[Mad Hatter]

  • What's Here and What Isn't
  • Why Am I Doing This?
  • What was B&C?

  • What's Here and What Isn't
    This website concerns the original Charisma Records label, which was operated from 1969 - 1986 by the late Tony Stratton Smith. It features all information I have been able to gather about UK & US releases during that time, as well as variations and unique releases from other countries.

    It does not include any listings or information related to the 1990s revival of the name Charisma, which was just a subsidiary of Virgin Records America and had no connection to the original Charisma. This company released recordings in the US by the likes of Kirsty MacColl, Gary Moore and The Knack, and had US chart success with records by Right Said Fred, Maxi Priest, .38 Special, and others. If anyone else wants to document that material, be my guest! I'd be happy to include a link.

    Why Am I Doing This?
    It is my intention to have this site become the standard repository for information about the Charisma label. I have been a fanatical collector of Charisma for more than 20 years now. Charisma was the great British record company of the 70s. Sorry, Island; nice try, Vertigo; close but no cigar, Harvest! Really, though, all of these labels and others had noteworthy periods when they consistently released interesting recordings that have stood the test of time, and in the late 60s and early 70s, it was not unusual for a record label to have its own unique character. If, for example, there were a handful of early Harvest LPs that you liked, chances were pretty good that you'd also like most other early Harvest releases. To some extent, this was even true among major record companies; if one examined and listened to, say, a dozen typical Warner Bros. LPs and compared them to a similar quantity of typical Columbia LPs, one could clearly see two distinctly different trains of thought at work. It was a now long since vanished era when record companies were run by music people and not business people.

    More so than any of the other "hip" labels of the day, Charisma released records of a sometimes astonishingly wide range, yet always maintained a distinctive identity. Collecting Charisma has been an excellent and very rewarding way to amass a unique and eclectic range of pop, rock, folk, progressive, reggae, spoken word, and even classical music. There are quite a few records on Charisma that one simply can't imagine any other label having released.

    Charisma was a reflection of its owner/founder, Tony Stratton Smith, a man who was determind to put out records of material that he personally deemed worthy of release.

    What was B&C?
    B&C Records was Charisma's original distributor, and so intertwined were they in the early days that Charisma used the same catalog numbering series that B&C had already established. As such, I have included B&C releases from the time that the two labels were affiliated. A page about B&C Records is under construction.

    Copyright 2005 - 2018 Mark J. Moerman. This information may not be reposted without permission and proper acknowledgement.