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Step Inside Love: Cilla Black’s Historic Recordings with George Martin Collected In Complete 5 CD/1 DVD Box Set [UPDATED 4/23]

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What’s it all about, Cilla?

Though “Alfie” and “Anyone Who Had a Heart” are very much the property of Ms. Dionne Warwick in the United States, Liverpool’s Cilla Black can fairly stake claim to them across the pond.  Born Priscilla Maria Veronica White, the protégé of Brian Epstein and close Beatle pal scored a string of beloved hit singles at the height of Swinging London, though her profile has long remained under the radar in America.  Well, not if The Second Disc has anything to say about it!  In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of Cilla’s show business debut in 2013, EMI U.K. will release Completely Cilla: 1963-1973, a whopping 5-CD/1-DVD box set, on April 23.  Featuring 139 recordings all produced by Sir George Martin, Completely Cilla will introduce twelve tracks to CD, and will also premiere long-unseen BBC footage of the singer covering the period of 1968 to 1977.  The tracks are presented, for the first time, in chronological session order.

During her 15-year tenure at Parlophone/EMI, Cilla Black scored nineteen Top 40 singles (including two Number Ones in 1964), released ten studio albums and became Britain’s biggest-selling female artist of the 1960s, which is no small feat when one considers Black’s contemporaries.  Black’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart” is, according to BBC Radio 2, the U.K.’s biggest-selling single by a female artist in the 1960s.  Completely Cilla is a particular boon for collectors, as Black’s catalogue (including the seven George Martin-helmed albums) was remastered in 2009 for a digital-only initiative.

After the jump to explore Completely Cilla and the career of Cilla Black OBE with newly updated information!

It may not be Schwab’s Drugstore, but the Cavern Club was the site of Cilla Black’s discovery.  Working the cloakroom while the likes of The Beatles performed, Cilla would reportedly serenade patrons with impromptu performances.  Paul McCartney recalled, “It was a special moment when the so-called ‘Cloakroom Girl’ got up and sang and wowed us with her great performance!”  She also performed as a guest with bands like Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, befriending the young Ringo Starr in the process.  At the urging of John Lennon and with the Beatles as the backing band for her audition (!), it wasn’t long before NEMS impresario Brian Epstein took an interest in Cilla.  Though that first audition went disastrously, Epstein gave the young singer another shot, and he soon signed Priscilla White, about to undergo a change of color in her surname to become Cilla Black.  Brian Epstein, in turn, introduced Cilla to George Martin, who took her under his wing at Parlophone.  Keeping things all “in the family,” John Lennon and Paul McCartney supplied Black’s debut single, 1963’s “Love of the Loved.”

But it was with her next release that Cilla Black’s career took off.  George Martin felt that the Burt Bacharach/Hal David “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” penned for Dionne Warwick, would be perfect for the young singer.  With an arrangement by Johnny Pearson that hewed closely to Bacharach’s original, Martin ushered his charge into the studio.  Black’s version stopped the Warwick original in its tracks, climbing to No. 1 while Dionne’s stalled at No. 47 on the U.K. charts.  To this very day, Dionne Warwick will (good-naturedly?) jab Black in concert, asserting that had she [Warwick] coughed while recording her vocal or had the organist hit a wrong note these features would have been replicated on Black’s cover. In fact, there are lyrical alterations as well as different instrumentation on the Black version, but she’s long remained aware of Dionne’s frustration, stating, “Dionne was dead choked and she’s never forgiven me to this day.”

From that moment on, Black’s star was shining brighter than ever.  She followed “Anyone Who Had a Heart” with an English translation of an Italian song.  When “Il Mio Mondo” became “You’re My World” in Black’s hands, the artist was rewarded with her second No. 1.  The Beatles gifted her “It’s For You,” with Paul McCartney playing on the original record.  One of Black’s biggest chart curios was her version of the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” which was kept only from the top shot by the Phil Spector-produced original!  During this fertile period for pop songwriting, Black recorded songs by Randy Newman, Tim Hardin and Paul Simon, as well as standards, Motown favorites and more compositions by two teams special to her: Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  Even post-Beatles, Cilla would make songs such as McCartney’s “Junk” and Lennon’s “Oh, My Love” her own, and Ringo Starr and George Harrison’s “Photograph” was said to have been written with her in mind.  (Later tracks on the new set include songs by The Bee Gees, Elton John, Graham Nash, David Gates, Jackie DeShannon, Stephen Schwartz and other notables.)

