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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Tellin' Stories
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on 23 December 2016
The Charlatans 5th studio album is a glorious collection containing no fewer than 4 Top 20 singles including the catchy 'North Country Boy', the powerful 'How High' and the outstanding 'One To Another'. The Dylan-esque 'Get On it' features some brilliant lead guitar work from Mark Collins whilst 'How Can You Leave Us' also delivers a superb 1960s vibe. 'Area 51' is an innovative instrumental track and 'You're A Big Girl Now' provides a lovely contrast with its acoustic flavours. Unsurprisingly, this Britpop classic is recognised by many critics as the Cheshire boys finest hour and, to be honest, they are probably correct in this analysis.
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on 27 January 2000
A classic cracker of an album. From the first tune "With No Shoes" the warbling of Burgess and the multi-layered musical backing provides a laid back rock out. For a band who experienced so much just before releasing the album that fact that its so good and polished is amazing. The death of member Rob Collins was a big blow but they retained the Hammond sound that is such a big part of their music. The superlative "One To Another" has to be one of the best tunes of the 90's. This is the band at the height of their powers and the depth of their despair. The Charlatans are criminaly under-rated in the music press and attract little attention. But one listen to their music is all that's needed to become a fan. They're still around long after many of their more highly lauded contemporaries have disappeared. Quite simply superb and well worth a listen. For anyone who likes British guitar bands then you must own this album.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 June 2015
The Charlatans are one of the few bands who were big during the 'Madchester' scene, and then remained very prominent (although always more quiet than Oasis, Blur and Pulp) in the explosion of the Britpop scene, and despite their many ups and downs and tragedies (not least of all the sad and untimely deaths of two of their members), along the way, are still together today, and are still making some excellent music.

'Tellin' Stories', their fifth album released in April 1997, is my hands down favourite out of everything these guys have done. The set of songs are so strong that you could be mistaken for believing it to be a greatest hits package, and this isn't all that surprising in the first place, seeing as how it spawned four mega hits that are among the most prized singles to the fans: 'One to Another', 'North Country Boy', 'How High', and 'Tellin' Stories', virtually all indie anthems. Another standout is the Bob Dylan inspired 'You're A Big Girl Now', an artist which frontman Tim Burgess really admires.

Although the tragic car accident death of The Charlatans' founder-member and keyboard player Rob Collins, occurred half way through the recording, and the guys themselves have said that this release sounds 'unfinished' as a result, I still regard this as one of the best British guitar rock albums in my collection. The band had decided to embark on this new sound, which was very fashionable at the time, and moved away from the Hammond organ which had been the deceased Collins' trademark. Since then, these guys, led by that the musical genius Burgess, have been experimenting ever since. Like an old friend, this album never lets you down.

