Barbara Thompson - Live At The BBC

Live At The BBC


“Time and space is pressing, so let's get to the heart of the matter and say that BARBARA THOMPSON's Live At The BBC (Repertoire 14-CD) is quite simply one of the best jazz box sets out there right now, jammed full of gorgeous music from British saxophonist Barbara Thompson and her various groups, including Jubiaba and Paraphernalia, beautifully remastered from BBC sessions recorded between 1969 to '89. Thompson's progressive sound has a bracing rock edge, performers within including Chris Spedding and Thompson's husband, drummer Jon Hiseman of Colosseum (indeed, Keith Emerson fans may know opening track 'Walter L', performed here in a version by the New Jazz Orchestra, sans Emerson's widdly keyboards). With over 13 hours of music, Shindig! could dedicate an entire page to the delights within, each listen revealing a new killer cut, whether it's the dancing big band sounds of 'Black Macumba' or the laidback jazz of 'Twelve Bar Greens', recorded with the Don Rendell Five. With liner notes courtesy of Dave Gelly, this is already contender for box set of the year, both inside and outside of the jazz world.”
5 stars Thomas Patterson, Shindig!

CLASSICAL GASSERS - Pop Gems Inspired By The Great Composers

Pop Gems Inspired By The Great Composers

CDTOP 1479

“Here's an entertaining dip into pop records that were based on classical themes.

In earlier decades, such records had been banned by the BBC for denigrating the musical greats, but by the early Sixties, when most of these tracks were recorded, the rules had been relaxed enough to enable Tchaikovsky's 'March of the Toy Soldiers', from his ballet The Nutcracker, to be transformed into the great 'Nut Rocker' by B Bumble and the Stingers.

Similarly, US jazz pianist Jimmy Wisner, under the name of Kokomo, turned Edvard Grieg's 'Piano Concerto in A Minor' into brash and entertaining instrumental he called 'Asia Minor', while over in the UK a few years later, a group from Birmingham called The Cats turned Tchaikovsky's main theme from Swan Lake into a catchy reggae number, later revived by Madness on their first album.

More familiar perhaps, is the super-fast guitar version of 'Sabre Dance', from the final act of Aram Khachaturian's ballet Gayane, by Welsh group Love Sculpture showcasing a young Dave Edmunds on guitar.

American male vocal group Jay and The Americans had two bites of the cherry, plundering Debussy (with some help from songsmiths Leiber and Stoller) for 'My Clair de Lune' and turning Grieg's 'Morning' from Peer Gynt into the close-harmony delight of 'Dawning'.

Best of all perhaps is the imitable and still charming 'A Lover's Concerto' by The Toys which takes what was originally thought to be a Bach piece, Minuet in G Major (now attributed to Dresden organist Christian Petzold) and turns it into a superb slice of girl group harmony.

With a great faux Fifties cover, Classical Gassers does what it says on the label. Roll on volume two.”
4 starsJohn Clarke, The i

To find out more or to purchase your copy, visit Ace Records

 Various Artists
Alice In Wonderland & Other Rainy Day Girls: The Great Lost Southern Popsike Trip

Boys, Boys, Boys

CDCHD 1473

“Released in Spring 1964, Lesley Gore's Boys, Boys, Boys album was her third collection in less than a year, following hot on the heels of her fifth single hit 'That's The Way Boys Are', the opening track here.

Though still in her mid-teens she was able to cope with the demands Mercury placed upon her as her commercial stock rose. The company invested in top studios and the services of Quincy Jones, and the results were suitably polished, though there were signs that they were undecided whether to market her in a solo "girl group" style or as a wholesome MOR singer.

There are examples of both here, all equally classy recordings, though it is the pop-oriented tracks like the powerful 'It's Gotta Be' You that stand up the best and emphasise her vocal prowess. Added to the album are 13 bonus tracks which include five from her second album and her initial four hits, with 'You Don't Own Me' remaining the standout. With interest high following the recent biography, Gore proves to be worthy of reassessment, and with all the hits this is a great starting point. ”
4 starsKingsley Abbott, Record Collector

To find out more or to purchase your copy, visit Ace Records

CDCHD 1432 Second Helpings - Hits That Left 'Em Hungry For More!

