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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Surround Yourself With Cilla / It Makes Me Feel'
Artist - Cilla Black

For those not in the know, Cilla Black was an much beloved English singer, television presenter, actress and author.

Championed by her friends the Beatles, she began her career as a singer in 1963, and her singles "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "You're My World" both reached number one in the UK in 1964. Black had eleven Top Ten hits on the British charts between then and 1971; and an additional 8 hits that made the top 40.

In May 2010, new research published by BBC Radio 2 showed that her version of "Anyone Who Had a Heart" was the UK's biggest-selling single by a female artist in the 1960s. "You're My World" was also a modest hit in the US, peaking at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Along with a successful recording career in the 1960s and early 1970s, Black hosted her own variety show, Cilla, for the BBC between 1968 and 1976. After a brief time as a comedy actress in the mid-1970s, she became a prominent television presenter in the 1980s and 1990s, hosting hit entertainment shows such as Blind Date (19852003), The Moment of Truth (19982001) and Surprise Surprise (19842001).

In 2013, Black celebrated her 50 years in show business. British television network ITV honored this milestone with a one-off entertainment special which aired on 16 October 2013. The show, called The One & Only Cilla Black, featured Black herself and was hosted by Paul O'Grady.

Sadly, Cilla Black died on August 1st, 2015 after a fall in her villa in Estepona, Spain. The day after her funeral, the compilation album The Very Best of Cilla Black went to number one on the UK Albums Chart and the New Zealand Albums Chart; it was her first number one album.

Now digitally remastered, and releasing July 27th, 2018 via SFE / Cherry Red Records UK, Surround Yourself With Cilla / It Makes Me Feel Good is a magnificent 2CD set containing a pair of albums by the British vocalist.

To showcase Cilla's versatility as a recording artist, this set pairs her Surround Yourself With Cilla album, one of her top pop productions of the '60s, with It Makes Me Feel Good from her '70s soft rock recording era.

CD 1:
1. "Aquarius"
2. "Without Him"
3. "Only Forever Will Do"
4. "You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)"
5. "Forget Him"
6. "It'll Never Happen Again"
7. "Think of Me"
8. "I Am a Woman"
9. "Words"
10. "Red Rubber Ball"
11. "Liverpool Lullaby"
12. "Surround Yourself with Sorrow"
Bonus Tracks
13. "London Bridge"
14. "Your Heart Is Free (Just Like the Wind)"
15. "Quando Si Spezza Un Grande Amore (Mono)"
16. "Surround Yourself with Sorrow (False Start)"
17. "Surround Yourself with Sorrow (Take 9 - 2009 Mix - Without Fade)"
18. "Aquarius (Mono)"
19. "Without Him (Mono)"
20. "Only Forever Will Do (Mono)"
21. "You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart) (Mono)"
22. "Forget Him (Mono)"
23. "Think of Me (Mono)"
24. "Words (Mono)"
25. "Red Rubber Ball (Mono)"
26. "Liverpool Lullaby (Mono)"
27. "Surround Yourself with Sorrow (Demo)"

The lead single from Cilla's classic George Martin produced 1969 album, Surround Yourself With Cilla, was the UK #3 hit "Surround Yourself With Sorrow," with it's powerful pop theme continuing apace throughout the album.

To great impact, Cilla took on some of the strongest pop anthems of the day which included the Gibb Brothers' "Words" (Bee Gees), Bacharach & David's "You'll Never Get To Heaven" (Dionne Warwick), Nilsson's "Without Him," Paul Simon & Bruce Woodley's "Red Rubber Ball" (The Cyrkle), and the dramatic "Aquarius" from Cilla's favorite musical Hair.

And that's where we start our luscious musical journey, with a rousing "Aquarius," which she backs wonderfully with the trio of "Without Him," "Only Forever Will Do," and "You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)." "Forget Him" is always majestic to hear, and that's followed by both the rewarding "It'll Never Happen Again" and the poignant "Think of Me."

Here on what was Cilla's fourth solo studio album (released on May 23rd, 1969 by Parlophone Records), it was also to be her first album to only be recorded and released in stereo sound format; and, sadly, her first to fail to make the UK charts!

