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Strange Times [VINYL]

Chameleons Vinyl
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Vinyl (1 Jan 1986)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000091NKE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 707,398 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No finer album 15 Jun 2007
By Bettarn
Format:Audio CD
This was the record that first got me listening to the Chameleons. It was knocking around in my girlfriend of the time's tape mountain, and it took a couple of plays before I took any notice.

Anyway, roughly twenty years later and it's still my number one. It always has an incredible ability to move me. In fact I'm so scared of it losing this, that unless I'm really sure it's what I want to listen to, I won't put it on! It has been with me through some really good and really bad times.

Obviously music is a personal thing, and I can't guarantee you'll love this record like I do. But read the reviews (don't take any notice of other bands namechecked in them - like many of the reviews say, the Chameleons don't really sound like anyone else) and look at the ratings of all their albums (the others are basically as fantastic). It's a rare band that gets such total and extreme adulation. Basically, if you like them, you'll adore them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undiscovered genius 10 Nov 1999
Format:Audio CD
Likened to Sgt. Pepper's on release and then largely ignored by a non-too discerning press and public Strange Times is a testament to the power of Mark Burgess' songwriting. The arrangements tease a vast aural tapestry of unique guitar sounds and technological tinkerings all underpinned by rumbling bass and tumbling drums. Soul in Isolation is the album's zenith whilst Swamp Thing's intro made we want to be in a band. In short, this should mean everything to everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a genius of a gem waiting to be discovered 25 July 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I think Strange Times is a brilliant album definetly up ther with the likes of sgt. pepper and pet sounds for the sheer invention of each and every track.Its one of musics big tradgedies that the chameleons didnt take off and this (though they didnt know it at the time) would be there swansong (that is until surprisingly reforming this year and releasing the acoustic strip).Every track is a corker with one of the best intros to a song in mad jack and the brilliant melodies of tears but the highlite for me is soul in isolation i remember the frustration of working out the chords for these songs as i failed hopelessly to match the brilliant guitar work,i wanted to be in a band after i heard this i cannot recommend this cd enough one of my all time faves.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and Beautiful 31 July 2005
Format:Audio CD
For the uninitiated, The Chameleons where an overlooked, vastly underated yet staggeringly brilliant post-punk rock outfit from Manchester, England. In there relatively obscure career they recorded 3 of the 1980's best alternative albums, there debut "Script of the Bridge", follow up "What does anything mean Basically" and the currently reviewed and pick of the bunch "Strange Times". Once in your never out, listeners may not be plentiful, but those that do get to hear the band inevitably fall in love with the mind blowing Guitar interplay thats somehow melodic yet Punky,the mesmerizing sheets of synth and the wordplay and punk vocals of ginger singer Mark Burgees.
"Strange Times" opens with a furious burst of nihlistic guitar riffing before the pretty damn full on drum and bass frenzy that is "Mad Jack" enters. Its growling unmistakable bridge hook of "ba ba da, ba ba" will lodge itself firmly inside your appreciative brain for ever. Self styled poet and frontman Mark Burgees hits you straight away with his lyrical prowess and uncompromising philosophy, "Ignorance is dangerous, and Innocence is bliss" all delivered in a striking Manchester accent that is more Coronation Street than Strangeways scally.
Track 3, the haunting and haunted "Tears" is a definite Chameleons career high-point, particular the "alternate" version available on most reisues of the LP, opening with a simple yet brilliant guitar arpeggio with swooshing feedback under it.
There is not one weak track on this album "Swamp Thing" perfectly exemplifies the whole Chameleons experience, sounding like the end of the world with its trademark synthesier and epic soundscapes, "Time the end of Time" urges us to "make the most of your tiiiime", then "Seriocity" and "In answer" are a truly heartbreaking pair of tunes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moody,atmospheric British classic from 1986 22 Oct 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
You can feel the wind and the rain on the Pennines as Mark Burgess sinks under the weight of this dark,edgy but brilliant eighties classic.
A mix of slower,brooding moody epics and short,snappy Julian Cope like pop songs, it is almost criminal that these guys were never bigger than they were.
"Soul In Isolation" and "Caution" are a mix of chiming minor chords and fustrated lyrics while "Swamp Thing" seems to be heralding a storm that will wash all of Manchester away, before a glimmer of hope summons in the end of the song.
Personally along with "Raintown" by Deacon Blue this has been my favourite "old" purchase of 2004...immense...moving and full of Northern elegance and musical dexterity!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Strange Times is the Chameleon's finest hour. The drone-guitar intro to "Mad Jack" makes you want to turn the volume up, whilst the desperate-sounding vocals of "Caution" summon up the blood. My all-time favourite line from a song comes from "Childhood" - "let's drink to freedom and family ties; here's to the bags that are under your eyes". Excellent!
The Chameleons were/are often compared with the Beatles. Musically, they do not sound alike but when one studies the evolution of the bands music one can see why. Strange Times is perhaps the Chameleons "Sgt. Pepper" or perhaps the "White Album", but without the shit tracks!
So what sort of music is Strange Times? Well, the most similar band of recent times to sound like the Chameleons are the Kitchens of Distinction. However, there are an incredible numbmer of bands with audible influences of the Chameleons: Blur, Suede, Ride, Ash etc.
In short, buy this album, listen to it LOUD, annoy your neighbours, take up guitar.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Extra Tracks and still a Classic.
The album still holds up after nearly thirty years. I got in to this band when my brother played me an ep of Tears, each track got me hooked and from then on I bought the albums... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alan F Chick
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!
Much overlooked band, but if you like The Smiths, Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen, Lloyd Cole etcetera, then you'll love this band. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sharky
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great.
As often happens, this was an album borrowed which became a sound discovered. I'd heard 'Swamp Thing' on local radio (Stockport) and thought it was truly distinct amongst what was... Read more
Published 19 months ago by A. Bissitt
5.0 out of 5 stars strange times
This is an old cd from the earlt 90s. I would put it in the alternative genre. Even though I call it alternative it has a bit of a poppy feel to it and is very catchy but like all... Read more
Published on 13 Jan 2012 by Siobhan Dawson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good songs, bad production (again)
At the time of release (summer 86) Strange Times disappointed me no end, mainly because that sound I had come to know and love from Script of the Bridge, the radio sessions and... Read more
Published on 24 May 2011 by Russell Finch
5.0 out of 5 stars A Word In Your Ear . . .
This is one of the great post-punk albums. It ends with the warm sun on your face after the cold of heartbreak. Read more
Published on 25 July 2010 by Mr. A. R. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Just short of totally brilliant
The style is a little rockier and less hauntingly atmospheric than it's two predecessors, and the song-writing can't quite match the brilliance of "Script... Read more
Published on 5 Jan 2008 by J. Marks
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange Times
Has a better album ever been recorded? I've been asking this for almost 20 years now and it still sounds as fresh today as it ever did. Brilliant from start to unexpected finish.
Published on 18 May 2005 by Adrian
5.0 out of 5 stars strange times
one of the best albums around - still great today - the chameleons- the best band from manchester - inspirations for the others to follow. Read more
Published on 7 Jun 2004 by Andy D
5.0 out of 5 stars The Chameleons StrangeTimes
By now The Chameleons had develeped their grandiose synth-Symphonies to a Majestical Perfection.This album their 1st for US label Geffen 1986 gives the listener a perfect Brother... Read more
Published on 22 Feb 2004 by "mjbmanc32"
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