SECOND HELPINGS - Hits That Left 'Em Hungry For More!
Various Artists

CDCHD 1432

“As well as racking up soundalike follow-ups to chart hits, the US music business also liked to find songs with storylines they could string out, and Second Helpings is a hefty serving of welcome relations to many songs we know and love. Slim Harpo's 'Little Queen Bee (Got A Brand New King)' and Johnny Burnette's 'I'm Still Dreamin'' work as well as their predecessors ('I'm A King Bee' and 'Dreamin'', respectively), while 'Anaheim, Azusa & Cucamonga', Jan & Dean's extension of their Pasadena tour, is possibly the most sheer fun. However, Jennell Hawkins steals the spotlight with her blood'n'guts run at 'More Money (That's What I Want)', giving Barratt Strong a run for his moolah.”
Kingsley Abbott, Record Collector

To find out more or to purchase your copy, visit Ace Records

 Various Artists
Alice In Wonderland & Other Rainy Day Girls: The Great Lost Southern Popsike Trip

The Great Lost Southern Popsike Trip
Various Artists


“As co-compiler Sam Szczepanski points out in her sleevenotes, the Deep South of the 60s "wasn't all Nudie suits and steel guitars". Psych pseekers should head straight for 'The Vacuum' by Randy & The Rest, a wilfully flaky 1967 A-side which shoehorns a vaccum cleaner, air raid sirens and the Last Post into the mix. It's a f*cking mess, to be honest, but it's great that it ever existed. Overall the popsike quotient is counterbalanced by fratty garage-rock frug frenzies... perhaps this stretches the original brief, but who really cares when the cumulative outcome is so seductive?”
4 starsOregano Rathbone, Record Collector

“If, like many old duffers, you love your music, and live for the odd occasions that something genuinely different trots over the horizon, then you could do a lot worse than pick up 'The Great Lost Southern Popsike Trip' featuring Strange Bedfellows, The Jerms, H.Y. Sledge, Randy & The Rest, The United Notions, The Berkeley Kites and more (nope we hadn't heard of 'em either), Alice In Wonderland is positively overflowing with genuinely quirky psychedelic pop. All power to Charly for digging 'em up (and beautifully presenting them).”
Ray Harper, Total Music Magazine

CHICAGO HIT FACTORY The Vee-Jay Story 1953-1966

CHICAGO HIT FACTORY The Vee-Jay Story 1953-1966


A generous 269 tracks, including 112 hits, by more than 120 different artists, and a 72-page, memorabilia-laden, perfect bound booklet comprising a detailed history of the Vee-Jay family of labels and their artists, together with wealth of photos.

Received wisdom would have us believe that before Motown, no black-owned record company had made a significant impact on the US mainstream. However, the actuality is something else entirely. Way back in the early 50s, long before Berry Gordy had written his first song, VEE-JAY RECORDS - a black, family owned and run, Chicago-based label - was establishing itself via a steady stream of Blues, R&B, DooWop and Gospel hits.

This carefully compiled 10CD set traces the history of Vee-Jay Records from their very first hit, 'Baby It's You' by The Spaniels, through to Jerry Butler's re-cut of his perennial 'For Your Precious Love', their very last chart record in early 1966. Here then is a coherent, enjoyable history of the Vee-Jay family - as well as the 'parent' label, there were also the Falcon, Abner, Tollie and Interphon subsidiaries - including a plethora of fascinating releases that didn't make it.

