Nick-named the Shads and formed in London, The Shadows are the most successful British rock-instrumental and vocal group from the 1950s to the 2000s with an aggregate total of at least 69 UK hit singles: 35 alone and 34 with Cliff Richard. Hugely popular in the early 60s, they paved the way for thousands of similar guitar-based groups in the wake of their ‘Apache’ hit single. Their eponymous debut original studio album, The Shadows (album), remains a benchmark rock-instrumental album of ‘classic’ status proportions. Their unique guitar sound was produced by American guitars made by Fender in conjunction with British amplifiers made by Vox with an Italian made SFX Meazzi echo unit.
Selling many millions of records worldwide, no other rock-group in 20thC music has generated so many polarized opinions on the merits of their type of music, being consistently appreciated by instrumental fans, guitar enthusiasts and musicians both professional and amateur. In the 21stC they continue to enjoy the dedicated patronage of a loyal hard core of fans numbering approximately 5,000. When they tour the UK and abroad, their good-humoured concerts always sell out at premier division venues.
They were pioneers of the rock group format and as such they were subject to a steep learning curve without the benefit of a previous rock group to emulate. Conventional wisdom in these matters was subsequently gleaned out of the Shadows experience. Since then virtually all other UK-based pop/rock bands have formed their own foundation line-up from within using a non-Shadows methodology adhering to now well established principles as used by other groups such as The Beatles who self-created either at high-school or college or post-college, but whose musical directions and influences (eg Elvis et al) and geographical origins (eg Liverpool) were all similar thus minimizing potential areas of friction within the band during its lifespan.