The Charlatans – Isolation 21.2.91

Originally a bootleg that was recorded live at Chicago Metro Feb 21, 1991.  It was then officially distributed as vinyl only release through the fanclub, limited to 1000 copies.  The original vinyl version was on the Live Live Good label.  The CD was issued by Polygram in Canada.

The recording quality is good, but Tim Burgess’s vocals are frequently stray.  So what is good about this bootleg?  It is The Charlatans at the height of their game.  Just after Some Friendly and before Between 10th and 11th, they had the world at their feet. During this time they released Me. In Time, Weirdo and their finest single Over Rising.  The Stone Roses were locked in court, and the Happy Mondays were on a downward spiral.  It was The Charlatans that were leading the field now.

The Charlatans – Isolation 21.2.91    

Imperial 109
The only one I know
Not very well
Believe you me
Happen to die
White shirt
Indian rope
Sprosten green
10th and 11th.


4 thoughts on “The Charlatans – Isolation 21.2.91

  1. Thanks for that! Don’t know if “Over Rising” was their best single but it had some cracking b-sides. The group’s original guitarist John Baker had a simplistic, or let’s say minimalist, way of playing guitar that served that first Charlatans phase very well. Marc Collins brought in something else, something more “classic” sounding in a way. Although Collins may be a better guitar player, they lost something when Baker left… That naive charm of theirs…

  2. Totally agree with that assessment, John – this record (bought an age ago via mail order with no idea what it was) blew the doors off for me as a youngster. It’s a little clunky in places, but Baker’s playing was simply a revelation. Believe You Me soloing, Indian Rope’s funky wah outro, the wobble-tastic guitars dribbled all over Opportunity and then the blend into a mighty rendition of Sproston Green are some of the real highlights. In fact, those little guitar riffs over the start of You’re Not Very Well (buried, maybe in the mix on SF?) are a great start too. It’s easily the best “Phase 1” bootleg I’ve heard – his playing is more assured than some of his other, edgier efforts (you half expect him to make mistakes he sounds so lacking in confidence at times). If you grab this, then Reading ’92 (for the Rob Collins show) then Daytripper (probably their best pre-Britpop/Stones era stuff) then that’s the peaks of those times. Mark Collins easily far, far more gifted on the six-string, but you’re right, there was distinct (intentional) shift away from that early sound…. Interesting Baker had another band called Polanski, post-Charlatans (described by Martin Blunt as “very Some Friendly”), but try finding that single these days (or even then)…. Vanished without a trace….

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