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Bill Nelson

album - November 1986

Chameleon - Cover
Chameleon - Original LP Cover



01)  City One

02)  Science And Sacrament

03)  Machine Voodoo

04)  Chameleon

05)  Circular Tour

06)  The Shape Of Things To Come

07)  Astro Logic

08)  Tropicus

09)  O Vee

10)  On The Beam

11)  Mex-Arcana

12)  Man Machine

13)  Hip-No-Tize

14)  New Dream Island

15)  Blue Sky

16)  To The Sea In Ships

17)  Blonde And Built To Last

18)  To A Child

19)  Rosalia

20)  Golden Shrine

21)  Playback

22)  Designer Dance

23)  On The Beach

24)  Like A Dream

25)  Mitsukini


Chameleon is an instrumental album of "library music", initially released on the Themes International Music label.   

On its release Chameleon was extremely difficult to obtain, as albums of library music (for use in production of TV and radio programmes) were always pressed in limited numbers and unavailable outside of their intended market. Precise information as to its release date is difficult to verify, but its existence was first mentioned in the fan club magazine Acquitted By Mirrors towards the end of 1986.



After years of being unavailable to all but the most avid collectors, Chameleon was re-issued in 2002 (Fabled Quixote).  Note that the original vinyl release included spoken titles (not by the composer) at the beginning of each track which were omitted on the CD reissue. 



Available for purchase as a digital download here in the Dreamsville Store.

Simplex, Picture Post, Caliban and the Chrome Harmonium, Map of Dreams, Secret Ceremony,
Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights, Demonstrations of Affection, Altar Pieces, Crimsworth



"Very simply recorded, slightly quirky, short pieces...a little bit whimsical and often quite jolly...not so serious as Simplex or Chance Encounters."

"You have to keep in mind that this was made as a Library Music album. Library music is created to be used as television or radio background music and will more often than not end up with a narrator speaking over the music...sometimes the music is chosen to lend a mood to a documentary film, so there will possibly be other sounds laid over the music by the TV studio technicians, as well as narration. For this reason, one of the rules of library music is that it should contain no prominent melodies or a strong lead instrument. It has to function as aural wallpaper, a background atmosphere rather than a dominant musical motif."



"Vinyl copies of Chameleon are a REAL rarity. I was lucky enough to acquire my copy from a friend who worked for an advertising company. When the firm went bust he snaffled their copy of Chameleon for me. A couple of years ago I got Bill to sign the album and if I remember rightly he said at the time that he had never even seen a copy of the record, so it must be genuinely scarce."


"It dates from that period when Bill was relying less on the "guitar and vocals" as the backbone of his work, leaning heavily towards keyboards, drum machines and samples. It is an interesting period, especially the later works, as Bill's compositions grew more elaborate and rich. One can hear Bill maturing as a composer, discovering and building the incredible range of musical tools that have made him such a truly unique and amazing artist. Lots of wonderful songs here...spanning ambient  to "dance". Well worth any real fan's time -- over and over again!"


"Ebay was primitive in those days but I was easily able to fill the gaps at a reasonable price all excepting a mint copy of the Chameleon LP which I still haven't told the wife about!"

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