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Your first thoughts on "The Charisma Years" CD
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Bob
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:00 pm    Post subject: Your first thoughts on "The Charisma Years" CD  Reply with quote

The Postie brought my copy about an hour ago so I haven't had chance to have a proper 'session', but....

Excellent package with great artwork (nice one Jim).

Great to hear the demo version of MMOTC again (from the Finest Hour compilation LP).  This was always a favourite of mine.

US version of We Can Swing Together - hhhmmmm....not sure.


Anyone had more time to get to grips with this release?
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Derek



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Received mine today. It's utterly fantastic- well done Jim and EMI!

A truly comprehensive record of the Charisma years with extremely attractive packaging and a well-laid out booklet that conveys the track information and the albums they were from very clearly.

The bonus tracks make it a must-buy for everyone who has all the original albums. Even those who have the two "Nicely Out Of Tune" outakes on "Buried Treasures" wil not have heard the considerably different US variants found on "NOOT" and "Roll On Ruby" other than through the clicks and pops of ageing vinyl.

The 12-track recording of "Lady Eleanor" on the former has the descending notes on the last syllable of Eleanor which also featured on contemporary live performances; "We Can Swing Together" may be an acquired taste but is remarkably different (I quite like it!) and "Scarecrow Song" has its different piano coda.

I've been listening to a US LP demo of "NOOT" this week to whet my appetite for the CD set. Subsitute the US variants (and replace "The Things I Should Have Said" with single B-side "Nothing But The Marvellous") and you can imagine you're listening to the 10-track US "NOOT" album which was adorned with the same artwork as "The Charisma Years". For the "Jac Holzman" (US Production Supervisor) experience, programme your CD player with track sequence 16,2,3,4,5,17,7,8,13 and 18!

Tommy Duffy's heavier take on "North Country Boy" for the US market has to be heard to be believed. You can then enjoy a totally different Alan Hull vocal on "Taking Care of Business", a different Kenny vocal and mix for "Roll On River", and a superb Beach Boys-style a cappella ending to "Nobody Loves You Anymore" (here nicely included in the body of the album).

It is also good to have the verison of "Meet Me On The Corner" which owners of the "Lindisfarne's Finest Hour" and "Repeat Performance" compilations have probably long thought was the original! †Icing on the cake is the Norwegian "January Song" with its atmospheric instrumental break in the middle. †

Everything from the band's albums and singles is present and correct in its original form- and sounding better than ever! Even the 78rpm hiss to the beginning of "Down" (omitted from the 2004 CD reissue) has been restored in a new remaster of "NOOT" performed at Abbey Road last Summer.

Many thanks to Jim Henderson and to EMI for ensuring this release is not only one that the band and fans can be extremely proud of but is also stupendous value for money. An excellent document of Lindisfarne's classic period on the Charisma label.


Last edited by Derek on Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:10 pm; edited 2 times in total
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martin



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: the charisma years Reply with quote

got my copy today fantastic to listen to these great songs without a break in between great production on noot loved all the unearthed gems on cd well done to jim h and everyone else who put this together . looking forward to jim,s next lindisfarne hull project can we get on the other side on cd
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Derek



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's Record of the Week on BBC Radio Scotland now!

Today, Tom Morton played "Turn A Deaf Ear" (from 42 mins 50 secs):-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00xhczj/Tom_Morton_19_01_2011/

Update, Tom Morton also played:-

17/1 Meet Me On The Corner
18/1 Lady Eleanor
20/1 Clear White Light

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074hk7
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Mr Inbetween



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was expecting From My Window and On My Own I Etc to be different versions from those on Buried Treasures. This was my fault, as the advert on this website clearly shows that these are not tracks new to CD. I'd been hoping for the electric version of From My Window that Rod talks about in Window Crack. It was that version I thought I was bidding for at Heroes & Scarecrows a couple of years ago, and was optimistic it would turn up at some point. Sadly not.

It's irritating that the US version of Nobody Loves You Anymore has been used in place of the UK version, rather than as well as. After 30 years of listening to a song delivered in a certain way, there's a certain comfort and expectation. For this reason alone, the new release of Roll On Ruby won't become my default version.

Strangely, Rod's credits all show him as Roderick Clements, even when it's in the middle of a string of surnames (Scotch Mist). Similarly, in all the sleeve note references to Kenny Craddock, he is called Ken Craddock.