Another career highlight came in the form of Black’s 1966 recording of “Alfie,” which was arranged and conducted by Bacharach himself, with George Martin overseeing the grueling session that occurred in fall 1965.  Though the song became associated with Dionne Warwick, she was hardly among the first to record the song, unusual for a Bacharach composition of this period.  Black, Cher and even Dionne’s sister Dee Dee all tackled the song before Dionne got around to cutting it. Black recalled, “I said I’d only do it if Burt Bacharach himself did the arrangement, never thinking for one moment that he would. [When] the reply came back from America that he’d be happy to…I said I would only do it if Burt came over to London for the recording session. ‘Yes,’ came the reply. Next I said that as well as the arrangements and coming over, he had to play [piano] on the session. To my astonishment it was agreed that Burt would do all three. So by this time, coward that I was, I really couldn’t back out.”  The single went Top Ten.  Bacharach wrote in 2003, “I put her through hell – countless takes, but she never showed impatience or lost her wonderful sense of humor…P.S. She sang great!”

The television program Cilla reunited the singer with Paul McCartney when the Beatle wrote the groovy “Step Inside Love” for the show’s theme song, resulting in another Top Ten hit in early 1968.  The small screen would play a major part in Black’s future, and she eventually became the highest-paid female presenter in the history of British television, hosting such series as Blind Date (1985-2003) and Surprise Surprise (1984-2001).  Even with major changes occurring in the music industry in the 1970s and 1980s, Black continued to record, and she sporadically does so to this very day.  Despite triumphs on stage, record and television, Black never “broke” in America, despite Epstein-engineered appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and performances at prestigious cabarets.

Completely Cilla is the artist’s first major catalogue initiative since 2009.  On September 7 of that year, a total of 13 original studio albums recorded between 1963 and 2003 were released for digital download, including rare bonus tracks.  A remix collection, All Mixed Up, was also issued in the digital realm.  The Definitive Collection (A Life In Music) was the physical tie-in to the digital campaign, a 2-CD/1-DVD set offering all of the artist’s Top 40 hits plus six unreleased songs and BBC video footage.  Completely Cilla celebrates the partnership between Black and Martin, and compiles effervescently sung and immaculately arranged slices of the great pop songbook.  This is one set that looks not to be missed.

UPDATE 4/23: We can now reveal full details about the DVD component of this exciting set!  The Live at the BBC DVD will be presented as a Region Free NTSC disc, playable on all standard U.S. DVD players.  Including bonus material, it contains 28 songs, of which 22 are previously unreleased!  All are presented in 4:3 aspect ratios.  Those bonus songs include a duet with Cliff Richard and audio from a 1964 installment of Desert Island Discs!  Selections have been taken from programs such as Top of the Pops and Cilla (first, second, fifth, sixth and seventh series), as well as specials such as Engelbert with the Young Generation and Christmas Night with the Stars.  You’ll find full source annotation for this disc just below!

It’s packaged with a 36-page booklet containing testimonials from songwriters, producers, arrangers and friends including Sir George Martin, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Sir Cliff Richard, Randy Newman, Jimmy Tarbuck OBE, Roger Greenaway, Les Reed OBE, Tony Newman (of Sounds Incorporated), Margo Quantrell (of The Breakaways), Tony Barrow (Cilla’s press officer), John Lyndon (director of Cilla’s live productions) and John Scott, Mike Vickers and Chris Gunning (arrangers).

Completely Cilla begins shipping today in the United Kingdom, and an order link can be found just below for Amazon U.S.!  You’ll also find an album discography for all seven Parlophone releases contained in full in this set.

