Bart Fargo Productions
Ever wonder how many great albums (or books or even films) slip through the cracks in the ceaseless onslaught of new releases? In a casual conversation the other day about the greatness of power-pop band Jellyfish, I was reminded of this incredibly obscure CD by Checkpoint Charley. They make no attempt to hide their stylistic antecedents: there's even a song called "Bellyfish," and the early-Queen arrangements are such that Roy Thomas-Baker would flinch if he heard them. The fun news: you can still get this album and, more importantly, for all the influences, Checkpoint Charley write such wonderful songs that Jellyfish and Queen might wish they'd compsed a few of these on their own.
- RICK KOSTER