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THE CHAMELEONS

The Chameleons

Elevated Living - Live In Manchester, London And Spain

    • Live extravaganza from post-punk “sonic cathedrals” (©The Independent), The Chameleons featuring live sets recorded in the ‘80s across two CDs and one DVD

    • Featuring two live shows at The Hacienda and Camden Palace that have never been previously released on CD and an earlier set at the Gallery Club

    • Plus a DVD featuring all three shows and an episode of Catalan TV programme Arsenal devoted to the band

    Formed in Greater Manchester in 1981, The Chameleons pioneered post punk, combining Reg Smithies’ and Dave Fielding’s layered, shimmering guitars, drummer John Lever’s tribal rhythms and Mark Burgess’ driving bass and impassioned vocals with lyrics often reflecting the anxiety and alienation of the Thatcher era.

    “All tribal percussion and jagged guitar shards straining to frame vast vistas with one hand while clutching their alienated urban roots with the other.” NME

    The Chameleons are an acknowledged influence on future generations of indie and alternative rock bands including Stone Roses, Oasis, The Charlatans, Smashing Pumpkins, The Flaming Lips, The Killers, The Horrors, The National and Interpol.

    ‘Elevated Living’ includes their two celebrated hometown Manchester shows, ‘Live At The Gallery Club’ (1982) and ‘Live At The Hacienda’ (1983) and their superb show filmed for the ITV, ‘Live At The Camden Palace’ (1984) on both CD and DVD. The latter two shows are presented on CD for the first time.

    The DVD also includes an episode of Catalan TV programme Arsenal devoted entirely to the band. Broadcast in January 1986, it mixes four tracks taken from a live show at the Discoteca 666 in Barcelona from 1985 (also on CD) plus studio performances and interviews with singer/bassist Mark Burgess and drummer John Lever.

    The Gallery show includes rarities ‘Nathan’s Phase’ and ‘Things I Wished I’d Said’, while The Hacienda includes early versions of ‘A Person Isn’t Safe Anywhere These Days’ under the working title of ‘Men Of Steel’ and ‘Thursday’s Child’ as ‘Years Ago’.

    TRACK LISTING

    DISC 1:
    LIVE AT THE GALLERY CLUB,
    MANCHESTER, 18.12.82
    1 PAPER TIGERS
    2 NATHAN’S PHASE
    3 DON’T FALL
    4 PLEASURE & PAIN
    5 HERE TODAY
    6 IN SHREDS
    7 UP THE DOWN ESCALATOR
    8 SECOND SKIN
    9 MONKEYLAND
    10 AS HIGH AS YOU CAN GO
    11 THINGS I WISH I’D SAID
    12 VIEW FROM A HILL
    LIVE AT THE HACIENDA,
    MANCHESTER, 28.1.83
    13 PAPER TIGERS
    14 PLEASURE & PAIN
    15 MEN OF STEEL
    16 YEARS AGO
    17 IN SHREDS
    18 DON’T FALL
    19 SECOND SKIN

    DISC 2:
    LIVE AT THE CAMDEN PALACE,
    LONDON 9.11.84
    1 DON’T FALL
    2 INTRIGUE IN TANGIERS
    3 MONKEYLAND
    4 SECOND SKIN
    5 SINGING RULE BRITANNIA
    (WHILE THE WALLS CLOSE IN)
    6 PLEASURE & PAIN
    7 RETURN OF THE
    ROUGHNECKS
    8 A PERSON ISN’T SAFE
    ANYWHERE THESE DAYS
    9 IN SHREDS
    10 SPLITTING IN TWO
    11 HERE TODAY
    12 THURSDAY’S CHILD
    13 PAPER TIGERS
    ARSENAL: LIVE AT DISCOTECA
    666, BARCELONA 7.6.85
    14 HERE TODAY
    15 RETURN OF THE ROUGHNECKS
    16 LESS THAN HUMAN
    17 SPLITTING IN TWO

    DISC 3:
    DVD: LIVE AT THE GALLERY CLUB, MANCHESTER, 18.12.82 TRACKLISTING AS DISC ONE
    LIVE AT THE HACIENDA, MANCHESTER, 28.1.83 TRACKLISTING AS DISC ONE
    LIVE AT THE CAMDEN PALACE, LONDON, 9.11.84 TRACKLISTING AS DISC TWO

    ARSENAL: (SPANISH TV) 1985
    1 DON’T FALL
    2 SINGING RULE BRITANNIA
    (WHILE THE WALLS CLOSE IN)
    3 HERE TODAY
    4 RETURN OF THE ROUGHNECKS
    5 MONKEYLAND
    6 LESS THAN HUMAN
    7 PLEASURE & PAIN
    8 SECOND SKIN
    9 HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
    10 IN SHREDS
    11 SPLITTING IN TWO
    NTSC DVD Visual Content.
    FSK - 0

    Tony Skinkis & Iman Kakai-Lazell

    The Chameleons : Tomorrow, Remember Yesterday 1980-2020

      A photography book of over 120 hand sewn pages, capturing The Chameleons & Chameleons Vox band members through the years, from 1980 - 2020.

