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Poll: Should Absolute Radio 60s ban Sir Cliff Richard?

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In a neat move to launch their new digital station, Absolute has very publicly 'banned' Sir Cliff Richard records from Absolute Radio 60s.

The Beatles and The Stones get the okay, of course, as do The Who and The Doors, but Sir Cliff is a no-go. That's despite a successful decade packed with top ten hits.

Sir Cliff Richard announces his new album with a press conference in London

© WENN

The Beatles

© Rex Features



You could say that it's a win-win situation. Absolute Radio gets a load of publicity, news sites like us leach some of that attention, and even Cliff gets the bounce of his name being in the press as he readies his latest DVD.

But is 'banning' Sir Cliff, or any artist, the best way to launch a radio station? While it's easy to laugh at something like 'Congratulations', it should be remembered that Richard was a genuine star and the first example of homegrown British rock 'n' roll.

It wasn't for nothing that John Lennon said: "Before Cliff and The Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music." In defense of Absolute, its DJ Pete Mitchell rightly describes Richard's 1958 debut 'Move It' as probably the number one British rock 'n' roll record, before adding that Cliff went off the boil soon after.

We don't disagree, but despite his inability to move with the times, Cliff had a bunch of great tracks during the decade. They might not mark the birth of a new musical era, but 'Living Doll', 'Please Don't Tease' and 'When the Girl in Your Arms is the Girl in Your Heart' are fit to rub shoulders with plenty of hits that will no doubt grace Absolute Radio 60s.



More importantly, banning any one artist seems backward. Pop music was born in the 1950s and came of age in the following ten years, and it was the openness of that decade which should be its enduring legacy, rather than a slavish worship of the credible rock canon.

In all honesty, we probably won't miss Sir Cliff if Absolute Radio 60s fails to overturn its ban. But the boast of closed-mindedness makes us less hopeful of the station taking any sort of risks. We might be wrong, but as well as banning Sir Cliff, we bet that we won't hear too much of The Seeds, The Electric Prunes or The Stooges on the station either.

We understand that Absolute Radio 60s is setting out its stall by telling us what we won't hear as much as what we will, but we call on them to remove the ban on Sir Cliff, and give the DJs the freedom to pifler what they like from pop's defining decade.

Absolute Radio has given listeners the chance to pick the first song aired on the 60s station when it officially launches on Tuesday, November 22. We reckon Cliff's 'Please Don't Tease' should join their shortlist.

What do you think? Vote in our poll and let us know your thoughts on the Cliff Richard ban in the space below

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