|Tim Burgess inherited Mick Jagger's rock & roll swagger and big lips before Oasis' Liam Gallagher became famous for it. When Burgess debuted with his group The Charlatans in the late ‘80s, he looked and sounded almost interchangeable with many of the Manchester, England artists at the time bangs, baggy pants, and detached, lazy vocals but by embracing other musical styles and moving forward he has actually outlived his contemporaries. Burgess may not receive the critical accolades, British tabloid clippings, and chart hits of the bands who influenced him or he helped inspire; however, he has quietly built a solid career with an impressive body of work that transcended the Madchester, shoegazer, and Britpop movements which his group flirted with.
Burgess was born on May 30, 1967 in Salford, Manchester, England. In 1989, he joined The Charlatans, then consisting of keyboardist Rob Collins, guitarist Jon Baker, bassist Martin Blunt, and drummer Jon Brookes. Burgess was selected after an array of singers had already been auditioned. In 1991, the band was signed to Beggars Banquet. The single The Only One I Know" was hugely successful on U.S. modern-rock stations, peaking at No. 5. Nirvana and their grungy brethren had yet to conquer the alternative airwaves, and The Charlatans were on the verge of an American breakthrough. But that didn't happen as The Only One I Know" had little appeal outside of the college circuit, and after Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit" was unleashed in the summer of '91, it was open season on English acts.
Nevertheless, Burgess continued with The Charlatans while their more popular heroes the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays folded early. Once considered bandwagon jumpers of the Madchester scene, The Charlatans gained tremendous respect by updating their dated mix of ‘60s psychedelic rock and club beats on subsequent records. In 1995, Burgess recorded Life Is Sweet" with the Chemical Brothers, reflecting his love for techno, a genre that his own group eventually incorporated. By the late ‘90s, Burgess displayed an obvious affection for Bob Dylan and Curtis Mayfield in his evolving singing style. Wanting to break away from The Charlatans' formula, Burgess began crafting a solo album in Los Angeles.
Although he is mainly known for one memorable U.S. single with The Charlatans the infectious, organ-driven The Only One I Know" Burgess is a true rock & roll survivor, welcoming and then defying trends while sharpening his own artistic skills underneath the commercial radar. ~ Michael Sutton, All Music Guide