The booklet contains lyrics to all the beautifully written and crafted tracks, some nice black and white head shots of each band member, and other great pictures in the middle pages.
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on 30 May 2002
Okay so the Charlatans kept going on and on how this album sounds unfinished. We as listeners or critics will notice that it truly sounds unfinished but we cannot blame them.
Their keyboard player and long-time friend Rob Collins had just passed away in a car accident leaving an empty void in their souls.
Nevertheless when Rob died the album was almost finished and in fact they were preparing to release their second single "One to another". The video was shot seven days before his death.
But let us stick to this incredible album....yes I do think it's wonderful and many fans would agree though to the disappointment of others might sounds unfulfilling.
Singles like "North Country Boy", "One to Another" and "How High" all went into the UK's top 10 and I don't know about you but I found the videos to be memorable.
Songs like "Get on it" sounds gospel and some people may be even inspired by the soothing and yet reassuring lyric that "no matter how you're feeling you're never on your own" or "With no shoes", the starter of many gigs.
And the album ends as a tribute to the most memorable keyboardist ever- Rob Collins with the soulful "Rob's theme" than features some recordings of this piano-wizard as a child.
Two thumbs up for this fifth and excellent album by the Charlatans. And if this doesn't quench your thirst, trust me you'll end up buying all of their albums. I adore them so should you!
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This was an album, at the time, that I was really looking forward to. I loved their previous self-titled album and also the two singles which had been released before the album, "One To Another" and "North Country Boy" and, although money was very tight at the time, meaning that it had to be a very special album to warrant spending any cash on it, I decided that this was one of those occasions. Despite the tragedy of losing keyboard player Rob Collins in a car accident halfway through the recording of the album and the band going on record to say that the release sounded 'unfinished' as a result, this was a piece of work that lived up to expectations. Having said that, when I first played the album and I heard "With No Shoes", I wasn't immediately won over and I still think it's a curious song to start with, as, although it is a very good song which has grown on me over the years, it is one of the lesser efforts on offer here. The Charlatans then repeat the same formula as on their previous release by loading the album with all of the hits right at the front. "North Country Boy" is an excellent track, extremely catchy, with some great organ licks and fine lyrics, even referencing Itchy & Scratchy from The Simpsons. The understated title track, "Tellin' Stories" continues the top quality songwriting and then the magnificent, crashing, tumbling "One To Another", one of The Charlatans' finest moments, upstages everything else and provides a high point on "Tellin' Stories" that is difficult to equal.

Other picks from this album include "How Can You Leave Us", a classic Charlatans track which could have easily slotted into their eponymous album from 1995, the storming instrumental "Area 51" which highlights the sadly missed Rob Collins' sublime organ work and the superb third single from the album, "How High", a high-energy, powerful rock track which features a brilliant Burgess vocal and some truly excellent bass-work from Martin Blunt. "Get On It", although starting out like a superior Rolling Stones song, provides a late highlight, breaking down into an absolutely fantastic instrumental end which is pure Charlatans. It's difficult to say which is my favourite album of theirs, this one or their self-titled release from 1995, as they're both of similar excellent quality and the band are on top form on both. On reflection, this album seems to be of more consistent quality all of the way through, even though the majority of the "big songs" are weighted towards the front, so perhaps "Tellin' Stories" has the edge... just. I was lucky enough to see The Charlatans perform this album from start to finish at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2012 and, even though I had enjoyed quite a substantial amount of rum and coke (the drink, not the illegal substance!), it provided a vivid and welcome reminder of just how great this album is and the band are. It's an absolute indie-rock classic.
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on 22 June 2017
I was a bit scared of The Charlatans when they first came out - a heavy Manchester band when Manchester had a bad reputation. Anyway; I've kept my eye on them, and done a bit of growing up myself; and have come to admire them as an uncompromising band who played their hearts out in a competitive arena.
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...it's now 4 years since tellin's tories release and it still sounds as good as it did back then. I've been a life long charlatans fan and now that they are getting on a bit and the tempo is slowing down, I always love the fact that this album reminds of the pace and drive they have. It oozes style, groove, and plain brilliant ability, this is a true reflection of what the best indie band ever in the uk can do. Spiewak jackets, puma trainers and the hair anyone? The good old days
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on 5 January 2013
For some reason this outstanding record is often overlooked in surveys of Britpop that cite Oasis' What's The Story or Pulp's Different Class as the movement's greatest achievements. Tellin' Stories is not only The Charlatans best record, it is one of the great British guitar albums of the 1990s. This vinyl edition is apparently limited to 1000 copies and comes with a whole disc of extra tracks. It's housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve and arrived very carefully packaged by Amazon. We usually want vinyl reissues to be exact replicas of the originals, but in this instance I'm more than happy to make an exception.
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on 20 December 2000
I would say this is probably the least Charlatans-esque of their albums. It is a great rock album, helped by their trademark keyboards. Their most commercial and accessible album. Apart from the odd weak track it's a stormer. The singles are the obvious stand out tracks, One to Another especially. Also, Get on it is excellent, the first minute of it is one of the best starts to a song ever. The best band from Manchester that are still making music.
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