10
Jun 04

CLIFF RICHARD – “I Love You”

Popular3 comments • 1,287 views

#110, 31st December 1960

If you wanted to prove that pre-Beatles British pop was rubbish, this might be a good record to pick. Pop is at its worst when you can detect self-satisfaction, when you feel it’s been made by people who think they have it all sewn up. Cliff sounds smug and bored here, but even if he gave his all he’d not save a record that takes pains to emphasise its own feebleness.

Take the lyrics. “Your love means more to me than all the fishes that are in the sea / But like those fishes my heart starts to swim because I / Love you”. This is nonsense – hearts swimming is a queasy metaphor, and anyway fishes (yes, even all the fishes) aren’t anyone’s idea of an emotional touchstone. But Cliff sings this with a teacherly precision and patience, forcing us to pay attention. Worse, the pause before “Love you” is marked with a pert little double-beat, emphasising the hook just as you realise that nobody’s bothered to write a chorus and that this two-word nothing is meant to be the payoff.

2

Comments

  1. 1
    wichita lineman on 10 Feb 2009 #

    This didn’t even make it onto Cliff’s 40 Golden Greats in the late 70s which suggests
    1. Cliff didn’t like it much
    2. They forgot it existed.

    But I do quite like the ultra-simplicity of the lyric because it is so, so dumb: “They say one and one is two / I’m one, and the other one’s you.”

    THEY say? Cliff wasn’t about to let The Man trick him so easily…

    Francoise Hardy was a big fan; her early material is almost entirely based on Cliff and the Shadows’ sound.

  2. 2
    Victoria on 15 Aug 2011 #

    Well this a bit of a letdown after Roy and Elvis and its certainly hardly to believe this came from the UK pop scene in the very same year as Shakin All Over. They sound like they come from two completely different decades!

  3. 3
    lonepilgrim on 29 Jul 2014 #

    the youtube clip of Cliff singing this on some TV show suggests he didn’t think too much of the song even then. it’s a pleasant tune with a brief twangy guitar break from Hank but the lyrics are crap

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