“The tale of Vee-Jay has been told before in a variety of compilations, but Charly's 2014 box set Chicago Hit Factory: The Vee-Jay Story 1953-1966 is easily the most comprehensive chronicle, lasting ten discs and encompassing all of the chapters in the label's wild history. That it's available at a good price is just a nice bonus - it'd be worthwhile at twice the retail price.”
Stephen Thomas Erlewine
4.5 stars AllMusic Best Of 2014 - Favourite Boxed Sets

“...I shall be plundering this set endlessly in the coming weeks! Stunning! Absolutely stunning!”
Paul Jones, Rhythm & Blues, BBC Radio 2

“The Vee-Jay box set is an absolute goldmine. The story is absolutely fascinating and the booklet is fact-packed.”
Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

“Brill 10 CD summation of the influential doo wop, R&B and soul label.”
4 starsMojo

“A comprehensive history of Windy City wonders.”
9/10 Uncut

“An embarrassment of riches... Vee-Jayzzle!”
4 starsRecord Collector

“There is no denying this really is a fine musical documentation and deserves major attention.”
The Soul Basement

“An impressive and keenly priced set.”
Kieron Tyler, The Arts Desk

Available to order on line from or at

FAMILY Once Upon A Time

FAMILY Once Upon A Time


Winner of the Storm Thorgerson Grand Design Award at the Classic Rock 2013 Progressive Music Awards

“A stupendous 14-disc box set”
5 stars The Independent

“A definitive portrait of this sprawling, misunderstood but highly rewarding band... a very fine monument to a strange band. ”

“The Family jewels... Family deserve to cement their hefty contribution with such a composite artefact.”
4 stars Record Collector

“... using original master tapes, it's why fans will want this substantial box set... there was no more innovative group at the time, nobody bettered Family for imaginatively corralling pop, rock, folk, R'n'B and jazz.”

“Once Upon A Time is an all-encompassing expression of unconditional love... intriguing and a bit wonderful.”

Boys Can be Mean



“You like the girl group sound of the Sixties? If so, you're gonna love this...”
In The Basement

“The true strength of this collection comes from the deeper cuts, many having seen their widest distribution before this comp on the original 45s... a fully rounded necessity for any girl group enthusiast. Never sacrificing the quality of the material for obscurity, this compilation hits the mark on almost every track, and shines brightly as a consistently interesting and revisitable collection.”
Fred Thomas,

“Sweet'n'sassy girlie platters a-plenty... this is a must-have for aficionados”
4 starsKingsley Abbott, Record Collector

Remember EP - Shangrilas



It's hard to believe New York girl group The Shangri-Las released their first single fifty years ago this December. To commemorate their contribution to Femme Pop fabulousness, Charly are releasing a Limited Edition 7" vinyl EP comprising four of the Shangs' best-loved Red Bird A-sides plus a special bonus audio artefact.

Packaged in a rinky dink full-colour picture sleeve recollecting the girls' iconic image, this marvellous must-have will only be available in stores on Record Store Day Saturday 20 April 2013. Remember, this release is strictly limited and will never happen again! For further information and to locate participating retailers please visit

Shangri-las - Remember


Charly SNAX625CD

“This compilation leaves no stone unturned and includes a handful of rarely-heard radio commercials and truly bizarre etiquette advice on dating. What more could a troubled teen with a fragile heart want?”
4 stars Record Collector

“...delicious melodramas driven by anguish and full of dangerous thrills.”
4 stars Mojo

Red Bird Story


Charly SNAX626CD

“Motown might have been 'The Sound Of Young America', but for just over two years Leiber and Soller's Red Bird label vied for that legend, too, yielding a preposterous number of hits - 20 in their first 13 months - thanks to a peerless songwriting team and a stable of acts who stirred up every crazy emotion.”
5 starsMojo

Miller Sisters - Got You On My Mind

Got You On My Mind

Charly SNAM952CD

“Enjoy a first class compilation, showcasing a great duo that deserved to be more than just a footnote to the Sun sound.”
UK Rock

Rockin' With My Baby

Rockin' With My Baby

Snapper Music SROLLCD833

“It's quite a revelation to hear these tracks, which are a neat blend of country and rock & roll with hints of jazz and Western swing”
4 starsSteve Leggett

