The Charlatans

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The Charlatans History

Early years (1990-1993)

Former Electric Crayons singer Tim Burgess (from Northwich) replaced Ketley before the release of The Charlatans' debut single "Indian Rope" in 1990 on the band's own Dead Dead Good Records label. It proved an indie hit and the group soon found a major label, Beggars Banquet off-shoot Situation Two, in time for the release of "The Only One I Know" which reached the Top 10 in the UK singles chart.

A further single, "Then", and debut album Some Friendly, were released later that year, followed by the single "The Only One I Know" which led to great commercial and critical acclaim and is still regarded as an indie classic. Around this time The Charlatans were forced to add UK to their name for an American tour due to competing claims by a 1960s rock band also known as The Charlatans.

Baker left the band after 1991's "Over Rising" single to be replaced by Mark Collins (no relation to Rob), who made his debut on another non-album single, "Me. In Time".

The band brought in producer Flood for their second album Between 10th and 11th (named after the address of the New York Marque, site of the group's first U.S. gig) which failed to hit the top twenty in the UK. However, a double weekend of gigs ('Daytripper') in Blackpool and Brighton with Ride kept them in the public eye [1].

Mid-nineties resurgence/death of Rob Collins (1994-1997)

The follow-up album, Up To Our Hips (1994) reached number 8 in the UK albums chart.

In 1995 the band's fourth self-titled album saw them become major UK stars again, topping the UK albums chart and spawning the top 20 single "Just When You're Thinkin' Things Over".

But, just as things seemed to be going well for the band, keyboard player Rob Collins was killed in a car crash during the recording of fifth album Tellin' Stories on July 22, 1996. The Charlatans decided to continue and Primal Scream and former Felt keyboardist Martin Duffy was drafted in for The Charlatans high-profile support slot with Oasis at their Knebworth gigs in summer 1996 until a permanent replacement for Collins could be found.

Tellin' Stories was released in 1997 featuring contributions from both Rob Collins and Duffy and in the singles "One to Another", "North Country Boy" and "How High" the group had their biggest UK hits to date.

New record label/new keyboard player (1998-2004)

After releasing the career-spanning compilation Melting Pot the band's contract with Beggars Banquet was up, and they signed for Universal Records with Burgess stating that, although he and the band had enjoyed their time on the independent record label they had made next to no money in the eight years since their first release. Relations with 'Beggars' remained strong however, and the band helped put together the DVD Just Lookin' 1990 - 1997 showcasing all their promo videos and a selection of live recordings from that era and b-sides collection Songs From The Other Side, both of which were released in 2002.

Us And Us Only saw the start of a new era for The Charlatans. Their first release for Universal saw new keyboard player Tony Rogers make his Charlatan's album debut (he had previously toured in support of Tellin' Stories and contributed to b-sides "Keep It to Yourself" and "Clean Up Kid" from the "How High" single) and the band took on a slightly country sound, heavily influenced by Burgess's love of Bob Dylan. The soul influenced Wonderland followed in 2001 before the more traditionally 'Charlatans' sounding Up At The Lake was released in 2004.

The Sanctuary years (2005-2007)

The band released their ninth full-length album on April 10, 2006, their first for new label Sanctuary Records. Titled Simpatico, the reggae and dub tinged album featured tracks like the fan favourite "NYC (There's No Need to Stop)", first single "Blackened Blue Eyes", and was produced by Jim Lowe.[2] The single charted relatively well at number 28. The album charted quite well, in the top 10 in its first week, considering that it got no airplay and very little publicity. Soon after it dropped out of the charts.

Their follow-up to Simpatico is the career-spanning singles compilation entitled Forever: The Singles which was released on CD and DVD on November 13, 2006. It was preceded by the re-recorded (remixed by Youth) song "You're So Pretty We're So Pretty" which appeared originally on their 2001 album Wonderland. The band seem in a good place now, happy with their level of success and keen to record their next album in 2007, as they told STV in this interview in November 2006. In an interview for their Simpatico album, the band mentioned lack of shower facilities and bad bus drivers as the worst aspects of touring. "[Bus drivers] get so bloody moody. They don't want you on the bus, yet you're paying them a fortune to drive you. They'd rather drive around the whole of the country with nobody in the back." [1]

The band played a number of high-profile supporting gigs during the summer 2007, including for The Who and The Rolling Stones, at venues including Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium in London, as well as the Bingley Music Live event, Nass festival 2007, and at Delamere Forest in Cheshire. A recording of Live At Delamere Forest was released as a download only via the official website in five parts for a very limited time only.

You Cross My Path (2008)

In an October 2007 issue of the NME, the band contributed the song Blank Heart, Blank Mind to the magazine's free 'Love Music, Hate Racism' compilation CD. Later the same month, the new single You Cross My Path was released as a free download exclusively through the XFM website. On the 3rd March, 2008, The Charlatans teamed up with Xfm again to become the first UK band to release an album completely free to download via a radio station. This was preceded a week earlier by the second single from the album, Oh! Vanity. The album, titled You Cross My Path, is The Charlatans tenth studio album and is due for a physical CD/LP release on 19 May 2008 on the Cooking Vinyl label to coincide with a full UK tour.

(Details taken from

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