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What Does Anything Mean? Basically Import

1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 19 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Blue Apple Music UK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

Digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of the Manchester Post Punk quartet's 1985 sophomore album including a bonus CD that contains previously unreleased demos. On Disc One, the album's original tracklist has been bolstered with the addition of the non album tracks 'In Shreds' and 'Nostalgia. On Disc Two, the nine demo tracks were recorded in 1984, immediately prior to the full album session and showcase the songs in their full, original intensity. They were taken from guitarist Dave Fielding's C60 cassette, which has been restored and digitally remastered. The album is presented in a super jewel case, with new artwork by band member Reg Smithies.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You probably have heard about it in a situation, when you meet the coolest person ever, ask him/her about a favorite band and they say ... The Chameleons. This is a very important album. I see "5 stars" all the way. I'll just add 5 more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Awe Inspiring Dec 15 2001
By David Whiting - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The Chameleons have to be one of the greatest under-appreciated treasures of all time and it's a shame that they have never received the recognition they so richly deserve in the USA. Most fans of the Chameleons will typically site "Script of the Bridge" or "Strange Times as their favorite disc, but while these are indeed great discs, my personal fave is actually "What Does Anything Mean?" This disc transports me to another place each time I listen to it. Songs such as "Intrigue in Tangiers" and "Perfume Garden" showcase a surreal blanket of guitar and synthesizer enveloping beautifully poetic vocal melodies. While themes and moods can be dark, the absolute triumph of this effort is how uplifting this body of work is. These are songs that ultimately create a sense of childlike wonder and possibility. Anyone who has ever liked bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, U2 or the Psychedelic Furs would be doing themselves an immense favor by taking the time to discover this band.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
The Greatest Unknown Band Of All Time April 1 2002
By B. Greer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Either you get the Chameleons or you don't. Those who know and love this band understand that they were a huge and defining part of 80's and 90's rock and roll. Passionate and complex. Majestic and haunting. The power of Mark Burgess' voice is rivaled only by such greats as Ian Curtis and Peter Murphy. Dave Fielding and Reg Smithies are master craftsmen who create a deeply, dark swirl of multi-layered, sonic guitar driven bliss. I was fortunate enough to see the Chameleons in Los Angeles 2 years ago (they played a 2 shows in 2000) and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! The Chameleons maintain their place on that unparalleled, higher plane of rock and roll.
If you're a hardcore fan I highly recommend the Dali's Picture/Live in Berlin double disc. If you're just starting your collection then buy Script of the Bridge or What Does Anything Mean? first, Strange Times and The Fan and the Bellows after that. All of these releases are worth their weight in musical gold.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This Album deserves 10 Stars!!! Sept. 3 2002
By Victor Campos - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The Chameleons and the Music they created were the "Secret" soundtrack to my life(along with The Waterboys). Discovered the band in 1984 with Script of the Bridge, and a year later this album Flew into my life! Words can do this album no justice. It was the album only a few of my friends and I ever kept to ourselves. Were REM and U2 was a common topic of conversation, The Chameleons were a topic of Inspiration! Thank God I had the chance to see them live in 1987 and to have a chance to meet them, and How incredible still that on Sept 28th and 29th of this year they will embark on a US tour right here in Atlanta! Will I be there? Already have tickets for both nights! Will I be moved the way I was back in 1985 if they play any of those songs live? Lets just say I'm bringing tissues! Buy this album at any cost! I'm 34 years old now, and I can't imagine not to have had this album in my collection! (8:00pm Somewhere in Atlanta)
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Chameleons' finest work Aug. 2 2002
By bunnygod26 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Personally I think this is the Chameleons' bst record - listen to tracks like On The Beach, Looking Inwardly, PS Goodbye and Return Of The Roughnecks, you'll see why.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Greatest Album of ALL time March 25 2009
