Barbara Charone

Barbara Charone is a UK-based American public relations officer for musical artists. Formerly a journalist and music critic, she wrote regularly for the Chicago Sun-Times, the NME and Rolling Stone while still a university student in the early 1970s. After relocating to England in 1974, she worked as a staff writer for Sounds magazine, where she subsequently rose to the position of deputy editor. During the 1970s, she also contributed feature articles and reviews to publications such as Crawdaddy!, Creem and Circus.

Charone commenced her career in public relations at WEA in 1981. She left in 2000, having become the company's press director, to co-found the agency MBC PR. Her clients at MBC have included Madonna, Depeche Mode, Primal Scream, Robert Plant, Pearl Jam, Rod Stewart and Christina Aguilera. Charone is also the author of an authorized biography of Keith Richards, published in 1979.

Early life and education

Barbara Charone was born and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She wrote a pop music column for her high school newspaper before going on to study English at Northwestern University. In 1971, at the end of her first year of university, she visited England with her parents,[1] an occasion that initiated a lifelong attachment to the UK.[2] She recalls seeing the Who perform on the BBC television show Top of the Pops and thinking, "What a great country."[1]

During her second year at Northwestern, Charone wrote music articles for the Chicago Sun-Times. She then lived in England for a year on a student exchange program, during which she studied creative writing with the film critic from Time Out magazine and began contributing to the New Musical Express.[1] While completing her Bachelor of Arts degree[3] at Northwestern, in 1974, she also became a freelance writer for Rolling Stone. She recalls that her first major piece for the magazine was a cover article on Rod Stewart.[1] That year, her reviews also appeared in the NME and Zoo World.[4]


Music journalism

Speaking in 2009, Charone cited her writing for the Chicago Sun-Times while a teenager as the most important break for her career as a music journalist, since it led to Rolling Stone also accepting her as a freelancer.[2] Charone moved permanently to the UK in the autumn of 1974. She worked as a staff writer for Sounds magazine,[1] in addition to making freelance contributions to Rolling Stone,[5] Crawdaddy!, Creem, Hit Parader and ZigZag through to late 1975.[4] During her three-and-a-half years with Sounds, she was promoted to features editor, and finally to deputy editor of the magazine.[1] The music website The Quietus describes her report for Sounds on the Rolling Stones' 1976 UK tour as a "classic feature".[6]

A longtime fan of the Rolling Stones,[4] Charone befriended Keith Richards and the latter's common law wife, Anita Pallenberg, following their arrest in Toronto in February 1977,[7] when Richards was charged with intent to traffic heroin.[8] She spent the next two years working on an authorized biography of the Stones' guitarist and songwriter,[2] during which she was afforded rare access to the couple's private life at Richards' Redlands estate.[9] Titled Keith Richards, the book was published in 1979 by Futura.[10]

Between 1977 and 1979, Charone's freelance articles and reviews appeared in Creem and Circus.[4] Following the publication of the Richards biography, she says she was reluctant to resume her job as a music critic but continued working as a freelance journalist until 1981.[1]

Publicity and public relations

Charone began a career in publicity and public relations when she joined WEA, or Warner Music, in 1981. She initially wrote biographical and news items on the many artists signed to the label; later, she became head of the company's press department, a position she held for thirteen years, until 2000.[11] In addition to representing acts she had known from her time as a music journalist, including Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton,[1] Charone was an early champion of Madonna before the latter achieved international fame.[11] Charone has also cited Seal's elevation to stardom as a satisfying result in her PR career.[1]

In November 2000,[12] Charone co-founded the public relations company MBC PR with Moira Bellas, her former boss at Warner Music.[2] A year later, as joint directors of MBC, she and Bellas were recognized as Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy/Brit Trust "Women of the Year".[12] The agency's clients have included musical artists such as Madonna, R.E.M.,[4] Robert Plant, Christina Aguilera, Anastacia, Cher,[11] Primal Scream, Depeche Mode, Simply Red, Pearl Jam, Stereophonics, Rufus Wainwright, Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz and Keith Richards, together with comedians David Walliams, Graham Norton[12] and Russell Brand.[13]

