Chameleon (Mowest, 1972)

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John
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Chameleon (Mowest, 1972)

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After "Half & Half" the group entered a very creative rock/harmony phase that produced some stunning material that unfortunately did very badly. The full length versions of this period, as opposed to edited singles, are to be found on various Rhino comilation CDs and are well worth looking up. However, this initial series of reviews is limited to the first releases of the core albums, not re-issues and hits compilations, to we move now past the Philips era to the brave new start on Motown's West Coast Mowest label.

Around 28 tracks were initially recorded and the first batch came out as the album "Chameleon". A great bone of contention is that the rest of the material recorded has remained buried in the Motown vaults and they seem in no hurry to release it.

Chameleon is a classic, a beautifully crafted original album with an exciting new feel to it. No hits the first time sround, but the re-issue of "The Night" in 1975 seemed to spark the new run of success throughout the 1970s. But at this time the album remains the single greatest monument to the Motown Years. This album plus most of the other released tracks from Motown can be found on a bootleg "The Night - Inside You" that is available in record shops and via Amazon. It's good stuff.

5s

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Re: Chameleon (Mowest, 1972)

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A postscript to this is that when I spoke at some length to Bob Gaudio in 1977 he opined that the material recorded for Motown would be unlikely to still exist in a viable form. He said that they never wasted anything and he would have expected them to have re-used the backing tracks with other artists.

If this is right, we may well have heard some of the parts of the missing material and never known.

If on the other hand they have kept it all in a useable form then there could be some brilliant gems hidden away there.

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