The Famous Charisma Discography book jacket

Charisma Discography - Mark Jones

Paperback price: £14.99 (+ shipping).

Kindle price: £8.04.

Title: The Famous Charisma Discography
Author: Mark Jones
Publisher: The Record Press
Paperback: 187 pages
Book Dimensions: 24.6 x 17.2 x 1.25cm
Paperback version: ISBN 978-0-9563531-1-5
Updated Kindle version*: ISBN 978-0-9563531-4-6
Keywords: Famous Charisma Label; Tony Stratton Smith; Michael Palin; String Driven Thing; Genesis; progressive rock; The Nice; Van der Graaf Generator; Monty Python; discography; Vivian Stanshall; prog rock; Audience; Bo Hansson; Malcolm McLaren; Gregory Isaacs; Mad Hatter; scroll label; Peter Gabriel; Steve Hackett; Dame Edna; Sir John Betjeman; Patrick Moraz; Strat Award.


The Famous Charisma Discography features painstakingly-researched discographies of all known UK releases from 1969 to 1987. Those who think that Charisma just meant Genesis are in for a shock. Genesis were there for pretty much the duration, true, but they shared the label with names both well-known and obscure. Amongst Charisma's artists were Van der Graaf Generator, Lindisfarne, Monty Python, Audience, Rare Bird, Barry Humphries, AFT, Brand X, Trevor Billmuss, Malcolm McLaren, The Ferrets, Clifford T. Ward, Charlie Drake, Sir John Betjeman, Michael Nyman, Prince Far I, Delta 5, Peter O’Sullivan, Gary Shearston, String Driven Thing, Bert Jansch, La La, Robert John Godfrey, Refugee, Patrick Moraz, Hawkwind, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, John Arlott, Pierre Cour, Trimmer and Jenkins, Jackson Heights, The Nice, Capability Brown, Joseph Eger, Gordon Turner, Peter Hammill, Bo Hansson, Spreadeagle, Atacama, Hot Thumbs O’Reilly, Vivian Stanshall, Gregory Isaacs and more.

To add further value the book presents the first-known listings of cassette and 8-track cartridge releases, as well as looking at the little-known Charisma Books and Charisma Films offshoots. The book includes a detailed history that discusses both Strat and the organisational set-up at Charisma, supported by memories from those who worked for the company alongside those of artists that made the label such a delight of eclecticism in an industry where confirmation of taste through providing bland, watered-down product is the norm. Charisma bucked this trend and in its heyday provided an intelligent and varied mix of the sublime and the (mostly deliberately) ridiculous for anyone who was willing to listen.

At a glance

  • Forewords from Monty Python's Michael Palin and String Driven Thing's Chris Adams
  • Listings of all known UK LPs and singles, all bar a handful with full track listings
  • The original label design and release date for the majority of records
  • The first published listings of cassette and 8-track releases
  • The original recommended retail price for the majority of LPs and tapes
  • An organisational history of Charisma, with contributions from those who were there

*Kindle version

Differences between the Kindle and paperback versions:

The Kindle version includes various updates, including several corrections to typos and verification of data that had not been verified when the paperback went to press. Also included in the Kindle version are details of several records that were unknown when the original paperback version was published.

The format has been updated because of restrictions of viewing tabulated data on Kindle devices. Every effort has been made for the content to render sensibly on all current Kindle devices, but there may be a few formatting issues on older devices (i.e. occasional pieces of text indented).


"Mind-boggling in its intricacy. Staggering assiduity." - Pete "Rock Family Trees" Frame