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Charlie - 1986 In Pursuit Of Romance



ARTIST: Charlie
ALBUM: In Pursuit Of Romance
LABEL: Mirage
SERIAL: 90478
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2005, Renaissance, RENA 136

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Terry Thomas - vocals, guitars, keyboards, drum programming * Felix Krish - bass, keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Kings Of The World * 02 Swimming In A Secret Sea * 03 One More Day * 04 Missing A Heartbeat * 05 Take It Or Leave It * 06 In Pursuit Of Romance * 07 Don't Stand In My Way * 08 Everything's Safer Than Love * 09 Hang On To Your Dreams

WEBLINKS: www.charlie-music.de


Background
Charlie (the band) have been a bit of an English institution for many years, and released a plethora of albums from the mid seventies. They really only started perking up any interest for me with the release of the 'Good Morning America' album from 1981. From that point onwards, they moved into AOR Boulevard as if they'd lived there all their lives. The quality of the personnel was another compelling reason .. obviously Terry Thomas's class cannot be questioned (refer his future work with Giant, Bad Company etc), as well as the likes of another acclaimed AOR identity John Verity, session drummer Steve Gadd and vocalist Terry Slesser. This album 'In Pursuit Of Romance', released in 1986 was Charlie's last studio album until 2009's 'Kitchens Of Distinction' turned up two decades later. By this time, they were reduced to a duo, and trying to back up on the critically acclaimed self titled album three years prior. Terry Thomas the mainstay throughout, recruited good friend Felix Krish to assist.


The Songs
The multi-part vocals harmonies are still evident, while the sound started to reflect all the modern rock influences of that era/time, namely bands like Mike And The Mechanics, Genesis, Saga and The Outfield. Nothing wrong with that I say. 'The Kings Of The World' is classy AOR and a great way to start off the album. We move into ' Swimming In A Secret Sea', a cross between Steve Winwood and Mike And The Mechanics. Then we go hi-tech and hi-energy with 'Missing A Heartbeat' as well as 'Take It Or Leave It' with bursts of synth splashes and drum crashes throughout. 'Don't Stand In My Way' pulses nicely and continues the hi-tech theme. Things slow up slightly on 'Everything's Safer Than Love' and perhaps this song resembles their sound on earlier albums.


In Summary
The full potential of this album does not reach the dizzying heights of their prior albums, simply because the same personnel are not there. In saying that though, it's still a great album to have, and was a fitting epitaph at the time to a band which provided the AOR scene with some great moments over the years. Of course the Charlie story wasn't truly done and dusted, with Terry Thomas blowing off the cobwebs for the comeback album 'Kitchens Of Distinction'.


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Comments
#1 | jeffduran on June 12 2008 22:54:42
Ok but nowhere near as amazing as previous efforts. Just listened to this again last weekend. Fair.
#2 | dangerzone on September 26 2008 05:35:19
'Take it or Leave It' is something special I have to say.
#3 | DaveE on January 31 2013 17:31:59
I'm probably one of the biggest Charlie fans in the world, but I have to agree with Jeff that this LP was a step down for me. There's nothing really horrible on the album, but it didn't grab me like any of their previous releases. For AOR fans, you can't go wrong with the self titled album from 1983 and then work your way back.
#4 | super80boy on April 08 2014 04:14:14
A very enjoyable album with good helpings of the hi tech AOR arrangements and melodies. I like how the guitar playing stands out on 'Everythings Safer Than Love'. A different approach than earlier material, but a worthy effort.
#5 | rostoned on November 27 2015 17:53:20
Charlie long time member, british drummer Steve Gadd mentioned above in the review (but not present on this LP), should not be confused with the more famous US world class drummer Steve Gadd.

Charlie's Gadd unfortunately passed away in 2013 at 64 due to a cancer. He became Iron Maiden's drum tech and tour manager later, also worked behind the scenes with Scorpions, WASP and Status Quo. More details at the link below. RIP

http://charliethe...teve-gadd/
 
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