Interpersonal tensions aside, the passing of drummer John Lever in 2017 pretty much put an end to hopes for any kind of follow-up to The Chameleons‘ fourth album, 2001’s Why Call It Anything. Fans have done alright with finding things to buy thanks to a steady stream of reissues of their studio albums and ’80s live records that have been kicking around for decades, but new recordings? Not a thing.
So when word came of a new collection credited to The Chameleons, I was certainly intrigued, not least of all because the name attached to it meant that original guitarist Reg Smithies was involved (joined by guitarist Chris Oliver and drummer Stephen Rice, the same lineup that would be performing as The Chameleons on their North American tour this Fall). Edge Sessions (Live From The Edge) would be a live document of a session the band performed and webcast at the Edge Recording Studio in the northwest of England in April of 2021 (though, despite the name, not part of the Live From The Edge series hosted by BBC DJ Mark Radcliffe). There was a video teaser for the stream, which actually looks pretty great.
In any case, the release was to collect seven tracks from the session (was that the whole show? I don’t know) and append a trio of tracks recorded by Mark Burgess’ ChameleonsVox (read: Smithies-less) incarnation of the band. That was enough for me to place a preorder ahead of its scheduled April 2022 release. Unsurprisingly, that became a June 2022 release and then a perpetual out of stock status; this is what happens when you list a short run of vinyl in a lot of outlets, I guess.
Thankfully, though it’s not on regular streaming services, the album is available digitally through Bandcamp to stream or purchase, and I guess there’s still CDs available if you really want to keep it physical.