On the positive side, it has saved me digitalising more LPs, and it has given me the elusive Norwegian January Song. Not much of a return for 12 squiddlies, but as this is another Lindisfarne product, the value is really in having it as part of the collection.

Verdict: Disappointing.
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Derek



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel the replacement of the faded version of "Nobody Loves You Anymore" with the full ending version is a major improvement and can't understand why the UK version didn't have this originally! †If you prefer to have the UK version you can turn the volume down a few seconds before the end and then back up again!

The versions of "From A Window" and "On My Own" are, I think, the only existing outtakes from the NOOT album and as they'd only appeared on the long-deleted "Buried Treasures" previously I feel again it makes sense to include them in the running order.

With regard to the Roderick, I'm sure this is what is on the original copyright- and on previous issues/sheet music!

I completely disagree with Mr Inbetween's verdict. The set is outstanding value (over 70 tracks for under £12), is the only complete record of the band's Charisma period, sound quality is excellent (including the US versions)and, if anything, another day's listening has only reinforced my view that this is the best Lindisfarne compilation yet by a country mile.

Even thought I have heard all the material on the complilation in one form or another, it's great to have it all in one place and without clicks and pops! Sorry, Mr. Inbetween, but this rates 10/10 and I would question, in the absence of further material in the vaults, how it could possibly have been improved ?!!!
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Mr Inbetween



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek wrote:
I feel the replacement of the faded version of "Nobody Loves You Anymore" with the full ending version is a major improvement and can't understand why the UK version didn't have this originally! †If you prefer to have the UK version you can turn the volume down a few seconds before the end and then back up again!


Yeah, you could do that.  Or you could leave the room for the end bit. Or you could make up your own playlist. Or you could play the original and enjoy it. It just strikes me as odd that both tracks weren't included, given the minor differences between some of the other UK and US tracks that have both been included.

Derek wrote:
With regard to the Roderick, I'm sure this is what is on the original copyright- and on previous issues/sheet music!


This wasn't meant particularly as a criticism but as an observation. Actually, the sheet music credits words and music to Rod Clements. It's the same in the songbook.

Derek wrote:
Sorry, Mr. Inbetween, but this rates 10/10 and I would question, in the absence of further material in the vaults, how it could possibly have been improved ?!!!


In the absence of further material in the vaults, one may question why this collection was produced. But, as Jim explained, it's part of a series. I bought the Span collection because it gave me albums I didn't already have. There may be a reciprocol market of Span fans (for example) who want a Lindisfarne collection.

We are all entitled to our views, and mine remains one of disappointment. I knew you'd disagree with me, Derek, and I'm glad you are enjoying the listening.
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Derek



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With regard to "Roll On Ruby" we both have the original CD and can go back to play that anyway! As you say, thanks to the CD programmer, we can make up our own playlists and even, as I suggested, also replicate the US "Nicely Out Of Tune". †My default "Roll On Ruby" is, however, now on this set as I like that Beach Boys ending!

With regard to the point of the re-issue, this is the only time that the alternate versions have appeared and, even to ardent fans those who have all the original albums, †the set is well worth £12 just for that. To those who have no Lindisfarne material- and the band have been cruelly ignored by the media for years- this set is a godsend and I hope it serves to introduce the band to a wider audience. The artwork and box are eye-catching. Although there would be a market among us fans for individual remasters of each album in miniature Japanese sleeves †(like the Beatles Mono Set) this would price most people out of the market.

By contrast, many other artists merely digitally remaster with one or two B-sides/outakes thrown in and charge full price for one album re-issued for the 4th or 5th time! Now that's what I call disappointing! As a fan I tend to put up with shelling out for re-issues- I feel with "The Charisma Years" I should have paid at least double!!

It's unlikely there is more material in the vaults as the band trawled these in the early 1990s as part of the "Buried Treasures" exercise. I'm over the moon with this release but respect your view that to the ardent Lindisfarne fan who has everything, there is no new "Buried Treasure"!!

Any other views from those who have had chance to digest the 4 pink discs ?
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artyfewnote
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the price, I'm amazed that it wasn't just the original tracks, with no extras. Personally, I appreciate that EMI have included a number of rare tracks to make it interesting to harcore fans.

That said, I don't think hardcore fans are the intended audience, rather †lapsed or casual fans of the band... this set is perfect for them.

In addition, traffic to the website has increased 40% this week... it's all good!
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Jim Henderson



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morning all.  It's been interesting to read everyone's comments about the set.  I just thought I'd add a few thoughts.

