Wednesday, February 06, 2013
THIS IS A CRACKING SONG....
Lumped in wrongly with the Madchester movement a few years previously, The Charlatans had enjoyed a mixed career chart-wise over their first seven years of existence. Some big hit singles had been interspersed with a number of equally good songs that had stalled in the lower regions of the charts.
But there was by mid 1995 a sense of momentum about the band. Their self-titled LP of that year, the fourth of their career, had got to #1 on the back of some cracking live shows and critical acclaim, much of which was attributed to the keyboard playing of Rob Collins who just three years earlier had served time in jail for his involvement as the driver of the getaway vehicle in an armed-robbery, although the musician claimed he had no idea until it all kicked-off what was going on.
The band were in the studio in Summer 1996 when they learned that their talented but troubled keyboard player had died in a car crash. Much of the new record was completed and the band took the difficult decision to keep going. Just a month after Collins' death they released One To Another, a single which hit Top 3 in the UK and a sign that there was some cracking material on the new LP. Drafting in Martin Duffy who used to play in Felt, they fulfilled their long-arranged support slot for the massive Oasis gigs at Knebworth, picking up new fans as result of the strength of the live shows.
Early 1997, they released what I still consider to be their masterpiece:-
mp3 : The Charlatans - North Country Boy
It reached #4 in the singles charts and shortly afterwards the LP Tellin' Stories hit #1.
It's one of those songs that I don't actually play all that often....nor is it one that seems to get much airplay in the nostalgia shows that look back at 90s indie-pop.....but I hope you'll agree it is a bit of quality.
Here's the two other tracks made available on the CD single:-
mp3 : The Charlatans - Area 51
mp3 : The Charlatans - Don't Need A Gun
The former is an instrumental reminicent of some of the stuff from The Chemical Brothers while the latter is a more mellow and laid back effort. Cracking stuff all round. Happy Listening