Cilla Black, Completely Cilla: 1963-1973 (EMI U.K., 2012)

CD 1

  1. A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues
  2. Shy Of Love
  3. Love Of The Loved
  4. Anyone Who Had A Heart
  5. Just For You
  6. You’re My World (Il Mio Mondo)
  7. This Empty Place
  8. Suffer Now I Must
  9. It’s For You
  10. He Won’t Ask Me
  11. Is It Love
  12. (Love Is Like A) Heatwave
  13. Love Letters (With The Sounds Incorporated)
  14. You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
  15. Ol’ Man River
  16. Every Little Bit Hurts
  17. Come To Me
  18. Baby It’s You
  19. I’m Not Alone Anymore
  20. One Little Voice
  21. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  22. Goin’ Out Of My Head
  23. Dancing In The Street
  24. Whatcha Gonna Do ‘Bout It
  25. Some Things You Never Get Used To
  26. I’ve Been Wrong Before
  27. I Don’t Want To Know
  28. My Love Come Home
  29. Poor Boy
  30. When I Fall In Love
  31. No Place To Hide

CD 2

  1. The Cherry Song
  2. Shotgun
  3. Anytime You Need Me
  4. Please Don’t Teach Me To Love You
  5. Yesterday
  6. In A Woman’s Eyes
  7. Baby I’m Yours
  8. The Real Thing
  9. One Two Three
  10. Make It Easy On Yourself
  11. Love’s Just A Broken Heart
  12. A Lover’s Concerto
  13. Everything I Touch Turns To Tears
  14. Alfie
  15. Night Time Is Here
  16. Sing A Rainbow
  17. Don’t Answer Me
  18. The Right One Is Left
  19. A Fool Am I (Dimmelo Parlami)
  20. For No One
  21. Abyssinian Secret
  22. Trees And Loneliness
  23. Time
  24. There I Go (Se Per Te C’e Soltanto Quell’uomo)
  25. Only You Can Free My Mind
  26. What Good Am I
  27. Over My Head
  28. Misty Roses
  29. All My Love (Solo Tu)
  30. Follow Me

CD 3

  1. What The World Needs Now Is Love
  2. Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me
  3. This Is The First Time
  4. I Only Live To Love You
  5. Suddenly You Love Me
  6. From Now On
  7. I Couldn’t Take My Eyes Off You
  8. A Man And A Woman (Un Homme Et Une Femme)
  9. Yo-Yo
  10. Follow The Path Of The Stars
  11. Work Is A Four Letter Word
  12. Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart
  13. Step Inside Love
  14. Where Is Tomorrow?
  15. Work Is A Four Letter Word
  16. Your Heart Is Free (Just Like The Wind)
  17. It’ll Never Happen Again
  18. Liverpool Lullaby
  19. Without Him
  20. Forget Him
  21. Think Of Me (Siamo Qui)
  22. I Am A Woman
  23. Surround Yourself With Sorrow
  24. Only Forever Will Do
  25. London Bridge
  26. Aquarius
  27. Red Rubber Ball
  28. You’ll Never Get To Heaven (If You Break My Heart)

CD 4

  1. Words
  2. Conversations
  3. A Street Called Hope
  4. For Once In My Life
  5. Little Pleasure Acre
  6. I Can’t Go On Living Without You
  7. It Feels So Good
  8. If I Thought You’d Ever Change Your Mind
  9. Black Paper Roses
  10. Rule Britannia
  11. Sweet Inspiration
  12. Put A Little Love In Your Heart
  13. The April Fools
  14. Both Sides Now
  15. Mysterious People
  16. Dear Madame
  17. Oh Pleasure Man
  18. Across The Universe
  19. Your Song
  20. It’s Different Now
  21. Sad Sad Song
  22. Child Of Mine
  23. Faded Images
  24. That’s Why I Love You
  25. Junk
  26. The First Of May