Charone won the Music Week Press Award in 2006 and 2009.[3][12] In June 2008, The Guardian included her on its list of "The 20 most powerful celebrity makers". The newspaper dubbed Charone "Britain's most powerful music PR", citing the recent campaigns in which she had helped revitalize the careers of Madonna and Neil Diamond and establish those of Duffy and Mark Ronson.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hughes, Scott (October 13, 1997). "CV: BARBARA CHARONE director of press, WEA Records". The Independent. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Wallace, Cathy (April 29, 2009). "Profile: Barbara Charone, director, MBC PR". PR Week. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Barbara Charone". Debrett's People of Today. Debrett's. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Barbara Charone". Rock's Backpages. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "Barbara Charone". Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  6. ^ The Quietus staff (July 20, 2009). "Rock's Backpages: 'The Rolling Stones: The Gospel According To The Glimmer Twins'". The Quietus. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Charone, Barbara (1979). Keith Richards. London: Futura Publications. p. i. ISBN 0-7088-1658-4.
  8. ^ Norman, Philip (2001). The Stones. London: Sidgwick & Jackson. pp. 453–54. ISBN 0-283-07277-6.
  9. ^ Bockris, Victor (1992). Keith Richards: The Unauthorised Biography. London: Hutchinson. p. 202. ISBN 0-09-174397-4.
  10. ^ Charone, Barbara (1979). Keith Richards. London: Futura Publications. p. iv. ISBN 0-7088-1658-4.
  11. ^ a b c Pattenden, Siân (2007). How to Make it in the Music Business. London: Virgin Books. pp. 148–49. ISBN 978-0-7535-1243-2.
  12. ^ a b c d "About Us". MBC PR. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  13. ^ a b McLean, Craig (June 22, 2008). "The 20 most powerful celebrity makers" > "10. Barbara Charone". The Guardian. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
Far East Man

"Far East Man" is a song written by English musicians George Harrison and Ronnie Wood, each of whom released a recording of the song in 1974. Wood's version appeared on I've Got My Own Album to Do, his debut solo album, and Harrison's on Dark Horse. Their only official songwriting collaboration, "Far East Man" is an affirmation of friendship in the face of life's obstacles and musically reflects the two guitarists' adoption of the soul genre. Written mostly by Harrison, the composition has been interpreted as a restatement of the humanitarian message expressed in his 1971 single "Bangla Desh", and a tribute to Indian musician Ravi Shankar.

The song originated during a period of romantic intrigue surrounding Harrison's marriage to Pattie Boyd and Wood's to his wife Krissie, which culminated in Boyd leaving Harrison for his and Wood's mutual friend Eric Clapton. Wood recorded "Far East Man" in July 1974 at The Wick, his Surrey home that had also become an established meeting place for many leading rock musicians. Harrison sang and played slide guitar on this version, while other contributors included Wood's Faces bandmate Ian MacLagan, Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, and drummer Andy Newmark. The Harrison recording took place at his Friar Park studio and features backing from Billy Preston, Tom Scott, Willie Weeks and Newmark, all of whom then played on his 1974 North American tour with Shankar. Opening with a spoken dedication to Frank Sinatra, the Dark Horse recording was marred by Harrison's damaged singing voice – a result of his rushing to complete the album's vocal parts in Los Angeles, while simultaneously rehearsing for the tour.

Several commentators have singled out "Far East Man" as a highlight of Harrison's 1974 album. While noting the two composers' troubled private lives during the song's creation, author Simon Leng describes it as "a wistful shrug of the shoulders set to music". In 2002, Wood released a concert DVD titled Far East Man, which included a live version of the track. Recorded in December 2001, two weeks after Harrison's death from cancer, this performance features special guests Andrea Corr and Slash.

Hit Parader

Hit Parader was an American music magazine that operated between 1942 and 2008. A monthly publication, it was a general popular music title until the 1980s, when its focus turned to the genres of hard rock and heavy metal. The magazine reached its peak during the 1980s as heavy metal music achieved high levels of popularity and commercial success.

