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This indeed is the age of the pop biography, but if you are looking for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’roll you must go somewhere else. The story of Clifford T Ward doesn’t rely on gratuitous expose for sustenance, although be warned, you may be surprised by a few of the revelations in this book.
It is a tale of talent, love, fame and tragedy as experienced by two young sweethearts through the heady days of pop; suddenly bewildered by the magnitude of that long-awaited success, unable to trust, unable to decide, and finally unable to recapture the ‘golden moment’.
From his teenage marriage in 1962, through his brief but beautiful impact on the charts, to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis that effectively ended his career, the names that define Clifford’s unique talent as both singular and inspiring arc as varied as they are impressive: Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney, Karl Hyde, Jeff Lynne and Tim Rice. All speak between these pages of a truly extraordinary man that the world, sadly, remembers only for an appearance on Top Of The Pops in August 1973.
Despite his inner turmoil – the sacking of three consecutive managers, the fight with his publishers, the unrecouped royalties – Clifford T Ward wrote hundreds of songs, great pop songs that were left by the wayside when he hit the charts. But more to the point, he wrote some of the most beautiful English love songs you will ever hear, and this warm, affectionate, exhaustively researched book, author David Cartwright makes good the case to reconsider this hugely neglected talent and to give Clifford T Ward his rightful place as one of the finest songwriters in popular music.
First published in 1999, this book has been unavailable since selling out its initial print run and recently a copy was sold on eBay for £750. In December 2001 multiple sclerosis sadly and finally claimed the life of Clifford T Ward, but his music is as popular as ever as was shown when he came fourth (one place above The Beatles) in a BBC Radio 2 listeners’ poll to find the most popular artists during Queen’s reign. Author David Cartwright has now added a further chapter to the book and the photo section has been expanded.
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