Pictured (L-R) in Studio A at Ardent Studios in Memphis are recording engineer Matt Martone, executive producer David Gest, Sir Cliff Richard, producer Lamont Dozier, and assistant engineer Mike Wilson. Photo by Daniel J. Russo.
Memphis, TN (June 14, 2011)—UK pop legend Sir Cliff Richard recorded vocals for his new album, Soulicious, at Ardent Studios in Memphis.
Working with producer and Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier, Richard first tracked at nearby Royal Recording Studios with “Boo” Mitchell, son of the late Willie Mitchell. The album features a wealth of soul stars, including Deniece “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” Williams, Freda “Band of Gold” Payne and Billy “Me and Mrs. Jones” Paul.
Executive producer for Soulicious is David Gest, who organized last November’s “David Gest’s Soul Spectacular,” at the UK’s Southport Theatre and Convention Center. Featuring 18 of the world’s best selling R&B artists, the show was hailed as history’s largest gathering of soul greats on one night.
Cliff Richard’s new album includes a mix of soul classics and new songs penned by producer Lamont Dozier and his son Beau. Ardent’s Matt Martone served as ProTools engineer at Royal Recording and handled vocal recording at Ardent. Additional guest vocalists included Candi Staton, Percy Sledge, Russell Thomkins, Jr. and The New Stylistics.
Richard has sold over 260 million records in his enduring career. With his backing group The Shadows, Richard dominated the British popular music scene in the pre-Beatles period of the late 1950s and early 1960s. His 1958 hit single, “Move It,” is often described as Britain’s first authentic rock and roll song, and John Lennon once claimed that “before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music.”
The album’s producer, Lamont Dozier, was part of the legendary Motown production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. A unifying force in the ’60s pop and R&B chart-dominance of the Detroit-based independent record label, the trio later formed Invictus and Hot Wax Records, and enjoyed continuing success with the Chairmen of the Board, Freda Payne, 100 Proof Aged in Soul, the Honey Cone, and 8th Day.