2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life

The Shadows – more than instrumentalists

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Except they were called the Drifters at that point – until the American vocal group The Drifters objected. They only became the Shadows for the first time on Cliff’s sixth single “Travellin’ Light”.

The group had started recording and performing with Cliff Richard and released three singles in their own right in 1959. These are the vocals “Feeling Fine“/”Don’t Be A Fool With Love” recorded as the Drifters, the instrumentals “Jet Black”/”Driftin’” as the Four Jets – to avoid litigation, and a further vocal release under their new name the Shadows  “Saturday Dance“/”Lonesome Fella . These all failed to chart.

Here is my well-played copy of “Saturday Dance/Lonesome Fella” which shows a marked improvement in the guitar playing, singing and production generally (perhaps Hank had got his Fender Stratocaster by then?)

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In later years, in the 1970s, they tried again as a vocal harmony trio called Marvin, Welch & Farrar with singer/songwriter/producer John Farrar (who wrote “I know what you want” and other hits for Olivia Newton John) but by then they had achieved fame as The Shadows and that’s what fans wanted to hear. Here’s what MW&F sounded like on “Lady of the Morning

FYI neither Hank B Marvin or Bruce Welch played on Cliff’s first big hit and outstanding British Rock n’ Roll record “Move it”  which was released as Cliff Richard and the Drifters. So that twangy guitar intro is not Hank but a session player!

Author: mikethepsych

He says he's a psychologist but aren't we all?

2 thoughts on “The Shadows – more than instrumentalists

  1. Pingback: Vintage Rockers’ top Rock ‘n’ Roll songs | 2 Shades of Grey

  2. Pingback: Songs that I liked when I was discovering music | 2 Shades of Grey

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