Tag Archives: British Rock

YES – release video for ‘Circles of Time’ from new album

YES, who are Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison, Billy Sherwood & Jay Schellen, have released their new studio album Mirror To The Sky on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music this week. “This is a very important album for the band,” says Steve Howe, Yes’ longest serving member, master guitarist, and producer of Mirror To The Sky. “We kept the continuity in the approach we established on The Quest, but we haven’t repeated ourselves. That was the main thing. As Yes did in the seventies from one album to another, we’re growing and moving forward. In later years, Yes often got going but then didn’t do the next thing. This album is demonstrative of us growing, and building again.” For Yes, that “next thing” is a collection of high energy, intricate, lush and layered new studio songs for an album which adds to the band’s much heralded legacy, while charting a path to exciting future times ahead.

To celebrate, the band are pleased to launch a video for the albums closing track ‘Circles of Time’

Mirror To The Sky is available now on several formats, all featuring artwork by long-time Yes artist & collaborator Roger Dean:

Ltd Deluxe Electric Blue 2LP+2CD+Blu-ray Artbook with poster

Ltd Deluxe 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook

Ltd 2CD Digipak

Standard CD Jewel case

Gatefold 2LP+LP-Booklet

Digital Album

The blu-ray editions include the album as Dolby Atmos, 5.1 Surround Sound, Instrumental Versions & Hi-Res Stereo Mixes.

Mirror To The Sky can be ordered – order now here: https://Yes-Band.lnk.to/MirrorToTheSky

ASIA : Reunion album ‘Phoenix’ to get issued on vinyl!

Phoenix was the first of 3 studio albums from the reunited original line-up of ASIA. Released in 2008, following up the Fantasia (Live In Tokyo) release. At the time I thought Phoenix was a good album, and over time I’ve come to really appreciate those 3 albums (along with Omega and XXX), all made for a great set of follow ups to the band’s first 2 from 1982 and ’83. Standout tracks and favorites would be the opener “Never Again”, “An Extraordinary Life” – both of which would’ve been huge hit singles decades earlier, as well as “Alibis”, and ” Parallel Worlds / Vortex / Déyà”. Phoenix never came out on vinyl when originally released, so this will be a welcome addition to many Asia fans’ collections. *Check out the press release and links below…

ASIA are a multi-platinum selling, English Rock band who formed in 1981 and celebrated their 40th Anniversary in 2021. ASIA announce the release of Phoenix for the first time as a 2 vinyl LP set on 26th May.    Phoenix was originally released in 2008 and was their first studio album with the original line-up in a quarter century.   

In terms of sound this emotional, compelling comeback album sees Asia continue the very high standards from where they left off in 1985, as ever displaying suppleness when stretching out into multi-part suites while retaining a knack for big, arena pop hooks.

Their 1982 self-titled debut album reached number one in several countries, including 9 weeks topping the US charts, with lead single ‘Heat Of The Moment’ making the top 40 in over a dozen, including US #4.

This is the second of four critically acclaimed ‘reunion’ releases (2007-2012) featuring vocalist John Wetton ex of King Crimson, guitarist Steve Howe and keyboard player Geoff Downes from Yes and drummer Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

The sleeve comprise unique artwork by world famous rock music artist Roger Dean.


Side A

1. Never Again

2. Nothing’s Forever

3. Heroine

Side B

1. Sleeping Giant / No Way Back / Reprise

2. Alibis

3. I Will Remember You

Side C           

1. Shadow Of A Doubt

2. Parallel Worlds / Vortex / Déyà

3. Wish I’d Known All Along

Side D           

1. Orchard Of Mines

2. Over And Over

3. An Extraordinary Life

Buy here: https://Asia.lnk.to/PhoenixPR




2 CD set to celebrate the life of JOHN LAWTON to be released

Fans of British singer John Lawton will have a 2CD compilation celebrating John’s life in great music to be issued July 7. John, who passed away June 29, 2021, had been recording for over 50 years, and was best known as the lead singer for German progressive hard rock band Lucifer’s Friend, as well the singer for Uriah Heep in the latter half of the ’70s. He also recorded & toured with The Les Humphries Singers in the ’70s, and later recorded with such bands and projects as Rebel, Zar, Gunhill (a band he formed in the ’90s), The Lawton-Dunning Project, (his own) John Lawton Band, OTR, and The Intelligent Music Project, plus a few solo albums, and various guest appearances (notably with Uriah Heep years after he left). John’s last album was 2019’s Black Moon with Lucifer’s Friend.