House of Rufus

House of Rufus is a collection of six studio albums, two live albums (one being a double album), four additional albums of previously unreleased material, and six DVDs recorded by Canadian-American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, reissued as a 19-disc box set in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2011. Wainwright's official site claimed that the collection "spans Rufus' entire career and represents the most complete collection of Rufus Wainwright recordings to date."The box set's title commemorates his five-night residency of the same name at London's Royal Opera House during July 18–23, 2011. Only 3,000 copies were produced for worldwide distribution. The collection contains "hard-to-find" tracks and is encased in a red velvet-covered book. While some reviewers questioned the need for such an extensive collection, critical reception of the box set was mostly positive.

Insatiable (album)

Insatiable is the debut studio album by Irish singer-songwriter and Girls Aloud member Nadine Coyle. The album was released on 8 November 2010 via Black Pen Records, a record label formed by Coyle in partnership with the UK's largest supermarket chain Tesco.

Milwaukee at Last!!!

Milwaukee at Last!!! is the seventh album (and second live album) by Canadian-American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, released in the United States on September 22, 2009. The album consists of live recordings from his August 27, 2007 performance at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in support of his previous studio album, Release the Stars (2007). Documentary film director Albert Maysles recorded a film of the same name for DVD, also released on September 22 in the US.

More Songs About Buildings and Food

More Songs About Buildings and Food is the second studio album by American rock band Talking Heads, released on July 14, 1978 by Sire Records. It was the first of three albums produced by collaborator Brian Eno, and saw the band move toward a danceable style, crossing singer David Byrne's unusual delivery with new emphasis on the rhythm section composed of bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz.

More Songs established the Talking Heads as a critical success, reaching number 29 on the US Billboard Pop Albums chart and number 21 on the UK Albums Chart. The album featured the band's first top-thirty single, a cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River".

Nadine Coyle

Nadine Elizabeth Louise Coyle (born 15 June 1985) is an Irish singer, songwriter, actress, and model. Coyle rose to fame in the early 2000s as a member of the girl group Girls Aloud. The group amassed a joint fortune of £30 million by May 2010. With Girls Aloud, Coyle has been successful in achieving a string of 20 consecutive UK top ten singles (including four number ones), two UK number one albums, and received nominations for five BRIT Awards, winning Best Single in 2009 for "The Promise".

Coyle released her debut solo album Insatiable and its title track was released on 8 November 2010 through her own label, Black Pen Records, in partnership with supermarket giant Tesco. In late 2017, she released her new single "Go to Work" on Virgin EMI Records. Although the record failed to chart on the Official Singles Chart, it did chart at number 57 on the Official Singles Sales Chart, which counts only paid-for sales in the UK, and at number 52 on the

Scottish Singles Chart. Coyle released "Girls on Fire" as the first song from her upcoming EP on 8 February 2018, "Gossip" on 23 February 2018 and "September Song" on 9 March 2018. "Something in Your Bones" was released on 23 March 2018, as well as the Nadine EP.

On the Road to Freedom

On the Road to Freedom is an album by English rock musician Alvin Lee and American gospel singer Mylon LeFevre. Released in November 1973, it was the first solo project by Lee, who had achieved international success through his leadership of the blues rock band Ten Years After. The album was recorded at Lee's home studio in south Oxfordshire, which he and LeFevre built especially for the project. The guest musicians at the sessions included George Harrison, Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Ron Wood and Mick Fleetwood. "Fallen Angel" and the Harrison-composed "So Sad (No Love of His Own)" were issued as singles from the album.

On the Road to Freedom was well received by music critics, although Lee's more subtle guitar playing and new musical direction were not welcomed by fans of Ten Years After. Lee released a sequel to the album in 2012, titled Still on the Road to Freedom.

Rebel Heart Tour

Rebel Heart Tour was the tenth concert tour by American singer Madonna, staged in support of her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart (2015). Comprising 82 shows, the tour visited North America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. It began on September 9, 2015, in Montreal, Canada, at the Bell Centre and concluded on March 20, 2016, in Sydney, Australia at Allphones Arena. The tour was officially announced on March 1, 2015, through Madonna's website and was led by Live Nation Entertainment's Global Touring Division, helmed by Arthur Fogel; this was the fifth collaboration between Madonna and Live Nation as well as her third tour to be promoted by the company. The all-arena Rebel Heart Tour also visited cities where the singer had not performed before, and was her first to visit Australia since The Girlie Show World Tour (1993).

