Chameleons Biography

The Chameleons formed in 1981 in North Manchester and went on to make three great albums and a clutch of singles. Posthumously, a flood of releases from the archives has enhanced their reputation as a cult and one of the most underrated bands in the history of rock music. After a Peel session in 1981 they were signed to CBS and released 'In Shreds' a wondrous moment of post punk energy. Refusing to compromises their art they were unceremoniously dumped by the major and settled with relatively obscure statik records. In 1983 the debut album Script of the bridge was release, with its trademark production and intelligent brooding guitar pop. The album was followed by a long silence during which the band road tested an extensive unreleased batch of songs familiar to listeners of the John Peel show. These eventually surfaced on the majestic 'What does anything mean? Basically' an album dominated by the tasteful use of synthesizers. Lambasted by the band for its supposedly poor production it remains a towering achievement of accomplished in the face of an instability which always threatened the band and rooted in business uncertainties and lack of commercial success which prevailed despite superb records and a worldwide following. This instability was alleviated slightly when the bands stunning artistic high standards were acknowledged when they were signed to Geffen/Wea. In the summer of 1986 a single 'Tears' appeared. It was their finest moment, miles ahead of their lesser and more successful contemporaries. However it did nothing to increase their commercial standing but merely consolidated the fanaticism of their devoted following.

It was followed by 'Strange times' a contrasting display of blunted depressives angst and folkish whimsy flanked by classic Chameleons moments like 'Swamp thing'. Internal problems and the death of manger Tony Fletcher accelerated the bands demise in 1987. Immediately prior to the break up the band recorded four songs which eventually comprised a posthumous E.P. released in 1990 under the moniker 'Tony Fletcher walked on water'. With hindsight the E.P served merely to explain what a loss the band were. Their internal problems were evidently channeled into producing a record of unbelievably high quality which further mystified fans and critics as to the bands utter lack of mainstream recognition. To the few who know they remain an undiscovered treasure, unsung unheralded and unknown, dwarfed by legions of lessors with not an ounce of the genius inspiration and integrity of this wonderful group.

Mark Burgess - Vocals / Bass
John Lever - Drums
Reg Smithies - Guitar & Artwork
Dave Fielding - Guitar

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