Various Artists

One More Chance

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An excellent dip into the Charisma label vaults, One More Chance strikes an ideal balance between in-demand rarities and hard-to-forget classics, to reveal just how dynamic the label's catalog was during its early-to-mid-'70s prime.

The rarities, of course, leap out immediately. Neither Van Der Graaf Generator's stately take on George Martin's "Theme One" nor Genesis' lightweight "Happy the Man" had ever appeared on the bands' own regular albums, leaving a legion of fans searching desperately for copies -- although, having now procured them, most listeners would surely have found their attention straying toward some of the less-lauded names popping up elsewhere on the album. Singing schoolteacher Clifford T. Ward's "Wherewithall," a shocking non-performer when released as a follow-up to his hit "Gaye," is as lovely as any of his other gentle ballads, while the Incredible String Band's "It's a Game" should never have been forced to wait until the Bay City Rollers ran off a cover before becoming a worldwide hit.

Audience's "Indian Summer," Lindisfarne spin-off Jack the Lad's "One More Dance," and "Clear White Light" by Lindisfarne themselves are all high-class efforts, while Bell, Graham With Arc's take on "She Belongs to Me" rates alongside any Dylan cover of the age. And then there's Monty Python's "Eric the Half a Bee," an eminently hummable ode to, indeed, a bisected bumble that might seem curiously out of place amid so many giants of British prog...but really and truly isn't.

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