The Chameleons

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bettsaj, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Return of the Roughnecks, d1:

     DR          Peak            RMS          Filename
     DR9      over        -11.61 dB    01 Silence, Sea and Sky.wav
     DR7      over         -8.76 dB    02 Swamp Thing.wav
     DR6      over         -7.75 dB    03 In Shreds.wav
     DR8      over        -10.15 dB    04 Home Is Where The Heart Is.wav
     DR8      over        -10.24 dB    05 A Person Isn't Safe Anywhere These Days.wav
     DR7      over         -7.54 dB    06 Mad Jack.wav
     DR9      over        -10.20 dB    07 Don't Fall.wav
     DR7      over         -8.88 dB    08 Caution.wav
     DR7      over         -8.56 dB    09 Second Skin.wav
     DR7      over         -9.46 dB    10 Perfume Garden.wav
     DR9      over        -10.90 dB    11 Tears (Original Version).wav
     DR8      over        -11.55 dB    12 Monkeyland.wav
     DR6      over         -7.86 dB    13 Nostalgia.wav
     DR10      over        -12.02 dB    14 View From A Hill.wav
     Number of files:    14
     Official DR value:  DR8
     DR          Peak            RMS          Filename
     DR7      over         -8.88 dB    01 Is It Any Wonder.wav
     DR6      over         -7.33 dB    02 Free For All.wav
     DR7      over         -8.91 dB    03 The Healer.wav
     DR7      over         -8.38 dB    04 Denims And Curls.wav
     Number of files:    4
     Official DR value:  DR7
    Nice. Dreams in Celluloid is more dynamic!
    patient_ot likes this.
  2. Any thoughts on Dali's Picture and the Fan and the Bellows, vs Dreams in Celluloid? I'd normally gravitate to the earlier releases like Dali's Picture and the Fan and the Bellows for sound quality, but there is some overlap there too. ??
  3. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    I don't have Dali's Picture, but I've got FATB on both CD and vinyl. Nearly all the tracks on FATB are also on DIC. The mastering is different but not necessarily better on FATB. Keep in mind the band never even wanted FATB to be released. If you are a completist, buy both FATB and DIC.
  4. kevimetal

    kevimetal Forum Resident

    Exeter, UK
    i want OP @bettesaj to let us know if they have Strange Times yet, and if their mind is blown...?

    I think I paid more for it than that 15ish years ago!
  5. Yes, the Nostalgia 7" is only on TFATB, along with Endlessly Falling. Did you notice this one:

    Less Than Human
    2:31 on Dali's Picture
    4:10 on SotB
    4:35 on TFATB and DiC

    I need to figure out about those too now.
  6. katieinthecoconut

    katieinthecoconut Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    The Fan and the Bellows is a great compilation, not listened to the full albums.
  7. Rgfinch

    Rgfinch King Rocky

    I haven't played Dali's Picture for quite a while. It's mostly demos from 81 or maybe 82. For completists only I would say.

    DIC is the preferred choice over TFATB for me.
  8. bettsaj

    bettsaj “I'm in competition with myself and I'm losing.” Thread Starter

    Of course I have Strange Times..... And Stripped on picture disc signed by Mark, the Script remaster double LP also signed, and Why Call It Anything, I have to confess i'm not a huge fan of Strange Times, I do love Soul in Isolation though, and of course Swamp Thing.

    My favourite album is What Does Anything Mean?... Basically. Love that album, and I'll be seeing them do the whole thing later this year.

    Here's my son a few years back having been pulled up onto stage by Mark playing Bass on Second Skin. Filmed at the Garage in Islington, London.

    And before the gig at the pub, with the band who are all out of shot.

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
    black sheriff and kevimetal like this.
  9. kevimetal

    kevimetal Forum Resident

    Exeter, UK
    Sorry! I was thinking of @bherbert who was saying that they were going to get Strange Times upthread. Note to self: don't post after coming home from the pub.
    bettsaj and bherbert like this.
  10. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    I think the John Peel Session versions of those tracks on the second album are far better than the eventual album versions, which sound overproduced to me.

    Script of the Bridge is their masterpiece by a long way, the second album was seen at the time by fans to be a bit of a let down after the classic debut, and the third album sounds too much like one of those Steve Lillywhite 80's albums to appeal to a US market. Although Swamp Thing is an immense tracks.

    So my recommendations for a complete novice would be:

    1. Script of the Bridge
    2. The Peel Sessions
    3. The Fan and the Bellows
    4. Tony Fletcher Walked On Water EP.
    Rgfinch and bherbert like this.
  11. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    I believe I have to part with the consensus and put in a big plug for Strange Times, which is easily my favourite Chameleons LP. In Answer, Time, Swamp Thing, Ever After ...

    In Answer, with is awe-inspiring bridge:

    Honestly, in almost any incarnation of Mark Burgess, you're going to find some amazing songs:

    From the Tony Fletcher EP, Denims and Curls

    From The Sun and the Moon album, The Price of Grain

    From Zima Junction, Up On the Hill

    From Invincible, Only You Could Save Me

    ... and so it goes ...
    vette442 likes this.
  12. Strange Times also gets my vote for the best that they'e done. (Haven't yet listened to the Tony Fletcher EP though, that's in the queue.)

