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AAA Music | 21 May 2019

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The Charlatans – Us And Us Only (Deluxe Edition)

| On 22, Feb 2011

The Charlatans, Martin Blunt (bass), Jon Brookes (drums), Tim Burgess (vocals), Mark Collins (guitar) and Tony Rogers (keyboards) and Universal Music are proud to announce the release of the band’s sixth album ‘Us And Us Only’ as a deluxe edition on March 28th 2011. Originally released in 1999, this deluxe edition features a collection of bonus tracks that include b-sides, live recordings, radio sessions and rare remixes.

The release of ‘Us And Us Only’ in October 1999 marked a new chapter for the band, not only was it their first release for Island Records following the end of their contract with Beggars Banquet but significantly, this was to be The Charlatan’s first album without keyboardistRob Collins, who had tragically died in a car crash in 1996.  The album was recorded at the band’s own Big Mushroom Studio’s in Cheshire with engineer and mixer Jim Spencer who had previously worked on Johnny Marr’s Electronica outfit. The album is still as popular today as it was on it’s release, debuting at No.2 in the charts, reached Gold status after a few days and went on to spend 10 weeks in the UK top 40.

As for the songs themselves, they are some of the most musically and lyrically enduring The Charlatans have ever written. Impossible’sacoustic guitar and blues harp wailing nods not just to Dylan in its sound but its lyrics’ esoteric prose and meter – “You can’t kill an idea just cause it’s raining / Keep it in the family, keep it in the kids / (You know) They are all handing out free tickets” sings Tim BurgessA House Is Not A Home contains some of Mark Collins’ finest style guitar playing. The atmospheric Senses contains one of Tim Burgess’s most raw and impassioned vocals as he nods to the Stones with his references to a “Sweet Black Angel” and spaghetti westerns with a Once Upon A Time In The West inspired harmonica solo. Good Witch/Bad Witch, meanwhile, is an instrumental interlude with touches of Morricone and John Barry, and then there is My Beautiful Friend, an exquisite paean turned anthem.

The bonus tracks on this deluxe edition comprise the B-sides to Forever, My Beautiful Friend and Impossible, include hard to find remixes by Lionrock and Jagz Kooner plus radio sessions from Mark Radcliffe and The Evening Session, a Later With Jools Holland version of A House Is Not A Home and a potent performance from 1999’s Reading Festival headlining show – the group opened up with a rousing version of Forever. What this album and its extras reveal is a band, that despite having made music for 11 years, had lost none of their fire and drive, were very much in control and still at the top of their game. “We have a common goal,” said Tim Burgess that year. “We want to make music, music is everything to us, we live it, we love it, it’s what we do.” And it’s what they did here.