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Records (also known as The Famous Charisma Label) was a British record label
founded in 1969 by former journalist Tony Stratton-Smith. He had previously
acted as manager for rock bands such as The Nice, the Bonzo Dog Band and Van
der Graaf Generator. Gail Colson was label manager and joint managing
The label's most successful acts were Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Julian Lennon, and Monty Python.The first release was an LP by Rare Bird, in (probably) November 1969, and this group gave Charisma its first hit single, Sympathy, in early 1970. (Sympathy was a reworking of Giazotto's 'reconstruction' of Albinoni's Adagio.)
Charisma's first UK label was a distinctive magenta scroll design (though it is generally referred to in record collecting circles as "pink scroll") – magenta was the colour that Stratton Smith chose to represent the label, and this was reflected in his later horseracing colours, red for Manchester United, green for Brazil, and magenta for Charisma. Its second logo (used beginning in 1972) of Sir John Tenniel's drawing of the Mad Hatter (sometimes combined with a montage of other images from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) made the label instantly recognizable. Much of the early distinctive artwork used by the label was created by Paul Whitehead.