Posted in music | tour dates on February 14, 2014

by Bill Pearis

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CLIFF RICHARD: I said, "My initial answer is yes but can you check it's not a joke? Is there an ulterior motive?" He got hold of Morrissey's management and he said: "No, Morrissey's a fan and he'd like you to be there."

So I said: "Yes, please." The chances of me singing for 15,000 people in New York are pretty well nil for me at the moment anyway. So I thought it would be great.

I checked on the internet and saw a couple of shots of him live, and his audiences look really - I don't know how to say this - they look really nice. They were swaying in the crowd and mouthing lyrics and I was thinking: "Oh, my audiences do that." So maybe his audience will be kind to me.

BBC: How aware of his music have you been over the years?

CLIFF RICHARD: I knew of him, even when he was lead singer of The J... The Smiths. I can't say that I've followed his musical career but I've followed the success. I've Googled him a couple of times now and I'm thinking, I could be a fan. - [BBC]

When Morrissey announced he'd be playing arena shows in NYC and LA on his upcoming tour, part of the surprise was the UK pop vets who'd be opening: Tom Jones at Los Angeles Sports Arena and Cliff Richard at Barclays Center.

While most Americans are plenty familiar with Tom Jones, that is probably not the case with Cliff Richard. He's actually the third-top-selling singles artist in the United Kingdom's history, and managed to score a #1 record in every decade from the '50s through the '90s. (He would've done it in the '00s too but "21st Century Christmas" [with Brian May] stalled at #2.) Bill Nighy's rockstar character in Love Actually is loosely based on Cliff Richard.

He has had hits in America during the disco era -- "Devil Woman" and "We Don't Talk Anymore" were both Top 10. You might also know "Suddenly," his duet with Olivia Newton John from Xanadu. But in America, that's about it. His 1987 UK #1, "Living Doll," was with cult punk Britcom The Young Ones which is probably about as close to "cool" as he ever got. (The Young Ones theme was actually a cover of an old Cliff Richard #1.) He was knighted in 1995, the first rock start to receive such an honor. Few people would call him cool (a British friend pointed me to this), but his UK chart presence is undeniable. You can check out a few videos below.

The rest of the country -- and NYC and LA too -- get frequent Moz opener Kristeen Young. Meanwhile, tickets to Morrissey's Barclays show on June 21 go on sale Friday, February 21 at noon, with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (2/19) at noon.

Relive a cavalcade of Cliff Richard hits in video form below...

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The Young Ones - Living Doll (w/ Cliff Richard)

Devil Woman - Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard - We Don't Talk Anymore

Cliff Richard - Travellin' Light (1959)

Cliff Richard - Congratulations (1968)

Cliff Richard - The Millennium Prayer (1999)

Cliff Richard, Brian May and Brian Bennett - Move It (2006)

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Comments (22)

$143.85 for an under 90 minute Morrissey set. lol.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:05 PM

Morrisssey should have asked Mos Def to open for him. They both love canceling shows, it would be perfect.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:07 PM

who is the world's stupidest bottom burp?

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:09 PM

Cliff is dope. Hope he does Jessie's Girl and Baby Come Back. Those would be the jam to see live after all this time.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:22 PM

Moz will play 65 minutes, and about 3/4 of it will be his lounge music. I'd pay $60 to walk the fuck out, but agree LOL at $150 for that "honor". Literally.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:28 PM

Good thing you pointed out who Cliff Richard is - because the rubes from the midwest who will be attending this show clearly had no idea

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:28 PM

2:28 is ignorant regarding the etymology of the term "rube", otherwise he would not have drawn attention to his ignorance so blatantly

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:40 PM

anyone who pretends to like music and doesn't know who Cliff Richard is is an idiot. Plain and Simple.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:45 PM

Glad Moz got his wish. Who else wants to play with Richards and who else would open for Morrissey besides Kristeen Young.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:54 PM

Cliff Richards in an arena in Brooklyn in 2014? That is kinda cool.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:58 PM

Why does Kristeen Young always open for Morrissey, has she threatened to tell everyone that he's gay?

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 2:58 PM

^ know where dem bodies be buried yo

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 3:01 PM

Lolz. He almost said "The Jam"

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 3:35 PM

The Jam > The Smiths

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 4:02 PM

Prices for Moz day of? GO!

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 5:27 PM

is Morrissey boning Cliff Richard ?

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 6:44 PM

2:09 - Rick, Britain... Or was it Tokstoth O'Grady, USA? I can't remember.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 10:11 PM

CLIFF!

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2014 11:28 PM

Anybody who really knows popular music has heard of Cliff Richard...it's the hipsters/posers/douches that are regularly on this site that would have no idea who he is. Maybe If Grimes(or Imagine Dragons, or any of the other talentless hacks who pass for music today)covered one of his songs, they could then say: "oh yeah, I've been into Cliff Richard for awhile. I really like his old stuff." You can all fuck off.
p.s.-musical taste is completely subjective, and in my opinion Morrissey really sucks. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

Posted by Anonymous | February 16, 2014 11:03 AM

^this dooofus thinks some dusty British fop is better than Grimes. lol Grandpa, time for your nap.

Posted by Anonymous | February 16, 2014 11:35 AM

"When I was a young man, we didn't have any Dragons band or Kristin Whatsername, or any Morrissey person, I'll tell you that! But we did have Cliff Richard, and Johnny Halliday, and of course The Big Bopper. You kids just don't know what you're missing, that's what!"

Posted by Anonymous | February 16, 2014 3:15 PM

Black 47 should be opening this show. Or my tribute band Black 48 - we rock!

I like Morrissey and Cliff Richard but let's not get crazy. People in NYC are lonely and always need to go to places. Grow up nerds.

Posted by Smooches | February 17, 2014 5:36 PM

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