Celebrating The Life Of John Lawton is a collection of 33 tracks, spanning his career from the early ’70s until 2015. And it appears to be a well thought out set, as opposed to something predictable. It is actually more about some of the rare recordings he did, singles, guest appearances, and one-off projects and albums he was a part of, including previously unreleased material . I don’t see any Lucifer’s Friend songs, or too many Uriah Heep titles, but this does touch on most of the bands and projects I mentioned above. So, this will be an essential purchase for fans of John’s career. The man put out so much great music, that this will be an excellent celebration of his work.

*Available for pre-order at: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/john-lawton-celebrating-the-life-of-john-lawton-2cd/

*Artist royalties donated to British Heart Foundation charity to research “Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm”.

Track Listing

1 Corner Street Girl
2 Little Chalk Blue
3 Out Here
4 Is There Anybody There?
5 Eloise
6 Me And My Harley
7 Stargazer
8 Broadway Nights
9 Heart Of The Night
10 Dirty Tricks
11 Colgate Gel
12 Set The World On Fire
13 Back To The Highlands
14 Someone Sings
15 Come Together
16 Wise Man
17 I Am Alive


1 Feelings
2 Tonight
3 It’s A Long Way To Go
4 Mama Loo Impromptu Jam
5 I’ll Be Here
6 Written On The Wall
7 Been Away Too Long
8 Mamonama
9 Shine
10 Ride On
11 Salvation
12 River of Dreams
13 Fairytale
14 Rain
15 Rock ‘n’ Roll Is My Thing
16 Things We Can’t Do





YES release new single from Mirror To The Sky

YES are set to release their new studio album Mirror To The Sky on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music on the May 19th. “This is a very important album for the band,” says Steve Howe, Yes’ longest serving member, master guitarist, and producer of Mirror To The Sky. “We kept the continuity in the approach we established on The Quest, but we haven’t repeated ourselves. That was the main thing. As Yes did in the seventies from one album to another, we’re growing and moving forward. In later years, Yes often got going but then didn’t do the next thing. This album is demonstrative of us growing, and building again.”  For Yes, that “next thing” is a collection of high energy, intricate, lush and layered new studio songs for an album which adds to the band’s much heralded legacy, while charting a path to exciting future times ahead.

Jon Davison comments: “I, along with my Yes band mates are excited to announce that the second single from our new album, Mirror to the Sky is out now. It’s entitled, ‘All Connected’, and it’s a longer piece, clocking in at a challenging 9 minutes. Steve added a beautifully poignant instrumental steel part which starts the journey. This section emotionally builds and crescendos into a glorious lead way for the vocals to begin telling their story. Billy composed complex and compelling musical themes which I helped to arrange, and we both composed vocals and lyrics, each of us singing our respective parts, making for a rich vocal tapestry.”

Billy Sherwood adds: “The initial idea came from a musical sketch I’d created using the idea of our “connectivity” in regards to communications in the modern age. It’s very exciting to know YES are maintaining that edge and energy we all know and love, this track is firing on all cylinders. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did creating it.”

Mirror To The Sky will be available on several formats, all featuring artwork by long-time Yes artist & collaborator Roger Dean:

Ltd Deluxe Electric Blue 2LP+2CD+Blu-ray Artbook with poster

Ltd Deluxe 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook

Ltd 2CD Digipak

Standard CD Jewel case

Gatefold 2LP+LP-Booklet

Digital Album

The blu-ray editions include the album as Dolby Atmos, 5.1 Surround Sound, Instrumental Versions & Hi-Res Stereo Mixes.

