Bite-sized posts about 7″ singles I own – shameless nostalgia from the days of vinyl.

The Chameleons – In Shreds b/w Less Than Human (Epic Records, 1982)

Trenchcoats, skinny ties, existential angst and Manchester bands  epitomised what it felt like to be “part of the machinery” in Thatcher’s Britain.

Three years into the Iron Maiden’s regime it was not hard to identify with Mark Burgess’ melodramatic self doubt on this song :

“Ignored by you all
I stumble and fall
I suddenly knew
My life meant nothing at all”.

‘In Shreds’ was The Chameleons‘  storming first single and the only one released on CBS offshoot Epic.

It reached number 42 on John Peel’s Festive Fifty and is still quite probably the best record they ever made. It was produced by Steve Lillywhite and you still feel the passion and urgency – this is not a band going through the motions.

Reg Smithies, one of the band’s two guitarists, did the artwork – a man in a crash helmet carrying what is either a large doll or a very stiff child.

The dirge-like B-side ‘Less Than Human’ covers the same territory with less passion.


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