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No Second Chance

Good Morning America


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Charlie : No Second Chance
(Polydor - 1977)
Category : overlooked
3,5 stars

Charlie : Good Morning America
(RCA - 1981)
Category : overlooked
4,33 stars

Charlie : Charlie
(Mirage - 1983)
Category : overlooked
4,5 stars

This British band had a few minor hits in the UK and the US, but they are completely unknown in continental Europe. And that's a shame, because their commercial, slick type of Melodic Rock / AOR is pleasing to the ear. If you're a contemporary or alternative Rock fan, don't read on. Charlie's style is mainstream as hell, and so 80's and sweet that it'll make you run for cover. But they were very good at what they were doing, so I decided to write something about them here, for the old, the unhip and the ugly and for those who are all this times two (like yours truly).

The band had some pretty interesting personnel throughout their existence. There were people coming from bands like the NWOBHM band Axe (John Anderson and main song writer Terry Thomas) and 70's Rockers Argent (Bob Henrit and John Verity). Several of Charlie's members would later be active as producers, session musicians or band members for different well known Pop, Rock, Prog and Hard Rock bands. Names like Bad Company, Bonnie Tyler, The Kinks, Janus Stark, Steve Hackett, The Church, Clannad, Toto, Crawler, Foreigner, Giant,... will undoubtfully ring a few bells. And that's not even half of the complete list of names.

Charlie has released eight studio albums between 1976 and 1986. I'm limiting myself to these three as they are the only ones I know. I can only guess that their other albums sound similar.

No Second Chance
This album exists with two different album covers. The other one has a barely dressed girl in a hotel room on it. Compared to the other two albums on this page, this one sounds far more Progressive. Apparently they started their carreer as a Progressive Rock band, but already their sound was smooth and accessible. No sharp edges and a clear emphasis on vocal melodies. Some Funk influences too, in tracks like the uptempo Rock song 'Johnny hold Back'. Highlights are the tracks 'Don't look back' (Soft Prog Rock), 'No Second Chance' (a combination of Soft Rock parts and "harder" Funk Rock parts) and 'Pressure Point' (a slick synth-injected version of 'Déjà-Vu'-era Crosby Stills Nash & Young). As a whole this album has its highs and lows.

Good Morning America
John Verity joins the band for this one and his presence roughens up the sound. The style has shifted towards a more straight-forward type of Melodic Rock and slick Hard Rock and it suits them better. The album is crammed with great hooks and half of it is simply excellent. A very quick overview of the stand out tracks: The title track is a rather energetic FM Rocker with vocal arrangements that are reminiscent of their past as a Progressive band. The verses of 'I can't get over you' could've come from a number of The Police. 'Roll the Dice' is a "majestic" sounding Rocker with a huge chorus. 'My Perfect Lover' is a smooth mixture of Rock and Disco. 'I'm angry with you' is a somewhat angry sounding Hard Rock song. The lyrics are funny ("You better face all the facts. I'm very good with an axe."). All in all 'Good Morning America' is a good Rock album that will please many fans of AOR bands like Toto, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner,...

This is the album that yielded their biggest hit 'It's inevitable'. The production is slicker (even more) and the keyboards have become even more prominent which brings them very close to the sound and style of Survivor. But again nearly all songs are so well written that no matter the style, no matter how commercial this sounds, it's still a killer album. Even a syrupy ballad like 'Spend my life with you' with its disgustingly cheesy lyrics, becomes irresistible.

Charlie's Website:
John Verity's website:

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