Charlie was an English rock band, formed in 1971. After five years on the live circuit, they signed with Polydor and released eight albums, starting with the 1976 release Fantasy Girls. They drew attention with the provocative models that graced the covers of their 1977–79 albums No Second Chance, Lines, and Fight Dirty.
Musically, Charlie evolved from the smoldering, guitar-layered approach of their debut to the angular, harmonized songs of subsequent albums, which made stateside ripples with “Johnny Hold Back,” “Turning to You,” “Life So Cruel,” and “She Loves to Be in Love.” In 1983, a revised lineup scored with the FM/MTV-rotated “It’s Inevitable.”
Members: Terry Thomas (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, drum programming, bass), Martin Smith (guitar, vocals, steel guitar, 1971-76), John Anderson (bass, vocals, 1972-83), Steve Gadd (drums, percussion, 1972-83), Julian Colbeck (keyboards, vocals, 1977-80), Eugene Organ (guitar, vocals, 1978-80), Shep Lonsdale (drums, percussion, 1979-81), Bob Henrit (drums, 1981-83), John Verity (guitar, keyboards, vocals, 1981-82), Terry Slesser (lead vocals, 1983)
Charlie formed in 1971 from the remnants of a London powertrio called Axe, which featured singer/guitarist Terry Thomas, bassist/singer John Anderson, and drummer Nicko McBrain. Thomas hailed from the pop-psych band Magic Mixture, where he was known as Jim Thomas. Their one album, This Is the Magic Mixture, appeared on Saga Records in 1968.
His new band, tentatively called Charlie Cuckoo, included Anderson, McBrain, and lead guitarist Martin Smith. McBrain soon cleared way for drummer Steve Gadd (not the American session drummer). They played their first show at the Lordship Tavern, Wood Green, and proceeded to gig the London club circuit under the shortened name Charlie. (McBrain would do stints with Gordon Giltrap, Streetwalkers, Pat Travers Band, Stretch, and French hard-rockers Trust before landing a long-term slot in Iron Maiden.)
In 1973, Charlie made their vinyl debut with the single “I Need Your Love” (b/w “I’m So Happy”), issued on Decca. They cut a followup a-side, “Knocking Down Your Door,” but it was vaulted by the company. The following year, they backed folk singer Tim Rose for a show at the Roundhouse, where they were spotted by representatives of Trident Audio Productions. At the urging of producer Roy Thomas Baker, TAP got Charlie signed to Polydor in 1976.
Charlie released their debut album, Fantasy Girls, in May 1976 on Polydor.
In the United States, Fantasy Girls appeared on Columbia with alternate cover art.
No Second Chance
Charlie released their second album, No Second Chance, in April 1977 on Polydor and Columbia.
In the US, Janus issued No Second Chance with a different cover.
Charlie released their third album, Lines, in March 1978 on Polydor and Janus.
Charlie released their fourth album, Fight Dirty, in April 1979 on Polydor and Arista.
Good Morning America
Charlie released their fifth album, Good Morning America, in September 1981 on RCA.
Here Comes Trouble
Charlie released their sixth album, Here Comes Trouble, in 1982 on Polydor.
Charlie released their self-titled seventh album in June 1983 on Mirage.
In Pursuit of Romance (1986)
- Fantasy Girls (1976)
- No Second Chance (1977)
- Lines (1978)
- Fight Dirty (1979)
- Good Morning America (1981)
- Here Comes Trouble (1982)
- Charlie (1983)
- In Pursuit of Romance (1986)
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