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What Does Anything Mean? Basically Original recording reissued


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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Sep 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Dead Dead Good
  • ASIN: B000024HST
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,696 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Silence, Sea And Sky
2. Perfume Garden
3. Intrigue In Tangiers
4. Return Of The Roughnecks
5. Singing Rule Britannia
6. On the Beach
7. Looking Inwardly
8. One Flesh
9. Home Is Where the Heart Is
10. P.S. Goodbye
11. In Shreds
12. Nostalgia

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Russell Finch on 29 Jan 2010
Format: Audio CD
In 1984 the Chameleons found themselves in dispute with their record company over Statik's treatment of their first album, and a parting of the ways was agreed provided the band turned in a second album before they went. "What Does Anything Mean Basically" came along in May 1985 including the short instrumental "Silence Sea and Sky", four songs previewed in a 1984 Peel session ("Intrigue", "Roughnecks","One Flesh", "PS Goodbye") a new song "Home is Where the Heart Is" and four older songs from 82/83 which had not been included on 1983's Script of the Bridge, IMHO the greatest album ever made. These were "Perfume Garden", "Singing Rule Britannia", "On the Beach" and "Looking Inwardly". Only the latter shows it's age, the band had long since moved on from it's scratchy simplicity, the others fit in perfectly. Oddly bolted onto the end of the first CD here are In Shreds and Nostalgia, both recordings dating from their brief period on CBS/Epic in 81/82. They sound out of place here but I suppose it's better to have them than not at all.

Whilst this album doesn't quite scale the mighty heights of Script Of The Bridge, it certainly comes close, only being thwarted by the overproduction which smothers some of the songs in echo and overdubs, losing much of their impact as a result. Reg Smithies' guitar which growled on the first album, just buzzes on this one, John Lever's powerful drumming gets lost beneath all the effects and overdubs, and Burgess' bass just isn't loud enough. The Chameleons basically made such a glorious noise that they didn't need "producing", less would have been more, and pretty much all of these songs sound better on the various live and radio session albums you can get hold of if you are prepared to pay enough.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul VINE VOICE on 16 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
I can clearly remember the day some kid at college lent me a tape of the Chameleons back in 1985. Up until that point, i'd never even heard any 'indie' bands. I can honestly say that from that point, I was absolutely hooked. The Chameleons aren't some jingly jangly ponsey guitar band. Instead, what we have here is one of the finest albums I have ever heard. From start to finish, they are relentless in their attack on the listener. Don't mince around - just buy this CD. You simply will not regret it. By the way - love the review here from the guy whose son has borrowed it from him. Just goes to show that their music is timeless. God bless the Chameleons.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Jan 2004
Format: Audio CD
I bought the Chamelions second album acting out of curious interest having read an article somewhere about them. I'd never heard a note of thier music before but suffice to say the album didn't leave my CD player for two months and I find myself wondering how could I have not heard of this band before?
If you are interested in the roots of indie type music in the UK, and have any appreiciation of music that is melancholy, beautifully nostalgic yet somehow at the same time incredibly fiery and intense then you should own this record. No, scrub that; you HAVE to own this record. It's the law. Bridging the gap between post punk and late eighties/ early nineties indie, this is a simply brilliant and unique album that has joined the ranks of my all time top twenty (and I own a lot of albums so that's pretty high praise). Think the Smiths crossed with Catherine Wheel's echo-ing "Chrome" (which I now think was directly influenced by this album) with a little bit of the Cure thrown in for close measure. In fact, such comparisons don't do it justice - this is a unique and brilliant album in it's own right.
You might not be pulled in straight away; this is definitely one to file under "grower". The first couple of listens left me with little more than a vague appreciation. But on the third or fourth play, as Perfumed Garden's heartbreaking guitar figure kicked in, I realised I was in love.
I'll buy their other two eighties records some time soon, but I'm going to live happily with this one for a while longer yet. Buy it and champion the cause of a lost classic. You will not regret it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 April 2002
Format: Audio CD
I had the 1st and 3rd Chameleons albums, never found the 2nd until I found it here. Its brilliant. They were one of the most under-rated bands of the 80's. My son is now getting into rock music, I played this to him it blew him away! He said that some of these old bands aren't bad and has actually borrowed this from me.
This is timeless, classic rock music - if you've never heard the Chameleons buy this album, then buy the rest of their stuff - you won't regret it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "mikeserieys" on 6 Dec 2002
Format: Audio CD
Quite where I found out about the Chameleons is still something of a mystery. I remember seeing the artwork to 'What does anything mean? Basically' and being intrigued. I finally managed to source this album out cheap on an auction site, figuring there was nothing to lose. I need not have worried.
The Chameleons have created a superb collection of tracks, starting with the synthetic masterpiece 'Silence, Sea, and Sky' and finishing off with a fine farewell in 'PS Goodbye'. New for the CD were the tracks 'In Shreds' and 'Nostalgia', which are worthy additions (notably so with Nostalgia) if a little out of character with the rest of the album.
I must agree with one of the previous reviewers about 'Home is Where the Heart Is', a complex, slightly spooky song, which really deserved more credit than The Chameleons would have ever got with this album, a great shame.
Still, a superb album, and one I am proud to say that I own.
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