Personnel includes: Charles Douglas (vocals); Bill Whitten (guitar, background vocals); Kurt Ralske (guitar, flugelhorn, keyboards); Moe Tucker (drums, percussion); Claudia Silver (background vocals); Siobahn Duffy (background vocals); Manish Kalvakota.
Recorded at Zabriskie Point Studios, New York, New York.
Who is Charles Douglas? How is it possible that he is not adored by legions of fans? These are questions you will undoubtedly ask yourself three songs into this knockout disc. Charles Douglas puts the fun back in rock, sounding like a kid brother of Lou Reed's who's more interested in having a real good time than taking a walk on the wild side.
Instrumentally, THE LIVES OF CHARLES DOUGLAS builds from a solid core of drums, bass, and guitar. Keyboards and horns help color the sound and create some memorable hooks that jump from the speakers and practically demand that you sing along. This disc also features the drum work of Moe Tucker, who sounds just as cool as she did thirty years earlier. After just a few listens to THE LIVES OF CHARLES DOUGLAS, you might very well wind up smiling in the same way that the artist himself is one the album's cover.
Magnet (4-5/00, pp.71-3) - "...steady, even-handed guitar rock....Douglas' snide, ditzy work is a celebration of the still-youthful zeal of discovery....[He] is the perfect fan-turned-star."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] cult classic....If it's Reed's genius that carries Douglas along here, it does so in a such a way that pastiche becomes a pleasure rather than a stick to beat him with."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.80) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "There's a simplicity and immediacy here that's difficult not to enjoy, including loser power-pop anthems dripping with charm, such as 'Earlybird School'..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.90) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Drawled, fatigued vocals, rock'n'roll high school lyrics, -- it's a fun flashback."