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64) The Chameleons Strange Times

I always avoided this album as the cover reminded me of the cartoon sketches from Monty Python but as it’s been requested I need to listen to it.

I had a bit of a look at their background and from 1981 to 1987 The Chameleons released three albums all to critical, but sadly, no real commercial success. The band were about to record their fourth album when their manager died suddenly of a heart attack and they split up soon afterwards, what a bloody shame,.

How different it was in 1986 when they released Strange Times, their third album as they were on an upward trajectory.

Mad Jack opens the albums with a glorious riff and frantic drums and with the line “Masturbates the madness in you ba-da-da-ba” it’s bizarre, interesting and exciting all at once.

Caution is seven minutes of brooding intensity before we enter the acoustic Tears, excellent contrast. .

We then hit the highlight for me, Soul in Isolation, mean, moody and magnificent. Lead singer Mark Burgess vocals are perfect.

Swamp Thing is all powerful drums and swirling guitars, talented musicians are on display here.

Time and Seriocity are not as strong as the opening tracks, good songs, but we are back on track with In Answer, I love a proper guitar band.

The album ends with the lovely Childhood and the near instrumental I’ll Remember.

As a post punk album this is a band who deserved so much more from this release. The saying is never judge a book by its cover and that statement is apt here.


GIVE IT A STREAM: Soul in Isolation

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