Interesting Albums from The Famous Charisma Label (or How Tony Stratton-Smith Saved Rock Music!)

by Bill Golembeski
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"Strat" just loved odd music. He put Genesis on a ten pound salary per week and granted them a professional life. That alone is probably worthy of sainthood. The Famous Charisma Label first sported the pink scroll and then morphed into the Mad Hatter March Hare design. This was a time in which music mattered more than money. The albums from that wonderful label still sing that song. I remember a kid at a bus stop with that newly purchased vinyl while the autumn wind swirled leaves to the Charisma sounds of Genesis' Foxtrot. Sure this list is heavy with the work of Messers Gabriel, Hackett, Banks, Rutherford, and Collins; but still, even today, while still waiting at any bus stop, that autumn wind swirls with melodies of so many other great Charisma artists, like (to name but a few) Peter Hammill and Van Der Graaf Generator, Capability Brown, Lindisfarne, Rare Bird, The Nice, (my beloved ) Audience, Jim Pembroke's Hot Thumbs O'Riley, (with a different cover from Finland's Love release), and, of course, 1981's stab at rock 'n' roll new wave street credibility, Afraid of Mice. So thank you very much, Tony Stratton-Smith. Click an album below to read a review

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