Rehearsals for the tour commenced following its announcement and lasted 10–12 hours per day, with involvement from Madonna's team of creative directors, producers, designers and choreographers. It was inspired by shows like Cirque du Soleil and Chinese New Year, as well as by films like 300 (2006) and Grease (1978). Madonna enlisted Jamie King as the creative director, and Megan Lawson and Jason Yong as choreographers. The tour featured costumes from Moschino, Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci and Swarovski jewelry, and an elevated stage with a runway and a heart-shaped front. Multimedia was created by Moment Factory, while sound and light were produced by Clay Paky and DiGiCo, respectively.

The central theme of the show was love and romance, and consisted of four segments, with each inspired by different topics. Inspirations varied from the cover artwork of Rebel Heart, Joan of Arc and Tokyo to rock and roll, Latin culture and partying. The set list had more than 20 songs picked from Madonna's career along with material from Rebel Heart. Critics gave the tour generally positive reviews, praising Madonna's stage presence, vocals and the imagery presented.

The tour courted a number of controversies, but attained commercial success. It was attended by an audience of over 1.05 million with all the shows being sold out. Rebel Heart Tour grossed $169.8 million, extending Madonna's record as the highest-grossing solo touring artist with total gross of $1.131 billion, beginning with the Blond Ambition Tour (1990). This ranked her in third place on the all-time top-grossing Billboard Boxscore list, only behind the Rolling Stones and U2. The shows of March 19–20, 2016, performed at the Allphones Arena, were filmed by Danny Tull and Nathan Rissman for the film Madonna: The Rebel Heart Tour. It premiered on December 9, 2016, on American cable channel Showtime while a live CD/DVD and Blu-ray was released on September 15, 2017.

Selling England by the Pound

Selling England by the Pound is the fifth studio album from the English progressive rock band Genesis, released in October 1973 on Charisma Records. It reached  No.  3 in the UK and  No. 70 in the U.S. A single from the album, "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", was released in February 1974 and became the band's first top 30 hit in the UK.

The album was recorded in August 1973 following the tour supporting the previous album, Foxtrot (1972). The group set aside a short period of time to write new material, which covered a number of themes, including the loss of English folk culture and an increased American influence, which was reflected in the title. Following the album's release, the group set out on tour, where they drew an enthusiastic reception from fans.

Critics and the band have given mixed opinions of the album, though guitarist Steve Hackett has said it is his favourite Genesis record. The album has continued to sell and has reached Gold certification by the British Phonographic Industry and the Recording Industry Association of America. It was remastered for CD in 1994 and 2007. Several of the album tracks became fan favourites and featured as a regular part of the band's live setlist into the 1980s.

Sounds (magazine)

Sounds was a UK weekly pop/rock music newspaper, published from 10 October 1970 to 6 April 1991. It was produced by Spotlight Publications (part of Morgan Grampian), which was set up by Jack Hutton and Peter Wilkinson, who left Melody Maker to start their own company. Sounds was their first project, a weekly paper devoted to progressive rock and described by Hutton, to those he was attempting to recruit from his former publication, as "a leftwing Melody Maker". Sounds was intended to be a weekly rival to titles such as Melody Maker and New Musical Express (NME). It was well known for giving away posters in the centre of the paper (initially black and white, but colour from late 1971) and later for covering heavy metal (especially the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM)) and Oi! music in its late 1970s–early 1980s heyday.Sounds was one of the first music paper in its coverage of punk; while maintaining its reputation for getting there first. Mick Middles covered the Manchester music scene for Sounds from 1978 to 1982 writing about many of the up and coming bands of the time from Buzzcocks and Slaughter & The Dogs to The Fall (band) and Joy Division.. John Robb (musician) joined in 1987 and came up with the term "Britpop". The paper's editors realised the importance of its regional audience and had freelancers across the UK contributing gig reviews and articles about up-and-coming local bands.Keith Cameron wrote about Nirvana after Robb carried out the first ever interview with them. Frontman Kurt Cobain was often seen wearing a 'Sounds' shirt.