YES are Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison, Billy Sherwood & Jay Schellen.

You can also watch the previously released video for “Cut From The Stars” here: https://youtu.be/NdEF-vMO8vc

Pre-order now here: https://Yes-Band.lnk.to/MirrorToTheSky



1. Cut From The Stars 05:27

2. All Connected 09:02

3. Luminosity 09:04

4. Living Out Their Dream 04:45

5. Mirror to the Sky 13:53

6. Circles of Time 04:59


1. Unknown Place 08:15

2. One Second Is Enough 04:04

3. Magic Potion 04:08


Album of the Day: BAKERLOO’s lone 1969 LP

British blues-rock trio Bakerloo was a short-lived outfit, who’s debut album became highly sought after, not just for solid heavy blues-rock on it, but also for the connections of the players involved. Bakerloo guitarist Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson – who would go on to Colosseum, Humble Pie, Rough Diamond; drummer Keith Baker – who would join the pre-Supertramp band ‘Daddy’, and then Uriah Heep where he’d tour and play on the Salisbury album, and bassist Terry Poole, who would later work with Graham Bond, and with Colin Blunstone (Zombies). Baker wasn’t the band’s first drummer, there were many – including Bill Ward (before him) and Cozy Powell (after him), but Baker was there for the majority of 1969 when the band recorded their lone LP. Released in the UK & Europe, Bakerloo consisted of 7 tracks , largely written by Clempson & Poole, It’s pretty heavy blues, blues-rock,a bit of jazz, jams, a few cuts without vocals. Clempson and Poole also sang a few songs each, and Clempson was also credited with harmonica, Harpsichord, and piano.

Bakerloo highlights included the Willie Dixon cover “Bring It On Home”, as well as “Gang Bang” – which is the lone track to include Keith Baker on the writing credits, and this is likely due to almost half of the track being a drum solo! There’s also the fast, energetic opener “Big Bear Ffolly”, and the 15 minute “Son Of Moonshine – which is an epic of blues rock, proto-metal, and a few tempo changes, a must hear for Clempson’s guitar playing.

There have been a few CD reissues of this, but the 2013 Esoteric package includes 5 bonus tracks, liner notes from Malcolm Dome, an interview with Clem Clempson, as well as various images – a much better prospect than holding out for an LP w/ original gatefold cover, which can fetch 200-300 $ US.

BAKERLOO “Bakerloo” (Harvest SHVL 762 stereo).
IN the nouveau manner of jazz- rock fusions. Bakerloo are yet another group more musically competent than most. They tend to use attractive jazz percussion work combined with mediocre material-but basically they are a quality outfit. Musically, this LP is worth listening to-they are good. Interesting to hear further records. * * * * – Record Mirror, Sept 13, 1969




UNICORN’s Too Many Crooks, produced by David Gilmour to get reissue

From 1971 to ’77 British folk-rock band UNICORN released 4 albums. Their most memorable being 1976’s Too Many Crooks, which was one of a few of their records to be produced by David Gilmour. Too Many Crooks was the band’s third album, but in Canada and the US, it was released as Unicorn 2, with different album artwork (the previous album Blue Pine Trees was issued as the band’s first, with a very similar cover to Unicorn 2). Too Many Crooks (or Unicorn 2) included the classic “No Way Out Of Here”, which David Gilmour would cover for his 1978 debut solo album, as well as the single. Gilmour is also credited with pedal-steel guitar on the title track. These guys were a mix of folk rock, country rock, and pop, with Too Many Crooks featuring 10 excellent songs written by Ken Baker, and added fine harmonies throughout the songs. Other favorites include “Ferry Boat”, “Easy” and “Weekend”. If you’re a fan of the likes of Poco, The Eagles, Crosby, Stills & Nash, you’d want to hear this. Too Many Crooks will be reissued on CD and Vinyl on May 12, via Think Like A Key Music. It will include liner notes by Dave Disano, rare photos, and the bonus track (outtake) “So Far Away”. *For more info check out the press release below, as well as links.

