Beatles to Bowie
Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard
by Cornel Lucas, 1960
National Portrait Gallery, London
© Cornel Lucas


Mirabelle, Shadows/Jet Harris
Private Collection
© IPC+ Syndication


As Britain emerged from post-war austerity, the 1960s offered a period of unprecedented materialism and affluence. Greater disposable income and the new teenage consumers meant that pop music could develop and grow. As the decade began, Cliff Richard was Britain's most popular teenage pop star. An EP from his second film, Expresso Bongo and the single from the film A Voice in the Wilderness were both hits in January. Anthony Newley, the actor-turned-singer, had five Top 5 hits and was photographed by Tom Blau for Honey, the first quality monthly magazine 'for teens and twenties', launched in that year.

Blau also photographed Adam Faith, who had first found success with his hit, 'What Do You Want?' In 1960 he scored five further Top 10 hits, under the musical guidance of John Barry. Music papers such as New Musical Express and Melody Maker were developing British pop iconography by publishing photographs by Bill Francis and Harry Hammond.

Record sleeves for LPs (long-playing albums) and four-track EPs also included important images. For EMI's Columbia label, Angus McBean took photographs for Cliff Richard's first five albums as well as for The Shadows. In Liverpool, the group that started the year as The Quarrymen ended it as The Beatles.