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The Chameleons UK

The atmospheric pop band the Chameleons formed in Manchester, England, in 1981 from the ashes of a number of local groups: 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.

As the '90s came and went, the four members of the Chameleons UK continued to work on music and see one another on a personal basis. While their own musical projects kept them busy, a reunion was practically inevitable. The Chameleons reconnected in January 2000 to prep for three May dates in England. The acoustic-based, self-released Strip was available by showtime and for a limited time only. Additional European dates followed throughout the summer, and by fall the Chameleons UK played their first American shows in nearly 15 years. Several live efforts appeared shortly thereafter. Why Call It Anything? (2001) marked the Chameleons' first studio album since 1986's Strange Times. This Never Ending Now appeared two years later. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

@CoolerThanY o u

Script from the Bridge is under The Chameleons instead of The Chameleons UK (same band). But post-Strange Times recordings, and the Tony Fletcher LP, should DEFINITELY be on here (Denims & Curls, off of the LP, is one of their best).
they have way more albums than that pandora!! geez no justice!!! but man i freakin love this band!!!
One of my favorite bands. The perfect combination of (post?) punk and the emerging New Wave of the 80s, with a touch of the burgeoning alternative genre being vultivated at the time by bands like R.E.M. and Sonic Youth. The Chameleons just have a beautiful sound all around. I'd love to see them live.
lowonmemory
Pop???
ok
Saw them in SF in 1987 at the I Beam. One of the best shows I ever saw. Just incredible energy.
rikkcandelej o
No one cares
I see the poet and the fool, walking hand in hand to school...
My favorite Chem UK song is Paradiso
tleidig
I wish I had found this band much, much earlier as they are tremendous.
erisdulig
This is one of those bands that didn't get very popular but who influenced bands that did become popular. They were too ahead of their time for their own good.
zarrfla
Wonderful unique sound. Still holds up in the present day.
I love going back in time to a music that was so far ahead of it's time..
by far the best band ever!!!! Ive been following them since I was a kid ( 46 now) and they sound incredible- What a shame they've een so overlooked- the guitar work and Mark's voice are so heartfelt- and still makes me blast this song- INSIDE OUT, DONT FALL are my alltime faves
Strange Times! Great stuff!
mcdavis15
Fell in love with them when I first heard "In Shreds" on the radio in the 80s and "Second Skin" still ranks as one of my top fifteen songs of all time. Fantastic in concert.
fIRST TIME I HEARD "IN SHREADS" BACK IN 82 I INSTANTLY LOVED THIS SONG AND BAND. CLASSIC...
just seen furs days ago.oh yeah,for lack of better words.
in its autumn for the winter ,comes mans last mad surge of youth.what on earth are you talking about?dont fall, script of the bridge.
The perfection of this music finally found me across time and the pond.
isleofdogs
I only know about this band because Second Skin showed up on The Peel Session collection called Manchester, So Much to Answer For. I added them here on Pandora and have found I like a lot of their stuff.
This is a band that I just can't believe I wasn't fully aware of and a complete fan of 25 years ago! I guess thats what happens when you grow up in a small town in the mountains and not in the city. I was able to discover 90% of the great music that existed at the time but not 100% of it! Oh well, better late than never! And so now the hunt begins to find the album!
It begs the question: If you haven't heard them, then where the hell have you been?
It started with Swamp Thing for me. Magic!
Like a greek oracle Mark Burgess allows the listener to just bearly hear and understand the carefully structured tones that arrive through the mist as a puzzle in a riddle. I love to let go of definitions and simply feel the words or sounds. What a creative era. I miss the myrth and mystery of the 80s.
the chameleons UK is coming to san francisco at cafe dunord on the 28th of septemeber. so there!
GO SEE MARK BURGESS THIS MONTH! He's on tour! July & August 2010
myspace/cham e l e o n s v o x
One of if not the best post punk bands ever! In doubt, listen to Second Skin, what a masterpiece! If you like em' check out an obscure band called The Names. Very similar in mood and sound.
djelrock
I absolutely LOOOVE THE CHAMELEONS!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! I have ALL THEIR ALBUMS and I wish they'd never stopped playing. I saw them a few years ago and they blew me away!!!!!!!! !
sbholl84
Good god I love this band. I had heard of them, but Pandora actually let me listen to them for the first time. Now I own all of their albums. One of the most solid bands I've ever heard. No missteps whatsoever. They rank right up there with Joy Division and the Smiths as one of my all time favorites.
borje56
Saw them live in 87 and then again in 2002, and both times they were just incredible! Always a joy when one of their songs plays here. Still one of my all time faves....
i love this band
i wish i could of seen them live =(
sybarite_bab y
i have to thank my uncle and aunt who got me hooked starting with "swamp thing"
from there.... it was history
Yeah, beautiful gauze-like, hard-edged and rough the next.
So take this into today and go listen to Roy Montgomery
of New Zealand fame.
gholmes63
Ever since discovering these guys about a year ago, I've been absolutely hooked. I still don't quite know how I missed them back in the 80's. Comparisons are always dangerous, either falling short or overstating, but as you work through their music, there are evocations of the Psychedelic Furs, some U2, The Cure, The Smiths, etc., then ultimately they stand in their own place. Beautifully gauze-like one minute, hard-edged and rough the next. Love 'em!
bromide01
I love sweater bands.
Try Zima Junction for a killer version of a Philip Glass tune ....
Yeah, yep, yes indeed the Chameleons are for sure a force to reckon with. Emotive explosions of sincere passion and in your face post punk intensity. Love these guys, and they just get better with every listen.
one of the most underrated bands Ever!
R.M. your cousins sister is still just your cousin
now this band kick a**! i love the chameleons uk and all my friends hate them, i dont give a F**K!

this band takes me to another world...
simma75
I stumbled upon this group in the mid-1980s in college and have been a fan ever since.
aravis92
I have heared this group on my XM radio on first wave. these guys rock!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
timexrunning x o u t
This band and The Sound are pretty much as good as it gets in music for music's sake. These bands did it for all the right reasons.
Strange Times (for which you all have the wrong cover art) and Script of the Bridge are the best of an excellent group's work.
idengine
Heard "Perfumed Garden" about a year or so ago and immediately wondered where this band had been my entire life. Brilliant music, brilliant lyrics. Just brilliant.
i wish i got into this band earlier..
very very great music!
Do not forget Interpol, they list the Chameleons as one of their major influences. There is also another band, The Sound, from the same era. The music is a bit more "poppy" (for lack of a better term)but still quite atmospheric. Unfortunatel y , I do not see any on the Pandora list when I search. One of their more popular records is "Hearts and Hnads".
Kitchens fan for years and Chameleons fan for years and years to come!
I hear my name above everything else. Mark! Mark! Above everything else...

How did I come to be drowning in this mess, a $&@%ing mess.

Brilliant still.
The best and most under-rated band ever!
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