Review Summary: THE Greatest album ever from the greatest band you'll never know
Script of the Bridge, released in 1983, came after the band had been going on numerous gigs and impressing many listeners in their 1981 appearance on the coveted BBC John Peel Sessions. In their earlier years, the band were using chorused guitars, but their sound was a lot more rough. However, in this album, it took the band into an incredibly new direction, an atmospheric masterpiece in which every aspect musically is just astounding: The band add the right amount of reverb to the guitars, Mark Burgess' vocals are perfect with the music; The drumming in all of the songs is outstanding and the synths in the songs are used only when needed, and just add to that dreamy atmosphere The Chameleons became renonwed for.
The opening track, 'Don't Fall', is one of those songs that would get anybody fired up! At first, is a rather bizzare soundclip from an old movie, which is simply deceiving. After that, he guitars start and should make you instantly listen carefully and pay attention. From then on, Burgess provides , in my opinion, one of his best vocal performances. Added to Burgess' superb vocals are the pumping drums, which surely have peoples toes tapping.
The next song, 'Here Today', according to Burgess, is one of the very first songs that the band ever did. It's a very, very powerful song, as it is a tribute to John Lennon, and this was still only 3 years after The Beatles frontman's death (Burgess is a huge Lennon fan and sees him as an inspiration) One lyirc in the song, 'There's blood on my shirt', is absolutely haunting as it is reference to the shooting. The ending is equally creepy too, as th music ends and a very very weird, wind sound ends it.
Skip 'Monkeyland' out of the equation (despite it being a pretty damn good song in itself) and we reach what many regard as The Chameleons' greatest song, 'Second Skin', a 6-minute long epic which has an unforgettable change in the middle of the song which sees the pitch drop, and after a massive build up, the song simply explodes into a huge burst of passion, and that's when the guitar's sound simply entrancing, it just keeps repeating until the hookline has simply stuck in your head.
Another personal favourite of mine is track number 9, the fantastic 'As High As You Can Go' Another hugely powerful song about a past experience the band had had with Epic records, and selling yourself just in an attempt to gain fame.
Next song along is 'A Person Isn't Safe Anywhere These Days' Another lengthly, slow-paced, yet enthralling, a song all about a crime which happened around Middleton (where the band originates) which featured an elderly women being brutally murdered in the streets. Indeed, this song, and especially it's title, can still be seen, like almost all the songs in the album, as completely relevant to today's world, so the music still dates well.
The final, and definitely the most beautiful song, is 'View From A Hill' An emotional song which sees Burgess reflect on his days of youth, when he and friends would hang around Tandle Hill, the place the song is dedicated to. I've never visited Tandle Hill, but if I went by what this song suggests, it must be heaven on earth. Like 'Second Skin', it is divided into 2 very different parts. Up til the 3 and a half minute mark, the song sounds like a post-punk equivalent of a lovesong, but after that mark, is a quite astonished 3 minute double guitar instrumental with the drums perfectly in time and rythym. In fairness, along with the last track on Joy Division's second album, 'Closer', it is the finest ending to a quite brilliant album.
Though many probably won't rate this albumquite as highly as I might, some definitely will, and those who do, are the smart ones, who realise how beautiful music really could get during the magnificent decade of the 80's. To say this band sounds similar to U2 is very, very wrong. The Chameleon's effectively created their own trademark sound in this album, and that is why it deserves to be noticed by tha masses at long, long last.