Cilla Black – The Best of Cilla Black (EMI – PCS 7065) (1968)

There’s usually little of meaning on the average 60s pop greatest hits album cover, but this one is an exception and has much to tell us about its times: our Cilla is dressed up in swinging cowboy togs reflecting the contradictory zeal for a return to earthiness while retaining some of the costumery of the immediate post-Summer of Love-era.  And I’m sure I don’t have to you about the obvious symbolism of the backdrop’s peeling paint and splintered wood when Miss Black’s songs so comprehensively strip (or “peel”) away society’s artifice only to reveal the divisiveness (or “splintering”) lying just beneath the surface. Is Cilla, I wonder, as she smiles and covers her crotch to obscure a broken zip, making a subtle jab at the broken promises of sexual freedom or hinting at latent proto-feminist empowerment?  You’ll have to work that one out for yourselves, kids.

As for the music, it’s our buck-toothed, former hat check girl’s early glory days and includes over a quarter Lennon/McCartney originals, three of which are not part of the Fabs’ official oevre.   Cilla strains mightily for notes and significance, succeeding on occasion, especially the Bacharach/David numbers. It’s hard to imagine a time when this was considered youth music rather than adult pop.

Published in: on January 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] All I need is a Volume 2 with Billy J. Kramer’s “From A Window”, Peter & Gordon’s “Woman”, Applejack’s “Like Dreamers Do”, P.J. Proby’s “That Means A Lot”, The Strangers’ “One and One is Two”, Tommy Quickly’s “Tip of My Tongue”, and Chris Barber’s ” Catcall” plus a few of the other floor sweepings from the lamer corners of the Fabs’ mansion for my life to have meaning. NB: I’ve already got the relevant Cilla tracks here. […]

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