK issued LPs from the 1960 Me And My Shadows album up to and including the 1969 Sincerely LP were released in both mono and stereo format, with the exception of the 1965 When In Rome LP which was mono only (and has never been released in stereo). With the October 1970 release of About That Man, this and all subsequent LP releases have been released in stereo only.

When it came to Cliff's UK issued EP releases, the pattern of mono's early importance is more evident. The first EP from Cliff is the May 1959 Serious Charge EP and it was released in mono only. From the June 1959 EP, Cliff No. 1, to the November 1961 EP, Dream, all EPs were released in both mono and stereo with the exception of the December 1960 Cliff's Silver Discs EP. From the February 1962 Cliff's Hit Parade EP to the December 1964 Hits From Wonderful Life EP, the release of both mono and stereo EPs varied with most either mono only or both mono and stereo. From the February 1965 Why Don't They Understand EP to the April 1968 Congratulations EP, all EP releases were mono only. After 1968, EPs had fallen out of favor and were no longer being manufactured (except as the odd collectible only releases in the 1973 and 1991 which were stereo).

Split stereo can be a disconcerting sound to the human ear and these mixes were typically never meant for release but were only to be used for mixdown to mono, although a fair amount saw release over the years. Beginning in about 1993, when Keith Bessey took over the engineering of Cliff's catalog, most of the songs that have been available in split stereo only were given the 11 O'Clock/1 O'Clock treatment and converted to narrow stereo.

Songs originally available in split stereo and having been mixed to narrow stereo for all 1993 and later release include:

I'm Walkin' The Blues
When My Dream Boat Comes Home
Bachelor Boy
original Take 10/11 mix only
Big News
Frenesi
Spanish language version
Solamente Una Vez
Me Lo Dijo Adela
Maria No Mas
Quizas Quizas Quizas
Te Quiero Dijiste
Quien Sera
What've I Gotta Do
Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)
Visions

As stereo became the dominant format in the 1970s, many of the older mono only recordings were mixed to mock stereo. This was first used in 1971 for the stereo release of Cliff's Hit Album, where all of side one and The Young Ones on side two were mixed to mock stereo (with all remaining tracks in true stereo).

Songs that have had the mock stereo treatment include:

Move It
High Class Baby
Living Doll
Travellin' Light
A Voice In The Wilderness
single version
Fall In Love With You
Willie And The Hand Jive
with backing vocals
Please Don't Tease
Nine Times Out Of Ten
Theme For A Dream
A Girl Like You
The Young Ones
with strings
When The Girl In Your Arms Is The Girl In Your Heart
I'm Looking Out The Window
Do You Wanna Dance

All of the mock stereo mixes created for the 1971 Cliff's Hit Album album were also used for the 1977 40 Golden Greats LP. However, those tracks that were in true stereo on Cliff's Hit Album appeared as mock stereo on 40 Golden Greats with the exclusion of I Love You which was not on 40 Golden Greats in any format. All these mock stereo mixes and an additional one of Willie And The Hand Jive that did not appear on either of these compilations, were used for many other compilations afterwards in the 1970s and 1980s. Mock stereo is today generally considered an unpleasant and undesireable format. By the mid 1980s, mock stereo had fallen out of favor and all releases of these songs previously released in mock stereo reverted to use the original mono mixes. In one exception, a new mock stereo mix of Move It and a first time ever mock stereo mix of High Class Baby were created in 1989 for use on the The Best Of Me single.

Once again, the song Willie And The Hand Jive bears special attention. A mock stereo version of the mono version of Willie And The Hand Jive (with backing vocals) was created in the 1970s for a Reader's Digest compilation and this is where things get complicated. Since the mock stereo technique was falling out of favor in the 1980s, the 1980 Rock On With Cliff compilation (Music For Pleasure MFP50467) made the error of taking the mock stereo version and mixing it down to mono. This mock-stereo-mixed-to-mono has a strange sound and is an altogether unpleasant experience. All releases of the song from 1980 to 2008 have been either this mock-stereo-mixed-to-mono or the undubbed stereo version. The true stereo version with backing vocals was included for the first time on the The Early Years CD as part of the ...And They Said It Wouldn't Last! {My 50 Years In Music} box set released in September of 2008. And the true original mono version with backing vocals has never been released since the original 1960 single!

This creation of mock stereo mixes and the preparation of the stereo 1971 Cliff's Hit Album album also sheds a light on the mystery of the lost stereo mix of I Love You. It seems that when the 1971 LP was being prepared, several of the songs on the original stereo masters were actually removed from the vaults and misplaced. This is why, although perfectly good stereo mixes of all of the songs on side two of Cliff's Hit Album were available (except the strings version of The Young Ones), these songs appeared as mock stereo on 40 Golden Greats. The original stereo masters were replaced and the mono masters had to be used (and mixed to mock stereo) instead. Subsequently, the stereo masters appear to have been found as all of these tracks from side two of Cliff's Hit Album have since surfaced in stereo again, barring the version of The Young Ones which doesn't.

As a final note, in the early 1970s the concept of quadraphonic recordings began where instead of a two speaker recording, a song used four speakers meant to surround the listener. This format never fully caught on and was mostly phased out by the 1980s. Cliff never had any releases in the quadraphonic format. Today, there is also the concept of surround sound recordings (including DTS and 5.1) that uses five or more speakers. This is typically used for the theater experience, however some audio only recordings have been released in this format as well, especially when mixing music for music video releases. Cliff has never had any releases in the surround sound format that are currently known.


If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact me at my email address, cliffrichardsongs@gmail.com. This page was written in large part with the help of fellow fans. Special thanks to Chris Lane, Simon Palmer, Henk Schaap and Mike Ross Trevor for their assistance.

Robert Porter
June 2017