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The Charlatans

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Album Review

The self-titled Charlatans album, later released as San Francisco 1969, is a rather gorgeous and gently challenging piece of San Francisco rock, incorporating elements of blues and big-band swing, as well as '50s rock & roll and elegant '60s pop. It might not be as quite as overpowering creatively as the best records by the Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver, or Grateful Dead, but it is one of the prettiest and most subtly beguiling albums to come out of the '60s San Francisco scene, and is also essential listening, as well as being just plain delightful.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

No relation to the British alternative rock band of the same name, the San Francisco-based Charlatans have been widely credited as starting the Haight-Ashbury psychedelic scene. In retrospect, their contribution was more of a social one, planting seeds of a rock counterculture with their unconventional, at times outrageous dress and attitudes. While they occasionally delved into guitar distortion and fractured, stoned songwriting, the Charlatans' music was rooted in good-time jug band blues, not...
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