    I like Why Call it Anything too. Doesn't seem to get high marks on Amazon at least, but I like it more than most I guess ...

    I have DiC on the way, kind of hoping it sounds good. I'm listening to the Fan and the Bellows and Dali's Picture, and while I love the material, the CD mastering is a little thin and trebly. Could use more balance and low end. Ok, maybe Dali's Picture sounds a little better than TFATB ...
    lonelysea likes this.
  13. Sebastian saglimbenI

    Sebastian saglimbenI Forum Resident

    I have and love the CHERRY RED live d.v.d.....I highly recommend this for sound and close camera work.
  14. lonelysea

    lonelysea Forum Crustacean

    Twin Peaks, WA
    If you can find the 1992 Here Today...Gone Tomorrow compilation, snatch it up. If for no other reason than the inclusion of the sublime Sally:
    vette442 and black sheriff like this.
  15. I wanted to comment on some of this because I've now done some listening of my own. All of these Less than Humans are different ... and good. The two 4+ min versions are similar, but they are either a different mix, or more likely, a different take.

    For the Peel Sessions CD, I like the early CD for all 3 sessions. The remaster pumps up both the low end and highs, and, the dynamics are pretty drastically reduced. I got DRs of 13 and 14 for the few songs I looked at from the original CD, and 8's or 9's from the remaster. That's too big a difference imo. The tonality isn't bad for the remaster, but I still like the original better. I thought maybe they used a different tape for the 2nd session on the remaster, but doesn't seem like it. Just eq'ed/mastered differently.

    I am still deciding on the early stuff. I am doing a shootout between Dali's Picture, TFatB, and DiC. Honestly, there is some commonality between all 3. For example, the songs Nostalgia and TFatB sound almost identical between TFatB and DiC, whereas DP sounds like a different mix or take. And then for Everyday I'm Crucified and Love Is, the other two songs common between all 3, one is better on Dali's Picture, while the other two sound very similar, and one is better on TFatB, while the other two CDs are similar. I should have brought my notes with me to work! ;) I'll clarify that later. Most likely, I'll go through all the commonality that's there, and just pick the best version from each of DP, TFatB, and DiC. In general though, DP has the best dynamics, and TFatB and DiC are more similar than different, but reduced.

    And ... the Tony Fletcher EP is indeed better on DiC.

    Neat stuff. Even though I've been listening to the Chameleons since Strange Times came out in 1987, I still have the "double" album (lp) of it, this is the first real in depth comparisons I've done. I wish they could have stayed together longer for more studio stuff, but when you consider all the compilations and live CDs available, there is quite some material out there. They are/were quite a special band! :love:
    vette442, jamesc and Rgfinch like this.
  16. Rgfinch

    Rgfinch King Rocky

    Any idea what the lyrics are? I can barely understand any of them...
  17. bettsaj

    bettsaj “I'm in competition with myself and I'm losing.” Thread Starter

    The Chameleons are back... Reg Smithies has rejoined Mark Burgess to peform What Does Anything Mean... Basically on it's 35th annivarsary. No sign of Dave Fielding though

    vette442, jimhb, jamesc and 1 other person like this.
  18. lonelysea

    lonelysea Forum Crustacean

    Twin Peaks, WA
    I can only decipher bits and pieces. No sign of them in the internets either.
  19. Freddy Steady

    Freddy Steady Well-Known Member

    Manchester UK
    Big Cams fan here. Managed to see them on their first reformation tour at the Witchwood (2000?) and still see them at the annual Manchester Christmas gig which is a joyous occasion . The crowd singalong to Second Skin is spine tingling. Probably, overall I’d go for the 3rd album proper Strange Times as a whole entity but the first two aren’t particularly shabby! The 4th studio album, when they reformed, is ok. I absolutely love the Tony Fletcher eps and paid silly money for it even on its release,

    Should have had U2 levels of success imho but they didn’t really have an image. Glad Reg is back!
  20. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    South Africa
    Best band of the 80’s IMO.
    kevin5brown and Jerry James like this.
  21. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Dallas, TX
    manicpopthrill likes this.
  22. manicpopthrill

    manicpopthrill Forum Resident

  23. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    South Africa
    I reckon The Chameleons albums are better than the Beatles’ albums.
  24. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Music On CD is the CD pressing arm of MOV. They typically release straight clones of earlier pressings, using whatever audio and artwork files they were given by the label/license holder. Unlikely to be a new remaster. Glad to see it back in print though.
  25. Jerry James

    Jerry James Forum Reticent

    I remember being unaware that Tomorrow Never Knows was a Beatles tune :)hide:) until I found the LP for Strange Times and spotted it in the song credits on the LP label. I rushed out and got Revolver, and was very disappointed when I heard the original after hearing The Chameleons take first. Several years ago I was telling this anecdote to Reg and he laughed and looked at me like I was crazy and shook his head.:tiphat:
    Rgfinch, jamesc, patient_ot and 2 others like this.

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