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Script of the Bridge (25th Anniversary Edition)

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Album Review

With two years, numerous radio sessions, and incessant gigging under their belts since their debut single, "In Shreds," the Chameleons came to the studio determined to make a great first album with Script of the Bridge. To say they succeeded would be like saying Shakespeare did pretty well with that one Hamlet play of his. Script remains a high-water mark of what can generally be called post-punk music, an hour's worth of one amazing song after another, practically a greatest-hits record on its own: the John Lennon tribute "Here Today," "Monkeyland," "Pleasure and Pain," "Paper Tigers," "As High as You Can Go," the breathtaking closer, "View From a Hill." Starting with the passionate fire of "Don't Fall," Script showcases how truly inventive, unique, and distinctly modern rock & roll could exist, instead of relentlessly rehashing the past to little effect. The scalpel-sharp interplay between the musicians is a sheer wonder to behold, the Dave Fielding/Reg Smithies guitar team provoke nothing but superlatives throughout, and John Lever and Mark Burgess make a perfect rhythm section — while the crisp production of Colin Richardson and the band adds delicate synth lines and shadings, courtesy of early touring keyboardist Alistair Lewthwaite, and just the right amount of reverb and effects on the guitars. Add to that the words of Burgess, one of the few lyricists out there who can tackle Big Issues while retaining a human, personal touch, and it all just adds up perfectly. The best one-two punch comes from "Second Skin," a complex, beautifully arranged and played reflection on the meaning of music and fandom, and "Up the Down Escalator," an at once harrowing and thrilling antinuclear/mainstream politics slam. [An important note: avoid at all costs the original U.S. vinyl issue on MCA, which not only switches the song order but removes a full third of the songs. The 25th Anniversary edition, released by the Blue Apple label in 2008, provides a remastered version of the album on the first disc, while the second disc includes previously unreleased mixes of three Script songs, as well as a 1983 live set performed in Bremen.]

Customer Reviews

One Of The Greatest Debuts In Music History

The Chameleons were always thinkers, and consummate artists. One music critic wrote that "if The Chameleons' goal was to make an amazing first album, then they succeeded like Shakespeare did with Hamlet." Script Of The Bridge never caught on with the general public, but few rock debuts were as polished and brilliant. The extra live tracks are taken from other live out-of-print collections, so if you already have those albums, there's no need to make a purchase. Script, though, is the best of The Chameleons' first three albums, which were every bit as good, if not better, than the first three albums by Echo And The Bunnymen, U2, Depeche Mode, The Cure, and more heralded 80's groups. If you already have this album, you may not want to pay 20.00 for a remastered version, but if you don't, you ABSOLUTELY MUST. This is, after all, one of the greatest albums of the last 30 years.

the greatest album ever recorded

often times, we hear the same crop of bands: the cure, bauhaus, joy division, siouxsie & the banshees, echo & the bunnymen, but one of the greatest bands that shaped the sound of alternative music is definitely the chameleons. from the opening sample of 'don't fall' to the closing beats from 'view from a hill', i challenge listeners to find a bad song or melody. many musicians will state the chameleons as a bigger influence over their music than even joy division or the cure. it's hard to say what songs are the strongest but if i had to choose three, i would pick the following: don't fall, second skin, and thursday's child.

The best album ever finally on iTunes

Someone loaned me this CD long ago and I could never get enough of it. I made TWO cassette copies of it- I knew I'd play them both to death, and I did. Not one single weak track to be found on this album, and since the first time I listened to it I still regard it as one of my favorites and always seem to go back to it for another listen. Five stars still does not seem adequate enough of a rating. All that's left for iTunes to add now is Polyrock!

Script of the Bridge (25th Anniversary Edition), The Chameleons
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Customer Ratings