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Chameleon

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Album Review

While Patti LaBelle was the vocal force behind the group bearing her name, Nona Hendryx was providing the material that Patti would use to deliver her energetic sound. Of the eight numbers presented, Hendryx is credited with six. "Get You Somebody New" stayed on the Billboard R&B charts for nine weeks, peaking at number 50. "Isn't It a Shame" only managed to peak at a disappointing number 18 after 15 weeks on the charts. The drama, compassion, and delivery easily justify its worthiness as a number one song. However, it remains a popular composition. While LaBelle were heavily costumed, to say the least, songs like the psychedelic "Get You Somebody New" fit the trio's extravagant look, whereas numbers like the sensusous "Come into My Life," the breathtaking "Isn't It a Shame," and the gospel-propelled title track "Chameleon." bring on a stark contrast, but a welcome one. On every level of creativity, LaBelle, the group, are as diverse as these selections.

Biography

Formed: 1962

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s

The female trio responsible for the proto-disco funk classic "Lady Marmalade," LaBelle's outlandish space-age costumes and brash incorporation of rock & roll were a far cry from their early days as a typical '60s girl group, not to mention the later solo career of frontwoman Patti LaBelle. While Patti naturally seems like the focal point in hindsight, the group was also blessed with a talented and prolific songwriter...
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Chameleon, LaBelle
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