CD 5

  1. (They Long To Be) Close To You
  2. Make It With You
  3. Rainbow
  4. Our Brand New World
  5. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  6. Just Friends
  7. Down In The City
  8. Help Me Jesus
  9. Sleep Song
  10. Something Tells Me (Something’s Gonna Happen Tonight)
  11. The World I Wish For You
  12. La La La Lu
  13. Thank Heavens I’ve Got You
  14. I Hate Sunday
  15. I’ve Still Got My Heart Joe
  16. I Don’t Know How To Love Him
  17. Gypsies Tramps And Thieves
  18. Oh My Love
  19. Without You
  20. The Long And Winding Road
  21. Winterwood
  22. Day By Day
  23. You You You
  24. Silly Wasn’t I


  1. Suddenly You Love Me (Uno Tranquillo) +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 1)
    (Daniele Pace, Mario Panzeri, Laurenzo Pilat & Peter Callander)
    Original Broadcast Date: 13 Feb 1968
  2. One Two Three +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 1)
    (John Madara/David White/Leonard Borisoff )
    Original Broadcast Date: 05 Mar 1968
  3. Step Inside Love
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 1)
    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
    Original Broadcast Date: 05 Mar 1968
  4. Misty Roses +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 1)
    (Tim Hardin)
    Original Broadcast Date: 12 Mar 1968
  5. Love’s Just a Broken Heart (L’Amour Est Ce Qu’il Est)
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 1)
    (Mort Shuman/Michele Vendome/Kenny Lynch)
    Original Broadcast Date: 12 Mar 1968
  6. Where is Tomorrow? (Non C’e Domani)
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Top Of The Pops’)
    (Umberto Bindi/Mason)
    Original Broadcast Date: 06 Jun 1968
  7. You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart) +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 2)
    (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)
    Original Broadcast Date: 19 Feb 1969
  8. Surround Yourself with Sorrow +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 2)
    (Bill Martin/Phil Coulter)
    Original Broadcast Date: 19 Feb 1969
  9. Mysterious People (Det Gatfulla Folket) +
    (From ‘A Royal Television Gala Performance’)
    (Olle Adolphson/Hal Shaper)
    Original Broadcast Date: 24 May 1970
  10. (They Long to Be) Close to You +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla: Berlin Special’ – Series 5)
    (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)
    Original Broadcast Date: 20 Nov 1971
  11. Sing a Rainbow (with Children’s Chorus) +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla: Scandinavian Special’ – Series 5)
    (Arthur Hamilton)
    Original Broadcast Date: 27 Nov 1971
  12. What the World Needs Now is Love +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla: Scandinavian Special’ – Series 5)
    (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)
    Original Broadcast Date: 27 Nov 1971
  13. The World I Wish for You +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Engelbert With The Young Generation’)
    (Roger Cook/Roger Greenaway)
    Original Broadcast Date: 27 Feb 1972
  14. You, You, You
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Christmas Night With The Stars’)
    (Geoff Stevens/Roger Cook/Roger Greenaway)
    Original Broadcast Date: 25 Dec 1972
  15. Winterwood +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 6)
    (Don McLean)
    Original Broadcast Date: 10 Feb 1973
  16. The Long and Winding Road +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 6)
    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
    Original Broadcast Date: 10 Feb 1973
  17. I’ve Still Got My Heart, Joe +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 6)
    (Roger Cook/Roger Greenaway/Tony Macaulay)
    Original Broadcast Date: 17 Feb 1973
  18. Oh My Love +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 6)
    (John Lennon/Yoko Ono)
    Original Broadcast Date: 17 Feb 1973
  19. Day by Day
    (From the Musical ‘Godspell’)
    (From the BBC TV show ‘Cilla’ – Series 6)
    (Stephen Schwartz)
    Original Broadcast Date: 17 Feb 1973
  20. I Don’t Know How to Love Him +
    (From the Musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’)
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 6)
    (Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber)
    Original Broadcast Date: 24 Feb 1973
  21. Baby We Can’t Go Wrong
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 7)
    (Jimmy Dunning)
    Original Broadcast Date: 9 Feb 1974
  22. I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla: Bank Holiday Special’)
    (Jim Croce)
    Original Broadcast Date: 26 Aug 1974
  23. Flashback +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla: Bank Holiday Special’)
    (Alan O’Day/Artie Wayne)
    Original Broadcast Date: 26 Aug 1974
  24. He Was a Writer +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla: Boxing Day Special’)
    (Gloria Sklerov/Molly-Ann Leikin)
    Original Broadcast Date: 26 Dec 1974
  25. (I Wanted to Call It) Off  +
    (From BBC TV Show ‘Top Of The Pops’)
    (W.S. Stevenson/Richard Henn)
    Original Broadcast Date: 14 Jul 1977