By Daniel Hendrix - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I often hear it argued that "Script of the Bridge" is the greatest album the Chameleons have released, which in my opinion is patently absurd. Yes, it is a phenomenal album. I hear complaints that this album wasn't mastered perfectly and to that end, I agree and hope that an eventual remastering is coming down the line.
That aside, what I listened to when hearing this album was the quality of the melodies themselves. It all starts with a synthesizer lulling you into a calm before the storm ... "Silence Seas and Sky", appropriately titled.
then you are hit with the blistering opening riff of "Perfumed Garden" which grows into a wall of sound. The swirling guitars and thoughtfull lyrics bring you into another reality. Garden is about the facade of pop music and how emptiness is preferred over meaning. Think of any pop star you know and try to decipher a strong message in their music and you can see what the intent of this song is. It stabs at mediocrity in the music business. This message was truly ahead of its time and was also a common theme in Morrissey's lyrics.
Quietness resumes and the sound of rain and a light guitar fading in with some very tactful strings introduce the next song and my favorite track on the album "Intrigue in Tangier's". Being a musician, I pulled this song apart piece by piece thinking it had to be complex but I found that it was indeed quite simple ... only a few chords. What made it so interesting is that the guitars layer upon each other and creating a swirling, reverberating, delayed panning smorgasbord of sounds and notes that with my eyes closed and a pair of head phones on, had my pupils darting back and forth behind the lids seeking out every noise and sound. The changes and vocals emphasize the urgency of the songs message which appears to be remembering the moments and coming to terms with mortality and precious the time you are given and how quickly that time passes.
"Return of the Roughnecks" and "Singing Rule Britannia" are reworks of similar chord progressions arranged differently and the guitar intro roars in another tapestry of swirling and weaving framework. The drums, though dated by the snare sound push the songs along at a mesmerizing pace.
"On the Beach", appears to be a song about seeing a ghost or something unexplainable and trying to come to terms with it. This tune sees the guitars mired in heavy effects and wash the listener into a welcome weariness as to not take away from the heavy vocals.
"Looking Inwardly" is probably the low spot on the album. It lulls with introspection and is a primarily bass driven song with simplistic guitars. The builds are what keeps the song from falling in on itself. This was my least favorite song on the album.
However, as quickly as the last track disappears into the ether, the next track comes forward to save you. "One Flesh" fades in with veiled power and then the guitars deliver you into yet another wall of sound. "With the Sun in your eyes" ... vocally, I found this to be one of the strongest songs and is easily my second favorite. The message it seems, is about staying in abusive relationships. The drums are tactful and lend well to some of the best musicianship on the album.
The band give the listener a breather with "P.S. Goodbye" which is tasteful on all accounts with all instruments including the voice. Not sure what the message is in this song but it appears as if Mark Burgess (The Lead Vocalist/bassist/lyricist) is trying to explain his muse.
The breather quickly ends and "In Shreds" begins. I have read somewhere that this is one of the first songs from the band. It belies some of their more punk rock origins (I'm guessing) and is a very dark song. "Ignored by you all, I stumble and fall, I suddenly knew
My life meant nothing at all, The whore in my bed, The noise in my head
The hole in my pride, It's coming and there's nowhere to hide". I remember hearing this song in clubs in the late 80's and early 90's which always elicited a huge response form the crowd. Hard to believe many of them didn't even know who the Chameleons were, and sad in a way.
The album finishes with a song that is sort of the happy ending, at least musically. "Nostalgia" again reflects on the passage of time and the worry that you may miss the moments and only be able to appreciate them when thinking back upon them. It seems like with a friend who was there and can help you recall. The guitars maintain the theme of layering upon one another and for some reason when I hear it I think of driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I must have had the tape on perpetual replay.
In short, This album transcends all other albums because it creates an audio tapestry and actually speaks to the listener much in the same way that OK Computer or Synchronicity did. The Chameleons never enjoyed mainstream success but the people they touched, they touched forever in ways that many other bands will never be capable of. This album exemplifies that sentiment and I wholeheartedly recommend it without reserve.

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