Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Chameleons - Fan and the Bellows

My introduction to The Chameleons came in the form of a cover song on the 7" Will You (you know, the one that looks EXACTLY like their other 7" If They Do) by Louisville emo-turned-dream-pop band Elliott. They give "Fan and the Bellows" is given the Elliott treatment that foreshadowed the direction they would take on later records. At any rate, I love(d) this cover and set my record player on repeat so I could keep listening to it over and over. So, my search for actual Chameleons records led me to Strange Music, the most readily available due to it's release on "alternative friendly" major label, Geffen Records. Though it's a great album, it wasn't what I wanted. I wanted the jagged, post-punk influence riffing of "Fan and the Bellows" and I didn't even want to wade through anything else of theirs until I got my hands on what I was after. Since I was jobless and living at home still, Napster was the most viable and economic option for finding this (as I exhausted record stores in my area to find it) and proved to be a success. As it turns out, "Fan and the Bellows" was merely a single and conveniently re-released with many others, demos and outtakes for a compilation aptly titled Fan and the Bellows: A Collection of Classic Early Recordings. Before they hit their stride as an even more brilliant dreamy, atmospheric pop band with What Does Anything Mean? Basically. and Strange Times, The Chameleons were this moody but not overtly dark rock band not too far off the map of what their Manchester peers and followers would create. This comp is a good mix of what they were and a look at what they would become. For me, "Nostalgia" has become my new "Fan and the Bellows" and I've been thinking for years if I were ever to DJ somewhere for a night I would close with this song because I don't think anything could really follow it after a night of drinking with your friends and going home feeling uncertain.

The Chameleons - Fan and the Bellows

1 comment:

matt said...

Record starts off really good but I felt like it ran out of steam halfway. Anyone else get that feeling?