Charisma Records

Charisma Records

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Charisma Records

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Charisma was a record label founded by former journalist Tony Stratton-Smith in 1969. Manager for The Nice, the Bonzo Dog Band and Van der Graaf Generator at the time, Stratton-Smith was unable to find a record company willing to release an album by one of his favourite groups so he founded his own company and released the Van der Graaf Generator album The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other himself.

Charisma's first record label was a distinctive "pink scroll" design. The company proudly proclaimed itself "The Famous Charisma Label". Its second logo (used beginning in 1972) of Sir John Tenniel's drawing of the Mad Hatter (sometimes combined with a montage of other images from Alice in Wonderland) made the label instantly recognisable.

Its most successful acts were Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Julian Lennon and the Monty Python comedy team. It also released material by Van der Graaf Generator, The Nice, Lindisfarne and Alan Hull, Hawkwind, The Alan Parsons Project, Clifford T. Ward, String Driven Thing, Jack The Lad, Audience, Vivian Stanshall, Brand X, Sir John Betjeman and Malcolm McLaren. 1970s solo albums of Peter Hammill, Tony Banks and Steve Hackett were also on Charisma Records.

In 1983, Charisma Records was acquired by Virgin Records. Charisma continued to operate until 1986, when Virgin absorbed the label following its purchase by EMI. A new version of Charisma, with no connection to the original label other than the name, operated between 1990 and...
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