Bonus Material:

  1. Desert Island Discs: Cilla Black +
    (BBC Radio – Audio Only Interview with Roy Plomley)
    Original Broadcast Date: 24 Aug 1964
  2. Passing Strangers (with Cliff Richard) +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 1)
    (Mel Mitchell/Rita Mann)
    Original Broadcast Date: 12 Mar 1968
  3. Norwegian Wood (with Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch & John Farrar) +
    (From the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla: Scandinavian Special’ – Series 5)
    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
    Original Broadcast Date: 27 Nov 1971
  4. Something Tells Me (Something’s Gonna Happen Tonight) +
    (Opening Sequence for the BBC TV Show ‘Cilla’ – Series 6)
    (Roger Cook/Roger Greenaway)
    Original Broadcast Date: 24 Feb 1973

+ Previously unissued on DVD

CD 1, Tracks 7, 13-20, 22-24 from Cilla (Parlophone LP 1243, 1965)
CD 1, Tracks 28, 30-31 & CD 2, Tracks 5-13, 16 from Cilla Sings a Rainbow (Parlophone LP 7004, 1966)
CD 2, Tracks 28, 30 & CD 3, Tracks 1-3, 5, 7-10, 12-13 from Sher-oo! (Parlophone LP 7041, 1968)
CD 3, Tracks 17-24, 26-28 & CD 4, Track 1 from Surround Yourself with Cilla (Parlophone LP 7079, 1969)
CD 4, Tracks 4-6, 9-18 from Sweet Inspiration (Parlophone LP 7103, 1970)
CD 4, Tracks 19-21, 23, 25-26 & CD 5, Tracks 1-6 from Images (Parlophone LP 7128, 1971)
CD 5, Tracks 8-9, 13-15, 17-22, 24 from Day by Day with Cilla (Parlophone LP 7155, 1973)

Written by Joe Marchese

April 23, 2012 at 10:04

6 Responses

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  1. A solid release indeed, but why not just issue the complete Cilla television programmes (at least those which survived the stupid BBC wipings) as a standalone DVD instead of tacking bits and pieces onto compilation after compilation?


    March 19, 2012 at 17:36

  2. Confusing. UK Amazon says dvd is NTSC while US Amazon says it is PAL. Hope it will be verified and corrected.

    Earl Kunz

    April 23, 2012 at 10:27

    • Cilla’s website has confirmed that the DVD is, in fact, NTSC region-free. Amazon U.S. has either outdated or incorrect information. Hope this helps!

      Joe Marchese

      April 23, 2012 at 11:05

  3. I am over the moon about this release. I paid for a few of the digital release only albums back in 2009 but was appalled to find the bitrate was only 256! For me, if I have no choice but a digital download, then I expect a Flac option.
    This release finally addresses my complaint. It is incredible, however, that it has taken nearly 30 years since the cd age for some of Cilla’s albums to be issued in their entirety.


    April 29, 2012 at 10:08

    • An excellent and very welcome release. Now, what do we think the chances are of getting a complementary volume compiling the albums from 1974 onwards which are currently available only as digital downloads? I wouldn’t mind if the downloads were available as FLAC, but since they’re not I’m holding out for a CD release.


      July 23, 2012 at 18:12

      • I’m hopeful that such a collection might be forthcoming (especially since the material was already remastered for the digital releases, despite their being offered in a less-than-optimal format) if the sales of this fantastic first set are strong enough. In my book, one can never get too much of Cilla!

        Joe Marchese

        July 23, 2012 at 21:40

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