Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard Hirota

Sir Cliff Richard to release 100th album - at age 72

IT'S 55 years since Britain's answer to Elvis made his recording debut album but now Sir Cliff Richard has announced the release of his landmark 100th album.

The singer, 72, is set to release The Fabulous Rock 'n' Roll Songbook in November. Described as a tribute to the likes of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Buddy Holly, the album was recorded at the Blackbird Studio and The Parlor in Nashville, Tennessee.

The "Summer Holiday" and "Living Doll" singer had his first hit in 1958 and released his debut album Cliff a year later.

Since then, he has since released 46 studio albums, seven soundtracks, 35 compilations and 11 live albums. He recently completed a Summer "Still Reelin' and A-Rockin'" tour of British stately homes.

Sir Cliff said of the recording the album: "It was like being back in the 50s with The Shadows in Studio 2 at Abbey Road - only it wasn't The Shadows, and it wasn't Studio 2 and it wasn't the 50s."

He added: "This was my chance to pay tribute not only to, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest advances in musical history, but also the artists who took rock 'n' roll to the top of the charts world-wide.

"As with all great art forms, rock 'n' roll did not stand still and there have been some phenomenal changes, bringing it to where we are now.

"All I know is that 'in the beginning' what kicked the whole thing off was the fabulous rock 'n' roll songbook.

"That whole period was new and unbelievably exciting, and to think that I was there! Saving up my pocket money for weeks so that I could buy Elvis's first album - borrowing someone else's collection of Little Richard (my name in part, was a tribute to him) and skipping school so as to get seats to see Bill Haley play live."

In 2011, Sir Cliff criticised a radio station for banning his hits and accused programmers of "lying to the public" by erasing him from history.

The veteran star has complained that the lack of support he gets from radio stations is stopping fans from discovering his new music.

"Singers can't tell stations what to play, but when you're left out for no apparent reason, there's a frustration," he has said.

The singer's Christmas single "Millennium Prayer", a sung version of "The Lord's Prayer", topped the charts in 1999 despite scant airplay.

He has previously insisted that he will never retire, saying: "I could do something every five years and no-one would stop me doing that, but I have too much fun. As long as I don't have to go on stage with a Zimmer frame, I'll keep going."

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