The Charlatans U.K.: Rob Collins (vocals, keyboards); Tim Burgess (vocals); Mark Collins (guitar); Martin Blunt (bass); Jon Brookes (drums); Dave Charles (percussion).
Additional personnel: Martin Duffy (keyboards).
Producers: Charlatans U.K., Dave Charles, Ric Peet.
Recorded at Monnow Valley Studios, Rockfield Studios, Wales.
One UK indie band to have well and truly lasted the course, the Charlatans are now seen as old lags of a new scene. With this, their most successful album to date, they lifted themselves from a pit of despair after the tragic death of keyboard player Rob Collins. Tragic and ironic because Collins gave their sound an original edge with his full-sounding Hammond organ. His replacement to complete the recording of this album was Martin Duffy from Primal Scream. Excellent songs such as "North Country Boy" and "How High" are minor classics and the final instrumental doodle, "Rob's Theme," is a fitting tribute to Collins.
Rolling Stone (7/10-24/97, pp.120-122) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...The Charltans scramble up industrial hip-hop soul with spirited, melodic '60s-rock influences, but they never let their postmodernism detract from their base simplicity of well-crafted songs and unabashed rockin'..."
Entertainment Weekly (7/18/97, p.84) - "...The Charlatans confront death...with grace, dignity, and new creative commitment. Wheezy warbler Tim Burgess--whose fascination with hip-hop is distancing the band from its hazy Madchester past--floats ghostlike over fat Farfisa melodies..." - Rating: B
Q (1/98, p.111) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1997."
Q (5/97, p.118) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...The trio of opening tracks....are simply the best songs The Charlatans have ever recorded: great grooves, strong melodies....Tellin' Stories completes The Charlatans' transformation from also-rans to British perennials."
Melody Maker (12/20-27/97, pp.66-67) - Ranked #3 on Melody Maker's list of 1997's "Albums Of The Year."
Melody Maker (4/19/97, p.51) - "...if you take on TELLIN' STORIES you get your head blown off....TELLIN' STORIES is an unfailingly warm record...The Charlatans have genuine charm....It's f***ing storming..."