Thursday, October 19, 2023

Charlie - Fantasy Girls (1976 uk, excellent straight ahead rock with good lead harmony and backup vocals, 2007 remaster)

Charlie's "Fantasy Girls", 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. 
by Rosalind Rusael, Record Mirror 

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. 

The 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”. 
1. Fantasy Girls - 4:35
2. Miss Deluxe - 3:58
3. TV Dreams - 3:04
4. Prisoners - 5:57
5. First Class Traveller - 2:50
6. Greatcoat Guru - 5:09
7. Please Let Me Know - 4:01
8. Don't Let Me Down - 2:24
9. It's Your Life - 5:29
10.Summer Romances (John Anderson, Martin Smith, Steve Gadd, Terry Thomas) - 5:04
All songs by Terry Thomas except where noted

*John Anderson - Vocals, Bass
*Martin Smith - Guitar 
*Steve Gadd - Drums
*Terry Thomas - Vocals, Guitar
*Graeme Quinton-Jones - Keyboards

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