UK Country Rock Legends Unicorn’s Seminal Third Album Produced by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour With It’s Reissue on CD & Vinyl

Enchanting British Folk-Rock and West Coast Vibes Return on May 12, 2023 courtesy of Think Like A Key Music

Unicorn’s captivating third album “Too Many Crooks,” produced by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, returns to delight fans and music aficionados alike with its reissue on CD and vinyl, set to release on May 12, 2023, through Think Like A Key Music. The album, originally released on EMI’s Harvest label in the UK and Capitol in the US, showcases the band’s unique blend of pastoral British folk-rock and evocative West Coast vibes.

The reissue invites listeners to immerse themselves in Ken Baker’s rich songwriting tapestry, woven together with Beatlesque melodies, tight performances, and a compelling sonic narrative. Tracks like the irresistible country-rock anthems “He’s Got Pride” and “In The Mood,” the funky groove of “Bullseye Bill,” and the tender, Big Star-esque title track effortlessly explore a diverse range of musical landscapes.

Although Unicorn’s proto-powerpop gem “Disco Dancer” did not achieve chart success, the haunting track “No Way Out Of Here” found a second life on David Gilmour’s debut album. This reissue is an essential piece of music history for any discerning music aficionado.

The album’s liner notes, written by Dave Disanzo, tell the story of Unicorn’s connection with David Gilmour, who not only produced the album but also played guitar on several tracks. “Too Many Crooks,” considered by many as Unicorn’s finest release, perfectly encapsulates the band’s brilliant songwriting, exquisite harmonies, masterful musicianship, and crystal-clear production.

The reissue includes rare session photos and lyrics, making it a must-have for fans and collectors. Don’t miss this opportunity to rediscover the enchanting sounds of Unicorn’s seminal third album.

About Unicorn: Unicorn was a renowned British rock band formed in 1971, originally known as The Senders. Their unique sound combined elements of country-rock, soft rock, and folk, creating a distinct and captivating musical experience. Discovered by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who took on the role of their producer and mentor, Unicorn consisted of talented musicians Ken Baker (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Pat Martin (bass, vocals), Peter Perrier (drums, vocals), and Kevin Smith (guitar, vocals). Throughout their career, the band released four critically acclaimed albums, garnering a dedicated fan base. Despite their undeniable talent and passion, Unicorn never achieved mainstream success, ultimately disbanding in 1980. Their legacy, however, continues to live on through their timeless music and the impact they had on their loyal listeners.

About Think Like A Key Music: Think Like A Key Music is an independent record label devoted to the promotion and production of frequently underrepresented music. The label’s objective is to produce timeless, inspiring, and uplifting music releases for an ever-evolving world. Possessing a wealth of experience and talent, Think Like A Key Music offers a fresh perspective to the music industry by crafting releases that resonate with listeners for years to come. We invite you to embark on a musical journey with us, exploring our diverse catalog, and uncovering new favorites as well as revisiting cherished classics.

To purchase: https://tlak.rocks/toomanycrooks




UNICORN 2 – Unicorn – Capitol ST 11453 –
Producer: David Gilmour – List: 6.98 A nice, mellow blend of laidback country flavored blues highlights the latest effort by Unicorn. Nothing takes predominance as vocals and instrumentals share all lead passages with equally effective results. A couple of rockers round out this musical picture in fine form. There’s AM in this record’s future while easy listening and possibly country outlets might wish to bite. Top listens include “Too Many Crooks“, “Keep On Going”, and “No Way Out Of Here”. – Cash-Box-1976-01-24

UNICORN 2 -Capitol ST -11453. Second LP from British
quartet produced by Pink Floyd member David Gilmour is a well done mix of goodtime rock (similar to ’60s British material), acoustic, harmonizing mid tempo cuts and even a country rock cut or two. Best cuts: “Weekend,” “He’s Got Pride,” “Keep On Going,” “Easy.”
– Billboard 1976-01-24

