Disc tip: "Songs One Through Twelve"

Checkpoint Charley

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

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