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Charlie - 1979 Fight Dirty

ARTIST: Charlie
ALBUM: Fight Dirty
LABEL: Polydor (UK), Arista (USA)
SERIAL: PPD 001, AB 4239
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1996, Renaissance, RMED00154


LINEUP: Terry Thomas - lead vocals, guitars * Eugene Organ - guitars, keyboards, vocals * John Anderson - bass, lead & background vocals * Julian Colbeck - keyboards * Steve Gadd, Shep Lonsdale - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Killer Cut * 02 Fight Dirty * 03 Don't Count Me Out * 04 Heartless * 05 Too Late * 06 So Alone * 07 (Just One More) Smiling Face * 08 California * 09 The End Of It All * 10 Runaway

WEBLINKS: www.charlie-music.de

'Lines' put Charlie in a good position for rock dominance with solid tour and radio support across the U.S., but what the heck happened? I remember when 'Fight Dirty' came out and the first single 'Killer Cut' was shooting across AOR frequencies for a few weeks, only to die a quick and painful to watch death on the charts followed by an unstoppable march into the budget bins. The musical keg from which Charlie drank hadn't dried up with The Doobie Brothers 'Minute By Minute' album shattering previous sales records and Supertramp's monumental 'Breakfast In America' going triple platinum world-wide so what went wrong?

The Songs
Simply put 'Fight Dirty' was a mess of an album. It starts out ambitiously enough with the previously mentioned single which is classic Charlie and the title track which is pleasantly loungey like Little River Band, then bafflingly the disco beats kick in and you have to wonder if this is even the same band. Unfortunately it is and 'Don't Count Me Out and 'Heartless' are about as exciting as Wet Willie's 'Weekend' experiment in dance AOR. The tragedy continues with 'So Alone' and at this point 'Fight Dirty' becomes one of the most disappointing efforts under the melodic rock banner. 'California' offers brief salvation, only to fall head first in fires of insipid disco hell with 'End of It All' and none too soon in my opinion.

In Summary
What a fall from grace. After this album I never really bothered with Charlie again. Yeah, their '80s output was good, but I prefer their early albums when the Charlie sound was less derivative and more British. 'Fight Dirty' brought that period to a confusing close.

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