Album of the Day – DAVID GILMOUR’s Rattle That Lock

Like Pink Floyd albums, David Gilmour solo releases seem few and far between, thus become events to listeners and fans. And with such a wait, expectations are high. So, 2015’s Rattle That Lock was an eventful one for David Gilmour fans – a new studio album, followed by a world tour. Rattle That Lock being Gilmour’s 4th solo (studio) album since 1978, and followed the 2014 Pink Floyd album Endless River. From the packaging alone, one can sense something special in holding Gilmour’s latter releases – beautiful cover art, gatefold, a 16 page booklet insert.

And then the music, starting off with the built up instrumental / overture “5A.M.”, and there is something about Gilmour’s guitar sound & feel that make this sort of stuff so appealing that I want to play it repeatedly. The title track is one of a few upbeat songs here, it is memorable, a fine choice for a single, with nice harmonies, the other more upbeat tune being the album’s other single – “Today”. Rattle That Lock is largely slower tempo, atmospheric music, but with a good deal of changes. It all flows together so perfectly through Gilmour’s guitar sound, voice, and top production. Favorites cuts have to be “Faces Of Stone”, “Dancing Right In Front Of Me”, and “In Any Tongue”, where Gilmour lays out his ‘heaviest’ and most memorable solo. There’s some different stuff here, such as the slow paced jazzy “The Girl In The Yellow Dress”, featuring cornet and saxophone.

Plenty of guests, plus the use of orchestra and choirs on a various tracks. Guests include Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), Andy Newmark (Sly & The Familiar Stone), Jools Holland (Squeeze), British jazz bass player Yaron Stavi, among others. David Crosby (RIP) and Graham Nash add harmonies on “A Boat Lies Waiting”, and pre-recording-days Pink Floyd guitarist Rado Klose (I never knew). The journey of Rattle That Lock ends with a revisit of the opening theme on “And Then…” The ensuing tour would give us the Live At Pompeii release in 2017.



WYTCH HAZEL to release fourth album

British heavy metal band WYTCH HAZEL will release their 4th album June 2nd. Wytch Hazel, who also include elements of folk and prog, along with Christian based lyrics, also have a brand new video out for “Angel Of Light”. Citing the likes of Blue Oyster Cult, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin (among others) Wytch Hazel’s music has a wide appeal to 70s classic rock fans. Two tracks from their forthcoming album IV: Sacrament can be heard and purchased at the band’s Bandcamp site – the above mentioned “Angel Of Light” (nice Thin Lizzy vibe), and the excellent “Digging Deeper”, which has an early Wishbone Ash feel. The new album features cool artwork from Nathaniel Winter Herbert, and will be out on Bad Omen Records (see SPELL, BIRTH, SATAN’S SATYRS) in multiple formats, including colored vinyl. *for album & merch orders – https://wytchhazel.bandcamp.com/album/iv-sacrament?from=fanpub_fnb

*Check out more info on the band below (from band’s site Bio) and links.

For many all-time-great rock bands in the ascendant, the fourth album is often the point where youthful years of febrile creativity and progressive momentum culminate in a masterwork for the ages, setting the seal on an early signature sound while opening it up to future possibilities. From enchanting 2016 debut Prelude, through 2018’s assured II: Sojourn, to 2020’s wizardly III: Pentecost, each Wytch Hazel album has embodied that old-fashioned notion of unstoppable progress, and the glittering treasure chest that is IV: Sacrament proves eminently worthy of rising to the toughest challenge. Not just the Lancashire quartet’s most classically beautiful production, but their strongest yet front-to-back collection of affecting hooks and ageless melodies.

A very tough challenge it was, too; records this good don’t get banged out willy-nilly, and Jimmy Page, Ian Anderson and Freddie Mercury didn’t have to fit recordings in between day jobs and school runs. “This album has been a trial,” sighs founding singer/guitarist Colin Hendra with his head in his hands, his voice full of cold. “It’s been a tough few years for everyone, which plays into it, but it was exhausting. Working full time, trying to be a dad and husband, running the band, writing the albums – and being a complete control freak about every aspect of the process…” Colin breaks off and chuckles at his Eeyorish approach to album promotion. “But there’s no gain without pain!”

