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Charlie - 1977 No Second Chance



ARTIST: Charlie
ALBUM: No Second Chance
LABEL: Polydor (UK), Janus (USA)
SERIAL: 2383 422, JXS-7032
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 2011, Airmail Recordings, AIRAC-1618

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Terry Thomas - guitar, vocals * John Anderson - bass, vocals * Julian Colbeck - keyboards * Steve Gadd - drums * Martin Smith - guitar (uncredited)

TRACK LISTING: 01 No Second Chance * 02 Don't Look Back * 03 Pressure Point * 04 Turning To You * 05 Thirteen * 06 Lovers * 07 Johnny Hold Back * 08 Love Is Alright * 09 Guitar Hero (False Prophet)

WEBLINKS: www.charlie-music.de


Background
1977 was a pretty decent year for hard rock. Whether it be British or American based, there was usually an act/artist that delivered the goods from either side of the pond. However, I don't think the band Charlie could be counted in that list just yet. A promising debut from 1976, but I think it would be fair to say that their music up to this point was best described as 'faceless', a term/tag that would find its way into early 80's AOR. At this early stage of their recording career, Julian Colbeck joined the band on keyboards; supposedly replacing second guitarist Martin Smith. Though from what I understand, Smith's playing can still be heard on the album.


The Songs
There's a few useful songs here, so it's not a complete waste of time. The title track 'No Second Chance' is reasonable, thanks to a steady guitar motif. 'Don't Look Back' scales back the tempo, though the guitar solos are very spacious and airy. The first sign of synths appear on 'Pressure Point', the acoustic guitar gives it an American radio-rock sheen. 'Thirteen' sounds like a prog rock band doing ballads. It's very rural. 'Lovers' is all over the place musically, complete with Latin styled percussion, and what can you say about 'Johnny Hold Back'? The brass work during the middle you'll either love it or hate it.. lol! The closer 'Guitar Hero (False Messiah)' is mostly a laid-back affair, featuring Colbeck's piano work. Didn't quite work for me.


In Summary
Probably not the best nor strongest Charlie album in the back catalogue, but things were on the improve. There are two album covers for this LP. The Janus (American) version featuring a woman sitting up on a bed, and the Polydor (British) version featuring a dark green sleeve and a butterfly girl. The latter is quite nice actually. Later into 1978, the band went out to the US and supported the Doobie Brothers on their 'Minute By Minute' album, before returning to England to record their third LP 'Lines', which would prove to be their best release during this period. [word count 346]


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on January 31 2016 08:41:45
Alternate record jacket.

[img]http://gdm.glorydazemusic.com/infusions/images/reviews/charlie_nsc2.jpg[/img] is not a valid Image.
#2 | Nick C on January 31 2016 10:37:30
My mate got an old display from a local record shop for this album so a load of us had the butterfly girl covering our books at school. About this time I got the Sounds magazine 'Good for Nothing' sampler with Don't Look Back on it (actually that sampler had quite an effect on my tastes) and thought it was a brill song. But it was only about 5 - 10 years ago I got around to getting the twofer version with Lines and thought it was okay. But just last year I really got into the band after my ears got better haha.
#3 | Eric on January 31 2016 22:08:12
Yeah, this and 'Fight Dirty' never moved me much. The Butterfly Girl sleeve was the UK version. I prefer the U.S sleeve for obvious reasons...Yes
#4 | reyno-roxx on February 01 2016 20:50:10
Terry Thomas wasn't sure 'what a girl straight out of a Serge Gainsbourg movie had to do with the album title' with regards the US release. As for the butterfly girl cover, that was 'dreadfully tasteless, with a logo that looked like it should be selling ice cream'.
#5 | gdazegod on February 01 2016 21:35:23
When you put it like that Dave, you're dead right.. lol!
 
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