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The Charisma Years (1970-1973) *
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Simon Cowe (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, banjo, mandolin); Ken Craddock (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Rod Clements (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, violin, piano, organ, electric bass); Alan Hull (vocals, acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, piano, electric piano, harmonium, organ, keyboards); Ray Jackson (vocals, harp, mandolin, harmonica); Tommy Duffy (vocals); Charlie Harcourt (guitar); Ray Laidlaw, Paul Nichols (drums).
  • Audio Mixer: Peter Mew.
  • Recording information: Island Studios, London (07/14/1972-07/16/1972); Newcastle City Hall (07/14/1972-07/16/1972); Island Studios, London (12/1971); Newcastle City Hall (12/1971).
  • Photographers: Ed Caraeff; Angus McDonald.
  • Arrangers: Paul Laidlaw; Lindisfarne.
  • Four CDs round up the complete and utter Lindisfarne tale, from their arrival on the mainstream scene with 1970's still stunning Nicely Out of Tune through the following year's flirtation with stardom via Fog on the Tyne, and on through the sadly diminishing returns that were Dingly Dell and Roll on Ruby. Yes, the story would continue later in the '70s, and on and off since then, too. But the first incarnation of the band was the one that mattered the most, and those first two albums remain quintessential early-'70s folk-rock, with neither folk nor rock having much to do with any of it. Lindisfarne are, perhaps rightfully, best judged by their two biggest hits, the sad mystery of "Lady Eleanor" and the singalong joy of "Meet Me on the Corner." Add "We Can Swing Together," "No Time to Lose" (amazingly, a mere B-side at the time) and "Fog on the Tyne," and Lindisfarne could have been the new Faces if only Alan Hull had wanted to be the next Rod Stewart. But pop fame and fortune sat awkwardly on the group's shoulders, which is why Dingly Dell was the original lineup's final shout. The band split, some to form Jack the Lad; the rest to continue as a revamped soft rock Lindisfarne whose presence here (the final disc) really does spoil the proceedings somewhat. Better to end with the concert disc that takes 1973's Lindisfarne Live album, expands it to take in the entire evening's entertainment, and reveals Lindisfarne to have been one of the most entertaining live acts of their era. That, and a near-full album's worth of bonus material drawn from period singles, compilations, and mispressings ensure this is a must-have box set, even for fans who think they already own all the Lindisfarne they could ever need. ~ Dave Thompson
Professional Reviews
Record Collector (magazine) (p.94) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[R]evisit one of the great folk-rock ensembles during their glory years. Here is a terrific round-up of Lindisfarne on Charisma..."

Uncut (magazine) (p.94) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[W]ell-crafted pop, traditional sounding folk, humour and brasher rock, all combined with chief songwriter Alan Hull's more thoughtful material."
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