The triumphs and tragedies are written all over IV: Sacrament. Working closely again with regular producer Ed Turner, Colin’s God-given gift for diamond songwriting has been enhanced to majestic proportions with Ed’s Roy Thomas Baker doozy of a production job, his expressive sonic trickery sublimely underscoring the varied musical moods. “Me and Ed like the same albums, so we’re singing from the same hymn sheet every time,” enthuses Colin. “We love the Sabbath production, obviously Martin Birch, and the Queen albums; we want it to sound like Wytch Hazel, which it kind of always does, but we want it to also have that classic sort of quality.”

Colin describes his working relationship with Ed as “perfectionism amplified. We’re a good match but bad at the same time! It takes ages to get an album done, but if it’s going to be done we want to do it right.” The new studio looked promising: a converted Baptist chapel in rural Wales, chock full of vintage gear. However, with personal reasons forcing drummer Jack Spencer to step back from the band (subsequently departing in September 2022), Colin took on the additional laborious task of completing all the drums himself. As well as all the vocals, lyrics, lead guitar and drums to fret over, there were so many mysteriously blown cabs, amps and vocal cords you might suspect the Devil was trying to stop anyone else getting the best tunes. “I don’t know why we have such bad luck,” groans Colin. “Engineers were scratching their heads, like ‘how have you done this?!’”

photo- Sam Scott Hunter

Now Sacrament is finally offered – and sounds as fantastic as it does after all the blood, toil, tears and sweat – you might think Colin could finally bask in the glory of this resounding achievement, but he’s not even fully comfortable taking credit for his own songs. “When I listen back there are multiple times when I’m like, I don’t even know how this happened,” he ponders. “I know I wrote it, but I don’t feel complete ownership over them. It has that sense in which… there’s something else, and I’m a part of it.” On previous albums, specific influences were readily discernible, and although Angel Of Light tips a nod to Angel Witch and Endless Battle nails the sweet spot between Steeleye Span and Judas Priest, Sacrament’s ten songs zero in on a sound and style that’s all their own. With assertive, explosive earworms like The Fire’s Control, Strong Heart and A Thousand Years and the profound emotive magnetism of Time And Doubt, Deliver Us and Digging Deeper, Wytch Hazel revel in their distinctive Wytch Hazelness. Colin’s Christian faith continues to inform much of his lyrical outlook, but there’s a disarming openness and emotional force that might have you reaching for the Kleenex.

“It’s some of the most honest songwriting I’ve ever done,” Colin reflects, “and they come from a darker place, I think. I’m getting older, that comes through in some lyrics: ‘see my body breaking’, ‘I’m digging deeper’, ‘time’s running out…’ I struggle to see the positive a lot of the time, so the songs end up being negative, the subject matter coming from constant striving.” Among all the doomsayer tendencies, gorgeous sylvan acoustic strum Future Is Gold proclaims a radiant optimism, but it’s more hope in the eternal than an expectation of earthly improvement. “It’s rooted in scripture,” Colin explains, referencing the Book of Haggai: ‘the glories of this latter house will be greater than the former’. “I struggle to believe that half the time, with the state of the world, but who knows what level that is? Will the afterlife be better, when all suffering has ended, or is what we see as better not actually better? If things are always going comfortably, it isn’t always the best thing for us. An element of suffering is necessary.”

Suffering has clearly been necessary for the creation of the fourth Wytch Hazel album; let’s hope for Colin’s sake the next one requires a bit less. “I’ve blown my own mind a bit,” he concludes. “And even after all this painstaking work, I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what we could be doing musically. I wish I could have a month to work on one song, and go on a tangent a bit. I will in the future, it’s going in the right direction. I’ll get to the stage when I can commit more time and do an odyssey or something!” 


