Manuel "Manny" Charlton (born 25 July 1941 in La Línea de la Concepción, Spain) is a founding member of the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth and was their lead guitarist from 1968 to 1990.
Charlton's family had emigrated from Spain to Dunfermline, Scotland in the 1960s. Prior to joining Nazareth, Charlton played in a few bands, most notably the Mark 5 and later the Red Hawks, until joining the local semi-pro Dunfermline band The Shadettes. In 1968, the band changed their name to Nazareth, inspired by the opening lyric from "The Weight", a song by The Band.
Charlton played a huge part in Nazareth's worldwide success. His bluesy style of playing, combined with Dan McCafferty's vocals, first came to the attention of wider rock audiences when Nazareth toured in 1971 as the opening act for Deep Purple. But by 1973, they were headlining their own shows. Charlton also became the band's producer for many years, succeeding Deep Purple's Roger Glover, after the band decided they wanted to move in a new direction for the Hair of the Dog album. Hair of the Dog attained platinum in the United States and has to date sold in excess of two million copies. It is the band's most well known album, and contains their biggest ever hit "Love Hurts" which reached No. 8 in the U.S., and also holds the record for the number of weeks spent on the Norwegian chart. Charlton also produced the self-titled Dan McCafferty debut LP around this time.
Appetite For Destruction
Axl Rose of Guns N Roses initially wanted "the producer of Nazareth's Hair of the Dog" to produce what would become the band's breakthrough album. Manny Charlton subsequently got the request from Geffen Records and did produce several yet unreleased performances recorded at Sound City (LA) on 4 June 1986. The songs include "Paradise City", two versions of "Move to the City", "November Rain", "Shadow of your Love" (takes one and two), and "Reckless Life". However, after the initial work, Nazareth duties were pressing for Charlton to return to Europe, and Guns N Roses eventually hired Mike Clink to produce the album.
Exit from Nazareth
After leaving Nazareth in 1990, Charlton played some solo shows on the Scottish club circuit, and released his first solo album Drool in 1997, on the Red Steel record label with Neil Miller on vocals. The following year, he relocated to Texas, where he formed the Manny Charlton Band (MCB). The new band released a pair of albums – Stonkin and Klone This – before disbanding in 2003.
In 1995 Charlton sent to id Software, creator of Doom, a cassette tape featuring an untitled song that John Romero would later title "Blood on the Walls". The liner said, "For all the guys and gals at I.D. (sic) who came up with the coolest game this side of hell, kick some demon butt to this!!" It also said "distribute as shareware", in keeping with the old days of PC gaming in which one could get the first third or fourth of the game for free or a reduced price, and buy the full game later. Romero would later find this tape and record it to mp3, providing it for free on his website. The song is actually titled "Doom" from Charlton's album Drool.
In 2004 Manny Charlton released a critically acclaimed solo album Say The Word on the Scottish label River Records. This would be the start of a productive period as a solo artist.
2005 saw the release of Sharp, which is on the whole a covers album, including Tim Hardin's "Hang On To A Dream" and Bob Dylan's "Shelter From The Storm". Later that year, Charlton completed the follow-up to Sharp, titled Sharp Re-Loaded.
In early 2006, Charlton joined the Swedish rock band From Behind who also have the ex-Samson frontman Nicky Moore on vocals. From Behind released their debut album titled Game Over, and toured in support of the album around Europe before disbanding in late 2007.
Charlton then released a solo album Americana Deluxe covering classic songs such as Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk".
2008 saw two bands touring with the name Nazareth as Charlton formed an alternate version of the band called "Nazareth with Manny Charlton", which toured playing the songs he made famous with the original Nazareth. This created some confusion amongst the fans as there were two Nazareth shows occurring in different cities on the same night.
In March 2013, Charlton released Hellacious. co-produced by Gary Bryant (GB Records). This recording was made in California and features an all-star cast including Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge), drummer Walfredo Reyes, Jr. (Santana, Steve Winwood, Lindsay Buckingham, Chicago), Steven Adler (Guns N Roses), and Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) and Robyn DeLarenzo on vocals.
In 2014, Charlton's solo albums "Sharp" and "Sharp Re-Loaded" were issued as a double CD. Neil Jefferies of Classic Rock Magazine commended Manny Charlton's production work, writing: "Among three Dylan songs tackled, All Along The Watchtower is simply stunning, sidestepping both the original and Hendrix’s seminal version with quasi-reggae tones that cement Charlton’s reputation as a truly gifted arranger."
- Nazareth (1971)
- Exercises (1972)
- Razamanaz (1973)
- Loud 'n' Proud (1973)
- Rampant (1974)
- Hair of the Dog (1975)
- Close Enough for Rock 'n' Roll (1976)
- Play 'n' the Game (1976)
- Expect No Mercy (1977)
- No Mean City (1979)
- Malice in Wonderland (1980)
- The Fool Circle (1981)
- 2XS (1982)
- Sound Elixir (1983)
- The Catch (1984)
- Cinema (1986)
- Snakes 'n' Ladders (1989)
- Manny Charlton - Drool (1999)
- Manny Charlton - Bravado (2000)
- Manny Charlton Band – Stonkin’ (2002)
- Manny Charlton Band – Klone This (2003)
- Manny Charlton – Say The Word (2004)
- Manny Charlton - Sharp (2004)
- Manny Charlton – Sharp Re-Loaded (2005)
- From Behind – Game Over (2006)
- Manny Charlton – Americana Deluxe (2007)
- Manny Charlton – Then There’s This (2008)
- Manny Charlton Band - Hellacious (2013)
- Manny Charlton - Sharp / Sharp Re-Loaded (2CD Reissue) (2014)
- Manny Charlton - Solo (2016)
- "Manny Charlton Band - It Does Something" (2012)
- Nazareth with Manny Charlton – Rock ‘N’ Roll Resort (Live) (2008)
- Marseille – Red, White and Slightly Blue (1977)
- Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction (1986) - pre-production
- Jingo De Lunch – B.Y.E (1992)
- Various Artists – A Tribute To Led Zeppelin (2008)
- Robin DeLorenzo – Walkin' Miles in My Shoes (2014)
- The Fluffy Jackets – Fighting Demons (2014) - engineering, production and guitars
- The Mighty Mojos – Mojo Rising (EP) (2015)
- Billy Craig – Another Lazy Day (2015)
- Salem (UK) - Tank on the album Dark Days (2016)