A History of the "Apache" Breakbeat

The Shadows "Apache" (1960)

Album: N/A/
Label: Columbia
Producer: Norrie Paramor

Cliff Richard became a British pop mainstay with big, soft ballads, such as his big American hit, "We Don't Talk Anymore" (No. 7 in 1979; in the U.K. it went to No. 1). Just to situate it: the top two picks to its right on the video's YouTube page are Paul Davis's "I Go Crazy" and Ambrosia's "How Much I Feel." But well before things got truly blowsy, Richard was, it is requisite to say, "England's answer to Elvis Presley," but it was his backing band, the Shadows, led by thick-toned guitarist Hank Marvin, who were the musical draw.

The group heard "Apache" while touring England and cut it at the tail end of a session, figuring it was a B-side. They quickly learned otherwise: Stoic and unflinching, their "Apache" went to No. 1 in England and stayed there five weeks, making it the second-biggest record of the year there, after Elvis's "It's Now or Never." Cliff helped out by playing a Chinese tam-tam drum.

Tags: the_shadows
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