It wouldn’t have been such a bad record if the arrangers had just let Hank Marvin and the band handle it. The bittersweet descent of Marvin’s intro captures the record’s point – and the listener’s spirit – far more surely than the words can. But as soon as Cliff appears, Marvin finds himself fighting a crude orchestral arrangement designed I assume to make the record sound ‘bigger’. The two styles simply don’t fit, with the bridge a particular shambles as Hank’s cool picking is overwhelmed by ridiculous waves of arpeggio. The song is doomed, not that it was really worth saving in the first place. Generally in 60s pop, lines like “why wait till tomorrow?” translate as “If you really love me you’d…”, but it’s not just Cliff’s latter-day image that makes “The Young Ones” sound chaste. This is hardly the hungry Apollonian youth-on-the-rise that later re-dreamings of the 60s would evoke – Cliff’s youth is circumspect and fleeting, his “young dreams” end naturally in domestic contentment.

Score: 3

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