One of the trinity of British music weeklies, along with NME and Melody Maker, Sounds folded in 1991 after the parent company, United Newspapers, sold all their music titles to EMAP Metro. Morgan-Grampian had been acquired by United Business Media – then known as United News and Media – in 1987, first as part of the United Advertising Publications (UAP) division and later as part of the then CMP Information portfolio.

A legacy of Sounds was the creation of the heavy metal/rock magazine Kerrang!, which was originally issued as a supplement before being spun off as a separate publication.Contributors included Garry Bushell, Mick Middles, Geoff Barton, John Robb, Mick Sinclair, Caroline Coon, Antonella Gambotto, Vivien Goldman, Jonh Ingham, Alan Moore (a.k.a. "Curt Vile"), Lizo Mzimba, John Peel, Barbara Charone, Edwin Pouncey (a.k.a. "Savage Pencil"), Cathi Unsworth, Jon Ronson, Jon Savage, Sylvie Simmons, Penny Valentine, Marguerite Van Cook, Mary Anne Hobbs, Mat Snow, James Brown (who went on to form Loaded), Andy Ross (who wrote as 'Andy Hurt' and went on to form Food Records), Steve Lamacq, Kev F. Sutherland and Russ Carvell's UT strip, and photographers Andy Phillips, Virginia Turbett, Tony Mottram, Ross Halfin and Janette Beckman.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Genesis, released as a double album on 18 November 1974 by Charisma Records. It is their last album recorded with Peter Gabriel as their lead singer before his departure from the group in 1975. A concept album, it centres around a journey of self-discovery of Rael, a Puerto Rican youth living in New York City and the bizarre incidents and characters he meets along the way. During the writing and recording sessions, Gabriel temporarily left the band to work with William Friedkin which, along with his insistence to write all the lyrics, put strains on the rest of the band.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was released to initial mixed critical reception, though it has since received critical acclaim. It peaked at No. 10 on the UK Album Chart and No. 41 on the US Billboard 200. Two singles were released in the UK, "Counting Out Time" and "The Carpet Crawlers" while the title track was released as a single in the US. Genesis supported the album with their 1974–1975 tour across North America and Europe, playing the album in its entirety across 102 dates. The album continued to sell, and reached Gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1990 for shipment of 500,000 copies.

Zoo World

Zoo World was an American bi-weekly rock music magazine that operated between 1971 and 1975. Available throughout the United States, it was published in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and intended as a rival to Rolling Stone. In early issues of the magazine, the cover carried a subtitle reading: "The Music Megapaper".The publication was funded by Florida businessman Jack P. Hunt. Its offices were in a building he owned at the corner of Oakland Park Boulevard and Bayview Drive. The magazine grew to include offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, with a combined staff of 60 under publisher Les Feldman. A contemporary report in the Lauderdale Ledger described Zoo World as a "bi-weekly tabloid featuring record reviews, feature articles on rock celebrities and gossipy news stories on the music world".Among its contributors were journalists and authors Jim Esposito, Arthur Levy, Michael Gross, Jon Tiven, Nick Tosches, Wayne Robins, John Swenson, Steven Rosen, Gene Sculatti, Ira Robbins, David Rensin and Barbara Charone. In an online discussion at the music critics' website, in February 2013, author and journalist Richard Riegel recalled that Zoo World resembled Rolling Stone in format, and he likened the title's "editorial personality" to that of Crawdaddy! following the departure of that magazine's founding editor, Paul Williams.By the time of its demise in January 1975, Zoo World enjoyed a circulation of 300,000. Although Feldman and his colleagues were confident that the magazine remained a viable title, Hunt's withdrawal of his patronage forced its closure, the decision for which was announced to employees in December 1974. Dated January 2, 1975, the cover of the magazine's 75th and final issue carried a picture of soul singer Barry White.

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