The Shadows (originally known as The Drifters) were an English instrumental rock group, and were Cliff Richard's backing band from 1958 to 1968, having also collaborated again on numerous reunion tours. The Shadows have placed 69 UK charted singles from the 1950s to the 2000s, 35 credited to the Shadows and 34 to Cliff Richard and the Shadows. The group, who were in the forefront of the UK beat-group boom, were the first backing band to emerge as stars. As pioneers of the four-member instrumental format, the band consisted of lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums. Their range covers pop, rock, surf rock and ballads with a jazz influence.
The core members since 1958 have been Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch. Along with the Fender guitar, another cornerstone of the Shadows sound was the Vox amplifier. The Shadows, with Cliff Richard, dominated British popular music in the late 1950s and early 1960s in the years before the Beatles. The Shadows' number one hits included "Apache", "Kon-Tiki", "Wonderful Land", "Foot Tapper" and "Dance On!". Although they lost ground in the late '60s, the band had a second success from the late '70s.
The Shadows are the third most successful act in the UK singles chart, behind Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. The Shadows and Cliff Richard & the Shadows each have had four No. 1 selling EPs.