Released today in 1986: Living Doll

WEA YZ65

WEA YZ65

Living Doll was a charity single for Comic Relief, and the comedy team from The Young Ones (featuring Smash Hits cover stars Ade Edmondson and Nigel Planer) were united with the artist who had previously had a hit with the song, Cliff Richard. Cliff’s original, recorded for the film ‘Serious Charge’, topped the chart in the summer of 1959 – and this comedy version also made it to #1. (The BBC television show ‘The Young Ones’, from which his co-performers came from, of course used another of Cliff’s #1s as its theme tune: from the film of the same name, The Young Ones was Cliff’s first single of 1962.)

Cliff’s 1980s saw him return to previous chart form, having managed only fairly minor hits in the prior decade. He had had then perhaps only one genuinely memorable hit (1976’s Devil Woman) until the closing months of the 70s, when his ‘comeback’ really began with his first and only #1 of the decade We Don’t Talk Anymore. The 80s got off to a good start with a Top 10 placing for his first single of the new decade, Carrie. 1980 also saw him formally change his name to Cliff Richard from his birth name of Harry Webb by deed poll, and receive the OBE. He had several more Top 10 hits in the early years of 80s, including the classic Wired For Sound in 1981 and his cover of the mawkishly sentimental Daddy’s Home (the original was an answer song to The Heartbeats’ 1960s hit A Thousand Miles Away), which missed the top spot by one place at the end of the same year.

1983 marked Cliff’s silver anniversary in showbiz and his reward was three more Top 10 hits that year. However, the next two years saw fairly poor chart returns, with only She’s So Beautiful scraping inside the Top 20 – and that was effectively a Stevie Wonder single: with the exception of Cliff’s vocals, the entire recording was arranged, performed and produced by Wonder. Consequently, Living Doll was a timely release. Several more memorable hits followed including the duet with Sarah Brightman All I Ask Of You, Some People from his 1987 album Always Guaranteed, and his Christmas hit Mistletoe and Wine, the best-selling single of 1988.

The decade ended with the release in 1989 of Cliff’s 100th single for EMI, The Best Of Me. In the same year, he also received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ at the BRIT Awards.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Mar. 10
1986
Samantha FOX Touch Me (I Want Your Body) (Jive FOXY1)
Hazel O’CONNOR Today Could Be So Good (Red Bus RBUS2209)
Cliff RICHARD and The YOUNG ONES featuring Hank MARVIN (Ade Edmondson) Living Doll (WEA YZ65)
THEN JERICHO (Mark Shaw) Muscle Deep (London LON86)

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