“...a glorious mixture of country swing and rockabilly.” Now Dig This

Gene Pitney - The Many Sides Of Gene Pitney / Only Love Can Break A Heart

The Many Sides Of Gene Pitney / Only Love Can Break A Heart

RPM Retro 881

“Only Love Can Break A Heart is a masterclass in melodic misery, especially 'True Love Never Runs Smooth', 'Donna Means Heartbreak' and the saloon bar sobfest 'I Should Try To Forget (But I Keep Forgetting To Try)'. The chief detour from the theme is the Bacharach & David-penned 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance'. Nothing like a vengeful gunfight to lighten the mood, eh?”
Record Collector

Real wild child

Rockin' Rollin' favourites for kids of all ages

Snapper Music SROLLCD501

“I spotted this on one of my regular trips to Sainsbury's and couldn't help but check out the tracklisting. At first it seemed like just another of those ten-a-penny compilations that adorn supermarkets, garages, bookshops and haberdashery emporiums these days. However, once past the usual suspects - Cochran, Holly, Richard, Presley, Haley etc. - I noticed this was not just your average 'oldies' collection.”

COLOSSEUM: Morituri Te Salutant

COLOSSEUM: Morituri Te Salutant

Sanctuary/Universal 2709352

Pieced together with the active assistance of Jon Hiseman, Morituri Te Salutant features extended highlights from Colosseumís original albums as well as numerous previously-unissued studio and live outtakes, including BBC session material, the aborted late Sixties single 'Tell Me Now' and a host of alternative recordings from the tour that was immortalised on what many believe to be the bandís definitive work, Colosseum Live. Lavishly packaged with hitherto unpublished photos and a 10,000 word essay, Morituri Te Salutant is the final word on one of the most individual and iconoclastic British jazz/rock/blues bands to emerge from the musical and cultural revolution of the Sixties.

Real Life Permanent Dreams


A Cornocopia of British Psychedelia

Castle Music CMXBX 1239

“Real Life Permanent Dreams provides a magic carpet ride through British psychedelia from 1965-70, beginning with freakbeat and ending in prog. It puts a quart into a pint pot with ťlan.”
Record Collector

Eddie Cochran: Guitar Picker

Eddie Cochran: Guitar Picker

Castle Music CMXBX1452

“Far from being the usual hits package, this well-executed two-disc set - complete with 30-page booklet pulls together rare recordings from Eddie's time in the Cochran Brothers alongside session work, radio and live recordings.”
HMV Choice

Eddie Cochran: Something Else

Eddie Cochran: Something Else

Bear Family BCD 15989

A killer selection from Eddie's instrumental and experimental recordings! Outtakes, demos, live recordings, and interviews! This is the most comprehensive Eddie Cochran compilation ever assembled!

For further information, please visit:

Sun Records: 50 Golden Years – A Commemorative Collection

Sun Records: 50 Golden Years – A Commemorative Collection

Fab-U-Lus FBUBX002

“Has a finer collection of prime Sun goodies ever appeared in one package before?”
Now Dig This

Diana Dors: Swingin’ Dors

Diana Dors: Swingin’ Dors

Castle Music CMXLP1555 & CMFCD1554

“Swingin' Dors is wonderful stuff, the sound of Julie London after six dirty Martinis and a romp behind some heavy velvet curtains... ”
The Word

Paul Evans: Happy Go Lucky Me

Paul Evans: Happy Go Lucky Me

Castle Music CMRCD715

“Castle Music has done a fine job collecting the hits, demos, and previously unissued tracks from his 50-year career.”
All Music Guide

Midnight Cryin’ Time

Midnight Cryin’ Time

Castle Pulse PBXCD356

“Midnight Cryin' Time certainly makes us impatient for Ms Szczepanski's next triple CD compilation set.”

Rock Baby Rock It

Rock Baby Rock It

Castle Pulse PBXCD355

“Full marks to the Queen of the superbly packaged, budget-priced releases, Sam Szczepanski, for pulling it all together. Buy with confidence.” Now Dig This

Well, Now Dig This

Well, Now Dig This

Castle Music CMFCD1042

“ ... this silver slab ensures you get all your medications in one red hot dose!”
Now Dig This

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