You Say It's Your Birthday: The Charlatans UK's Tim Burgess

Today is the birthday of Tim Burgess, lead vocalist for

the Charlatans UK, who was born in 1968. As one of the leading bands of the

late-1980s England "Madchester" scene, the Charlatans found success with their

upbeat, danceable sound on hits such as "The Only One I Know."

Born in

Northwich, England in 1989, the Charlatans--Burgess, guitarist Mark Collins,

bassist Martin Blunt, drummer Jon Brookes and keyboardist Rob Collins--released

an indie single, "Indian Rope," which sold an unprecedented 20,000 copies. They

managed to ink a record deal and Some Friendly was released in 1990.

That album not only went gold within a week, but launched their first big

single, "The Only One I Know," which went to #10 in the UK. Founding guitarist

John Baker departed the band in search of something different, but the group

carried on with an EP called Overrising, followed by a sophomore album,

Between 10th & 11th. A single for "Weirdo" fared well on the British

charts. However, their hardships were not over; keyboardist Rob Collins was

convicted for taking part, albeit unintentionally, in a liquor store robbery

and served four months in prison. He recorded the keyboard parts for the band's

third release, Up To Our Hips, before being carted off to jail and the

band finished the record in his absence. But things got better; Collins was

paroled, and the album debuted in the British Top Ten. The Charlatans UK

returned to the studio to record their self-titled fourth album, which was

released in 1995. Despite the death of Collins in a car accident during their

most recent studio work, the band is about to release their fifth and perhaps

most accomplished disc Tellin' Stories (July 15). Although their latest

efforts have invited comparisons to mega-stars Oasis, the Charlatans insists

the Ghallager brothers took inspiration from the them, not vice versa. Other

birthdays: Stephen Malkmus (Pavement), Ronnie Barnett (The Muffs), Jesse

Rhodes, Nicky "Topper" Headon (Clash), Marie Fredericksson (Roxette), Pete Way

(UFO/Fastway), Lenny Davidson (Dave Clark Five), Tom Morello (Rage Against the

Machine), D-J Milf (E.M.F.), the late Mel Blanc, Patrick Dalheimer (Live), Del

Shaun (Kolorz) and author R.K. Overton. -- Beth Winegarner