CHARLIE -- No Second Chance / Lines (Renaissance)

Charlie was one of those great bands that got a ton of FM airplay in selected regions, yet little or none in others. Their albums have never been available on CD. Now, there are four Charlie albums in the stores, packaged as two double-CDs. No Second Chance was the band's second album, originally released on the now defunct Janus label. The band quickly became known for the scantily clad women on the covers, probably more for that than the music. "Johnny Hold Back" and "Turning to You" did well as FM hits, but the rest of the album never really went anywhere. The tracks on the new CD are sequenced differently than the original US album. Since the US master tapes were unavailable, they used the UK masters instead, which had the running order rearranged.

On Lines, Charlie's music took on more of a Steely Dan sound that would permeate through their next few albums. "She Loves to be in Love" is probably the closest Charlie ever came to having a real hit, although tracks like "L.A. Dreamer" and "No Strangers in Paradise" (including the false ending) were still able to get considerable FM airplay. The liner notes could be more informative, but the original albums (which have been out of print for years) didn't have a whole lot to speak of either. Still, it's great to have these albums available again--especially on CD.

In case you have trouble finding Charlie in your local record store, you can order it direct from Renaissance through their web site. Click here for more information on Charlie or any of the other Renaissance artists.

© 1997 Steve Marshall