The Chameleons

The Chameleons

The band formed in 1981 in Middleton, six miles north of Manchester. Before this, Mark had been in the Clichés while Reg and Dave were in Years. Dave was in a school band called Sen. The three started without a drummer and got the attention of the legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel. Their first single, "In Shreds" on CBS, made number 42 on John Peel's Festive Fifty in 1982. They originally signed with CBS, but they disagreed with how they should sound. CBS dropped them after the one single, despite encouraging sales. They soon signed with Statik. However, Statik was distributed by Virgin, so they couldn't qualify for the independent charts and were thus overlooked by the music press.
The debut album, "Script of the Bridge", was recorded in Rochdale during a six-week period. The band was really pissed when they found out about the reduced version which was released by MCA in the US. They then became unhappy with Statik and tried to get away from them, but were bound by contractual obligations. After their second album, "What Does Anything Mean? Basically", they signed with Geffen. While signed to Geffen, the band released what was to be their last album together for fifteen years, "Strange Times" as the band literally fell apart, acrimoniously, with grief after the 1987 sudden death of band manager Tony Fletcher.
The dawning of a new millenium saw an ending to the 'hostilities' as the band buried hatchets, kissed and made friends once more, culminating in a reforming of the group, and a new 'unplugged' album entitled 'Strip' -- with live albums following beyond.


The Chameleons Discography Tracks


Chameleons U.K.* Script Of The Bridge (Album, Comp) Statik Records US 1983 Sell This Version
The Chameleons What Does Anything Mean? Basically (Album) Statik Records Italy 1985 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Strange Times (Album, EP) Geffen Records US 1985 Sell This Version
The Chameleons John Peel Sessions (Album) Strange Fruit UK 1990 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Tripping Dogs (Album) Glass Pyramid UK & Europe 1990 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Live In Toronto (Album) Imaginary Records UK 1992 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Here Today... Gone Tomorrow (Album, Comp) Imaginary Records UK 1992 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Aufführung In Berlin (Album) Imaginary Records UK 1993 Sell This Version
The Chameleons The Radio 1 Evening Show Sessions (Album) Nighttracks US 1993 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Dali's Picture (Album) Imaginary Records UK 1993 Sell This Version
The Chameleons UK* Live Shreds (Album) Cleopatra US 1996 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Recorded Live At The Gallery Club Manchester, 18th December 1982 (Album) Visionary Communications UK 1996 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Strip (Album) Paradiso (UK) UK 2000 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Live At The Witchwood (Album) Not On Label UK 2000 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Why Call It Anything (Album) Artful Records, Universal UK 2001 Sell This Version
The Chameleons This Never Ending Now (Album) Paradiso Records (3), Universal, Paradiso Records (3), Universal UK 2002 Sell This Version
PARADISOCD02 The Chameleons Live At The Academy(2xCD, Album) Paradiso Records (3) PARADISOCD02 UK 2002 Sell This Version
none The Chameleons Live @ KEXP Radio Seattle(CDr, Promo) Not On Label none US 2003 Sell This Version
RRSCV003 The Chameleons Live At The Hacienda(LP, Ltd, Num, Pin) Radiation Reissues RRSCV003 Italy 2017 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

The Chameleons In Shreds (Single, Maxi) Epic, Epic UK 1982 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Up The Down Escalator (Single) Statik Records, Virgin Europe 1983 Sell This Version
The Chameleons A Person Isn't Safe Anywhere These Days (Single) Statik Records, Statik Records UK 1983 Sell This Version
The Chameleons As High As You Can Go (Maxi, Single) Statik Records, Statik Records Spain 1983 Sell This Version
815 907-7 The Chameleons Don't Fall(7", Single, Promo) Statik Records 815 907-7 France 1983 Sell This Version
The Chameleons Singing Rule Britannia (While The Walls Close In) (Single, Maxi) Statik Records UK 1985 Sell This Version

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October 9, 2015
Bandaza mañana darán un concierto en Lima Perú


June 16, 2015
edited over 2 years ago
The Chameleons are one of the most horribly overlooked bands of all-time. When the word Manchester gets dropped, people will most likely think of bands like Joy Division...or, Oasis, but most likely never of The Chameleons! I discovered them in 2008, and am still unable to understand why this band didn't get the recognition it deserved. Absolutely beautiful and intelligent songs for people with a heart. Much respect to all of the fans, where,- and whenever they are!


March 29, 2014
edited about 1 year ago
well put Escapist...having turned into a prick in early 80's Manchester I missed some music and some united games due to drugs and a little was while I was away my mate wrote about seeing the best band on the planet and I would love em..and they were and I very very album he taped for me and the chameleons are in my blood forever..i like the reegs and I liked burgess more with sun and the moon as opposed to sons of god..but preferred them together which was never enough..was it? yeah it was brilliant they got back together and I suppose in a way it makes you appreciate it more with all the breaks for one reason and 100 others..but they sound awesome as always with to my mind the best pair of guitarists I have ever heard for playing off each other, and fuck me I've heard a few...ageless music of the highest and mightiest order.i love keef and Ronnie ,and I know they have an excellent 'old Flemish weave' between them but its standard blues/rock maybe various tunings where as they don't have the colour and textures as well as the heavy fuck off drive that the Manchester boys have....I am writing this belatedly im sad to say..chameleons vox are vox without the chameleons, and a really great sound all the same..just..not the same..until the next reunion then..and its your round by the way tricky bollocks!


November 20, 2005
edited over 12 years ago
Bringing a new spectrum of music from the onslaught of bands of the post-punk era, the Chameleons brought a mature, dreamlike sound to light. Frontman Mark Burgess & company created thrilling ethereal music from elements of old-school psychedelia and avant-garde 70's music. Shrill and melodic guitarwork from Reg Smithies and Dave Fielding complimented Burgess' trancey basslines and voice with John Lever's thundering drums. Four solid albums and several compilations of great stuff keep the Chameleons going strong from one century to the next. So glad they got back together!

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