      This beautiful collectable book, has been long overdue for any Chameleons fan, giving an insight of friendship, moments and road life all captured through the closest person to them. 

      "My fascination for photography began in 1966 when I got my first camera a Kodak instamatic, I've been taking photos ever since, for me photography has always been about capturing the moment - a documentary really - to preserve that moment in the blink of a shutter. Photographing The Chameleons & ChameleonsVox has been a big part of that timeline this book is about that period, and I'm eternally grateful to Iman for publishing this book...She glances at the photo and the pilot light of memory flickers in her eyes..." Tony Skinkis

      The Chameleons

      Return Of The Roughnecks (Live At The Ritz Manchester)

        Almost 35 years on, The Chameleons return once again, to one of Manchester’s most iconic venues, playing the original set they played that evening...

        The atmospheric post-vocalist/bassist Mark Burgess began with the Cliches, guitarists Reg Smithies and Dave Fielding arrived from the Years, and drummer John Lever (who quickly replaced founding member Brian Schofield) originated with the Politicians. After establishing themselves with a series of high-profile BBC sessions, the Chameleons signed to Epic and debuted with the EP Nostalgia, a tense, moody set produced by Steve Lillywhite which featured the single 'In Shreds.'.... The quartet was soon released from its contract with Epic, but then signed to Statik and returned in 1983 with the band's first full-length effort, Script of the Bridge. What Does Anything Mean? Basically followed in 1985, and with it came a new reliance on stylish production; following its release, the Chameleons signed to Geffen and emerged the following year with Strange Times. The dark, complex record proved to be the Chameleons' finale, however, when they split following the sudden death of manager Tony Fletcher; while Burgess and Lever continued on in the Sun & the Moon, Smithies and Fielding later reunited in the Reegs. In 1993, Burgess surfaced with his proper solo album Zima Junction. He and his band the Sons of God toured America the following year.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: There's no mistaking The Chameleons, and they're in fine fettle here, smashing through a perfectly performed set of classics and sounding every bit the band we remember at Manchester's iconic Ritz.

        TRACK LISTING

        Side 1

        Silence Sea & Sky
        Pleasure & Pain
        Here Today
        Intrigue In Tangiers

        Side 2

        Singing Rule Britannia
        Return Of The Roughnecks
        Perfume Garden
        Less Than Human

        Side 3

        Nostalgia
        Second Skin
        One Flesh

        Side 4

        Home Is Where The Heart Is
        PS Goodbye
        In Shreds
        A Person Isn’t Safe

        7”

        Looking Inwardly
        Don’t Fall

        The Chameleons

        What Does Anything Mean? Basically - 2CD Collectors Edition

        A collectors edition of The Chameleons second studio album, "What Does Anything Mean? Basically" is via Blue Apple Music. The 2-disc set contains a re-mastered version of the original album (including the 1981 "In Shreds"/"Nostalgia" single), plus a bonus disc featuring previously unreleased demo recordings. The album is presented in a Super Jewel Case with new artwork by Reg Smithies.

        "'What Does Anything Mean? Basically' proved to be that rarity of sophomore albums, something that at once made the band all the more unique in its sound while avoiding a repetition of earlier work. Ironically, the first track, "Silence, Sea and Sky," turned out to be the least Chameleons-like track ever, being only a two-minute synth intro piece played by Mark Burgess and Dave Fielding. But with the gentle intro to the absolutely wonderful "Perfumed Garden," lyrically one of Burgess' best nostalgic pieces, it rapidly becomes clear exactly which band is doing this. The empathetic fire that infused Burgess' words for songs like "Singing Rule Britannia (While the Walls Close In)," a poetic attack on the Thatcher government, finds itself matched as always by brilliant playing all around. John Lever's command of the drums continues to impress, and Fielding and Reg Smithies remain guitarists par excellence; the searing, sky-bound solo on "Return of the Roughnecks" alone is a treasure. The sublime combination of the rushing "Looking Inwardly" and the soaring, blasting rip "One Flesh," leading into a relaxed instrumental coda, anchors the second side, while "P.S. Goodbye" provides a lovely, melancholic conclusion to an astounding record." - All Music

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Martin says: If ever there was a perfect example of the right sound at the wrong time on an even wronger label, The Chameleons were it. Sentimental kitchen sink tales of ordinary Manchester wasted lives; of drugs, love and stoned existential evenings set against a glorious, dreamy post punk soundtrack to a winter's day.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Silence Sea And Sky
        2. Perfume Garden
        3. Intrigue In Tangiers
        4. Return Of The Roughnecks
        5. Singing Rule Britannia (While The Walls Close In)
        6. On The Beach
        7. Looking Inwardly
        8. One Flesh
        9. Home Is Where The Heart Is
        10. PS Goodbye
        11. In Shreds
        12. Nostalgia

        Bonus Disc (Original Album Demos)
        1. Intrigue In Tangiers
        2. Return Of The Roughnecks
        3. Singing Rule Britannia (While The Walls Close In)
        4. Perfume Garden
        5. On The Beach
        6. One Flesh 
        7. Home Is Where The Heart Is
        8. Looking Inwardly
        9. PS Goodbye 


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