The set is certainly getting the best reaction media-wise that a Lindisfarne release has had for a long time.  The BBC release last year was disappointing from a sales perspective (admittedly the tracks had been released in different guises before) and even though the Market Square releases have performed fairly well, it's been a struggle to get them reviewed anywhere - even Record Collector haven't been interested!

The new set is part of an ongoing series released by EMI - generally 3 or 4CD sets bringing together a number of original albums and, where available, rarities.  They are proving very popular - previous titles include Steeleye Span, The Groundhogs, Ten Years After, Robin Trower.  Edgar Broughton Band and Tangerine Dream sets have been released this week.  

I think the aim of the sets is two fold - they're great value for money and therefore a good option for anyone who doesn't own much by the act. With Lindisfarne, EMI have a couple of decent "Best Of" titles, but these are only single discs, so for a few pounds more this set is now quite an attractive purchase for first timers.  The inclusion of the rarities also helps it to appeal to the hardcore fans.

When the Catalogue label told me about the release, the tracklisting at that stage consisted of the original albums + B-sides.  They asked me if I could suggest any other tracks to add.  Clearly there are some fans who buy anything that comes out with Lindisfarne on, so I wanted to at least make sure that we included as many rarities as possible.

The remit was to only include tracks that have been previously released so we had no access to anything unreleased (I did originally suggest including the Downtown Faction tracks, hopefully these may surface at a later date).  With my own knowledge, and calling upon Mike, Derek, Charles, Reinhard, as well as Ray L, Rod and Jacka, I added a number of extra tracks to what was originally planned.

EMI were planning to use the existing remasters.  I suggested that they did a new remaster of "Nicely Out Of Tune" as the previous CD had omitted the hissing noise from the start of 'Down'.  A new master was produced at Abbey Road.  The "Buried Treasure" comps have been deleted for years so it made sense to include 'From My Window' and 'On My Own I Built A Bridge' given that these were from the original album sessions.  I believe that the alternate version of 'From My Window' that Mr Inbetween refers to is actually owned by David Wood and therefore wouldn't have been available to us for this set.

In addition, we obtained from Elektra the original US master of NOOT so were able to include the US versions of 'Lady Eleanor', 'We Can Swing Together' and 'Scarecrow Song' - all making their CD debut.  Likewise, EMI located the 'Meet Me On The Corner' demo and tracked down a copy of the very rare Norwegian "Best Of" LP so that we could give a CD debut to the longer version of 'January Song'.

Regarding "Roll On, Ruby" - this was a more complicated task.  I asked EMI to send me a listening copy of the US version.  I played the UK and US versions several times to compare tracks.  To be honest, I felt that the previous CD remaster sounded a bit flat compared to the original UK LP.  I suggested a new remaster and we actually used the US master tapes as, aside from the tracks with obvious differences, some of the other songs (from memory 'When The War Is Over' and 'Goodbye') were marginally longer on the US version - not significantly enough for us to include the UK and US versions so we went for the slightly longer US versions.

The versions of 'Taking Care Of Business', 'North Country Boy' and 'Roll On River' on the US LP were clearly completely different recordings from those on the UK LP.  The band members were not even aware that these had been used - general consensus seems to be that these were demos / rough takes / guide vocal tracks that were included on the US LP in error.  So we obviously had to include both the UK and US versions of these tracks.

'Nobody Loves You Anymore', on the other hand, was exactly the same recording / take - except it didn't fade out on the US LP.  The decision was made to include the longer US version rather than both - I accept Mr Inbetween's comments about this.  Perhaps in hindsight we should have included both, but at least the shorter UK version is on the previous CD.

Anyway, the set seems to be selling particularly well at the moment.  Ray Laidlaw and Ray Jackson have already recorded a number of interviews for radio stations with more to follow.  The Radio 2 "Album Of The Week" was certainly a great help too.

Finally, in response to Martin's question about "On The Other Side" - Dave Bulmer owns the rights to this.  Market Square enquired about licensing it but this is not possible.  Dave has told me that he will eventually get around to releasing it on CD - every so often I send him an e-mail reminder.  If / when I hear anything I will let everyone know.

In terms of future releases, I'm not working on anything currently.  Market Square are still keen to release more of David Wood's archive on CD - but it's a painstaking, time consuming and expensive task digitising his tapes so this is more of a long term project.

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