Regardless, the album continues onward with both "I Am a Woman" and the Bee Gees' "Words," with Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley's imaginative "Red Rubber Ball," a really cute, meaningful ode to her home town in "Liverpool Lullaby," and then rounds out with "Surround Yourself with Sorrow."

The en masse of bonus tracks begin with a fun, jaunty even "London Bridge," a sweet "Your Heart Is Free (Just Like the Wind), an interesting "Quando Si Spezza Un Grande Amore (Mono)" (as, personally, I'd never heard Cilla sing in another language before), and then we get another couple of shakes of the tail re: "Surround Yourself with Sorrow (False Start)" and "Surround Yourself with Sorrow (Take 9 - 2009 Mix - Without Fade)."

The first CD continues on with all the original Mono album tracks - "Aquarius (Mono)," "Without Him (Mono)," "Only Forever Will Do (Mono)," "You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart) (Mono)," "Forget Him (Mono)," "Think of Me (Mono)," "Words (Mono)," and then both "Red Rubber Ball (Mono)" and "Liverpool Lullaby (Mono)" - but by the end you're already knee deep in love with Cilla that you don't mind hearing the tracks all over again (even in Mono!).

CD 2:
1. "Surround Yourself with Sorrow (Mono)"
2. "Something About You"
3. "I'll Take a Tango"
4. "September Love Affair"
5. "Lay the Music Down"
6. "San Diego Serenade"
7. "Heartbeat"
8. "Running Out of World"
9. "To Know Him Is to Love Him"
10. "It Makes Me Feel Good"
11. "Lay It All Down"
12. "One Step from Your Arms"
13. "Lovin' Land"
14. "Fantasy"
15. "It's Now"
16. "I Believe (When I Fall in Love, It Will Be Forever)"
17. "Easy in Your Company"
18. "Little Things Mean a Lot"
19. "A Bad Case of Rock 'N' Roll"
20. "Slow Dance"

Her ninth studio album, It Makes Me Feel Good, was released in 1976 and was Cilla's second album to be produced by David Mackay who had previously worked with The New Seekers, Blue Mink and Cliff Richard.

Recording sessions began in Los Angeles away from the pressure of Cilla's hectic British TV and concert schedule and this enabled Cilla to be more involved in the creative process than ever before.

The album's only UK single, "I'll Take A Tango" was featured on Cilla's BBC TV variety show Cilla. The bonus tracks for this CD release include Cilla's US-only single "Fantasy," which was a #15 hit on America's Billboard Dance Music Singles Chart, alongside Cilla's opening theme songs to her two new TV series for 1976; BBC TV's Cilla and ITV's sitcom Cilla's World Of Comedy.

We begin this album with a quartet of true musical craftmanship in "Something About You," "I'll Take a Tango," and one of my all-time Cilla favorites, "September Love Affair," before heading into a more upbeat phase with songs such as "San Diego Serenade," "Heartbeat," "Running Out of World," and another of my personal favorites, the never-spoken-a-truer-word track, "To Know Him Is to Love Him."

This ninth solo studio album (put out by EMI) was also Cilla's second to be produced by David Mackay and it shows. Mackay revealed on an interview on Cilla Black's official website that he considered this album as his best work with the songstress and by far the project with the most memories attached.

This was mainly down to the fact that some of the album's recording sessions were held in the United States away from the distractions of Black's usual television work commitments.

Sadly, the album eluded chart success, but did receive critical acclaim in the national press. Here and now it continues onward with a lovely trio in "It Makes Me Feel Good," "Lay It All Down," and "One Step from Your Arms," before Cilla gives us another memorable gem in the highly under rated "Lovin' Land."

That ended the original album, so here the bonus tracks now kick in and we get the lyrically wise "Fantasy" (still one for the ages, in my humble opinion), and that's backed seamlessly by both "It's Now" and "I Believe (When I Fall in Love, It Will Be Forever)."

This second disc then rounds out with the laid back beauty "Easy in Your Company," the mid-tempo "Little Things Mean a Lot," and then one of the only vivacious tracks on the 2CD set, "A Bad Case of Rock 'N' Roll," with the appropriately placed last song (title) being "Slow Dance."

The two albums are issued with a 32 page booklet richly illustrated with photographs and including an interview with Cilla.

Cilla Black @ Facebook!

Official 2CD Purchase Link