Chameleons CD reissues

To paraphrase the name of the third Buzzcocks album, Manchester, England’s Chameleons were a “different kind of tension.” Their roots were definitely in the post-punk tradition — one listen to their debut single “In Shreds” and the early demos compiled on The Fan and the Bellows collection is all the proof you need — but that’s only one aspect of the band’s mesmerizing sound. Like Echo and The Bunnymen and the early U2, The Chameleons were proponents of epic, guitar-effect heavy rock ‘n’ roll. Their 1983 debut Script of The Bridge and 1985’s What Does Anything Mean? Basically have both been given the deluxe dual-disc reissue treatment by Blue Apple Music. The remastering on these releases sounds amazing. I know some of you out there swear by vinyl, but the sound on these CDs is much better than the original wax put out by Statik (yeah, I still have them). Script is the slightly better of the first two Chameleons albums, mainly because the sound is just a tad grittier and there a few more songs! Tracks like “Don’t Fall,” “Monkeyland” and “A Person Isn’t Safe Anywhere These Days” floor you like a prime time Mike Tyson punch. The Bonus disc contains a scorching 1983 concert. What Does Anything Mean? is equally essential, containing two of my all-time favorite Chameleons tunes, “Intrique in Tangiers” and “Return of the Roughnecks” (see video above), plus tacking on the debut single “In Shreds”/”Nostalgia”. The bonus disc is well worth it too, a collection of demos from this album that are at times even more potent than the album versions.

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2 comments

  1. Hey Ben, I found your site when I was looking for a review of Black Nite Crash (who I'm seeing tomorrow supporting The Editors).

    Glad to find it, we share a lot in common… I'm a endurance runner – although not at your pace – 18:00 5K PR, 3:06 Marathon PR….. huge music fan…. and then discover your note about The Chameleons… I went to Uni in Manchester and learned about The Chameleons and The Buzzcocks the (even though I got there in 1989, a few years after they were done). I became a big fan, and saw them on their revival tour a few years ago.

    Great to find your blog.

    Like

  2. Thanks David! Glad you found the blog. I'm a big fan of Black Nite Crash. I know a few runners who are big Chameleons fans. Something about running and post-punk going together I guess. I got into them in '87, just after they broke up but did see them on their reunion tour when I was in LA and I've seen Mark with the Sons of God doing a set of Chameleons songs.

    Like

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