Drums, Guitars, Vocals, Piano & Organ – Colin Hendra
Guitars – Alex Haslam
Bass Guitar – Andrew Shackleton

Mandolin & Mellotron – Ed Turner

Recorded at StudiOwz, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Produced and mixed by Ed Turner
Engineered by Owain Fleetwood Jenkins
Mastered By Terry Waker at Tonalex






SAXON – More Inspirations, out now

SAXON recently released a sequel to their 2021 covers’ album Inspirations. So, More Inspirations is 10 classic rock songs that have been been given the Saxon treatment. I do Not normally like or buy covers’ albums, but the 2 Saxon have made I am happy with. The band tends to choose plenty less-then obvious gems to include. They also keep the production simple, without adding things that are not part of the song or not part of the Saxon sound, hence there’ s no keyboards on the likes of “Gypsy” (Uriah Heep), or “Man On The Silver Mountain” (Rainbow), which is fine, both still sound great!.

Favorites here include the band’s takes on “Tales Of Brave Ulysses” (Cream), “Substitute” (The Who), “From The Inside” (Alice Cooper), and Nazareth’s “Razamanaz”, which suits Saxon & Biff’s voice perfectly! Love the band’s performances here, and Biff has one of the most recognizable voices in British rock. Well worth checking out!





Album of the Day: CHARLIE’s Fantasy Girls

CHARLIE was a British band, that initially started out as a fairly hard-rock guitar band, and it’s the band’s 1976 debut album Fantasy Girls that is easily the best in their catalogue (IMO). The band here comprised of Terry Thomas (lead vocals, guitar), John Anderson (bass, backing vox), Steve Gadd (drums, percussion), and Martin Smith (guitar, backing vox). Fantasy Girls came with different covers for each side of the Atlantic; I prefer the UK version, subsequent albums would feature models on the covers, which were an improvement.

As for the songs, this album is full of great guitar, with plenty of different styles and blends, heavy in places, harmonies, melodies… Not quite an overly heavy band, but holding back with smooth production, and a variety of cuts. Some massive solos, like these guys were torn between wanting to be an-out 2-guitar hard-rock/metal act and vocally an American smooth sounding AOR band. Regardless, every track is good here, but highlights have to be the title track, as well as “Prisoners”, the single “TV Dreams”, and the closing straight ahead rocker “Summer Romances”.

There’s not a lot out there (that I could find) in the press, and I suspect it wasn’t huge at the time. No North American single. Follow up albums seemed to get somewhat softer and smoother (tho’ I do like No Second Chance and Good Morning America!). Fantasy Girls has been reissued a few times – including one from Renaissance Records in 2006 with Another cover! Drummer Stephen Gadd would go on to be a drum tech for Iron Maiden years later, and Terry Thomas would become a major producer, notably with Bad Company in the ’80s (notably with Tommy Shaw, Bad Company, Foreigner, Giant, and Tesla).

CHARLIE- Fantasy Girls, Columbia PC 34081. Good,
straight -ahead rock set from British quartet who approach rock in a simple, forward fashion. Good lead and good harmony and backup vocals, with lyric quality better than in most of the newer rock groups. Nothing extreme, as the band stays away from the heavy metal syndrome. More along the lines of some of the better fun rock of the ’60s. Best cuts: “Fantasy Girls,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “First Class Traveller,” “Please Let Me Know,” “Summer Romances.” Dealers: Several potential singles here.
– Billboard

CHARLIE: ‘Fantasy Girls’ (Polydor Super 2383 373)
When I saw Charlie on the Old Grey Whistle Test, I thought they were
tedious Their album, however, shows a much tighter control of the music then the live appearance. Their main problem scorns from a lack of originality. Their playing is competent but couldn’t be distinguished from the sound of a 101 other bands. Their lyrics aren’t exactly gripping either, le: “I have my dreams although I’m broke, acute skintitús is no joke.” That speaks for itself I think.
– Rosalind Rusael, Record Mirror