Charlie - No Second Chance

Charlie – No Second Chance

83 / 100

Probably not the best nor strongest Charlie album in the back catalogue, but things were on the improve.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Charlie
ALBUM: No Second Chance
LABEL: Polydor (UK), Janus (USA)
SERIAL: 2383 422, JXS-7032
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Terry Thomas – guitar, vocals * John Anderson – bass, vocals * Julian Colbeck – keyboards * Steve Gadd – drums * Martin Smith – guitar (uncredited)

TRACK LISTING: 01 No Second Chance * 02 Don’t Look Back * 03 Pressure Point * 04 Turning To You * 05 Thirteen * 06 Lovers * 07 Johnny Hold Back * 08 Love Is Alright * 09 Guitar Hero (False Prophet)



1977 was a pretty decent year for hard rock. Whether it be British or American based, there was usually an act/artist that delivered the goods from either side of the pond. However, I don’t think the band Charlie could be counted in that list just yet. A promising debut from 1976, but I think it would be fair to say that their music up to this point was best described as ‘faceless’, a term/tag that would unfortunately find its way into early 80’s AOR.

At this early stage of their recording career, Julian Colbeck joined the band on keyboards, supposedly replacing second guitarist Martin Smith. Though from what I understand, Smith’s playing can still be heard on the album. What is fortunate is that all of Charlie’s discography can be relatively easy to find on the Net. What is not so easy is finding good quality genuine CD copies of the back catalog, something which was sullied by the dodgy Renaissance Records versions in later years.

The Songs

There’s a few useful songs here, so it’s not a complete waste of time. The title track ‘No Second Chance’ is reasonable, thanks to a steady guitar motif. ‘Don’t Look Back’ scales back the tempo, though the guitar solos are very spacious and airy. The first sign of synths appear on ‘Pressure Point’, the acoustic guitar gives it an American radio-rock sheen.

‘Thirteen’ sounds like a prog rock band doing ballads. It’s very rural. ‘Lovers’ is all over the place musically, complete with Latin styled percussion, and what can you say about ‘Johnny Hold Back’? The brass work during the middle you’ll either love it or hate it.. lol! The closer ‘Guitar Hero (False Messiah)’ is mostly a laid-back affair, featuring Colbeck’s piano work. Didn’t quite work for me.

In Summary

Probably not the best nor strongest Charlie album in the back catalogue, but things were on the improve. There are two album covers for this LP. The Janus (American) version featuring a woman sitting up on a bed (cover as above), and the Polydor (British) version featuring a dark green sleeve and a butterfly girl. The latter is quite nice actually.

Later into 1978, the band went out to the US and supported the Doobie Brothers on their ‘Minute By Minute’ album, before returning to England to record their third LP ‘Lines’, which would prove to be their best release during this period.


Entire Album (Select Tracks)

Playlist: Charlie: No Second Chance
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