Chameleon (Helloween album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Chameleon
HelloweenChameleon.jpg
Studio album by
Released2 June 1993
Recorded1992
StudioChateau du Pape, Hamburg, Germany, mixed at Scream Studios, Los Angeles, United States
GenreRock
Length71:26
112:35 (with bonus tracks)
LabelEMI
Producer
Helloween chronology
Pink Bubbles Go Ape
(1991)
Chameleon
(1993)
Master of the Rings
(1994)
Singles from Chamelon
  1. "When the Sinner"
    Released: 21 May 1993
  2. "I Don't Wanna Cry No More"
    Released: 22 September 1993
  3. "Windmill"
    Released: 16 December 1993
  4. "Step Out of Hell"
    Released: 16 December 1993
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2/5 stars [1]

Chameleon is the fifth studio album by German power metal band Helloween, released in 1993.[2] It is their most musically adventurous release, but also their least commercially successful, and is their last studio album to feature singer Michael Kiske until 2021's self-titled album, as well as their last with original drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, and being Schwichtenberg's last album to be recorded during his lifetime. This was also the last album on EMI Records.

Background[edit]

The album contains four singles: "When The Sinner", "I Don't Wanna Cry No More", "Windmill", and "Step Out of Hell".

The album was a failure both critically and commercially, and vocalist Michael Kiske and drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg were fired after the subsequent promotional tour.

The band then recruited vocalist Andi Deris from Pink Cream 69 along with drummer Uli Kusch and continued in a direction more akin to their earlier works.

In 2019 Michael Weikath said about the album: “ I mean 'Chameleon' could have been better with a different approach but it was the result of what was there at the time and the intentions we had with it. We were lambasted with debt of the amount of two million Deutschmarks, we were just trying to get rid of that somehow and we thought if we make the album commercial it would work.”

In 1998 Weikath said about "Step Out of Hell": it was one of the older tracks Roland had done with his old band Rampage. Which was released originially as a track called "Victims Of Rock". So he changed the lyrics and he remade it as a song with Helloween. The lyrics obviously dealt with Ingo.....[3]

Grapow's song "Music" was also recorded by his old band Rampage. He said 1999: "This song was already recorded differently with the band Rampage... It's on the second record we did. Maybe it's influenced a bit by Grand Funk, only the older version was blusier. I quite like the song the way Kiske did it."[4]

Roland Grapow said about the album: “I think it’s something that the band needed to do. I know that a lot of people hated it in the beginning but a lot of people now — they’re 20 years older — and they just realize it’s like a good rock album with heavy metal guys playing rock and all these instruments that we had. For me, it was totally easy. You know, I told you that I came from this melodic stuff but there is also a lot of ’70s era when you hear my song “Music” or my guitar part on “When The Sinner.” I was listening at that time a lot to Stevie Ray Vaughan because Michael Kiske and I were totally nuts about him. Maybe because of the reasons that he died at that time at the ‘Pink Bubbles’ recording sessions. We were in Denmark in the studio and he died and we were so shocked. Michael Kiske as well. We were really big fans. But you can hear all these influences on the ‘Chameleon’ album — Brian May — a lot of Queen parts that I did. It’s like — all my guitar heroes — I put them into my guitar playing somehow in these rock songs. I liked it somehow and I still like it. It’s a really deep album that is not so much for the big metal fans. I think it’s timeless when you listen to that album. We mixed some styles in "Chameleon". We wanted to change the musical direction and try some new material. That was the main reason. There wasn't any pressure from the label or from the outside. Nobody at the label heard the demos, and we had 100% control in our hands.”[5][6]

Grapow said in 1999: "The problem with the 'Chameleon' situation was, I was pretty new in the band and I still didn't know which way I should approach the whole band. I was the new guy, why should I push anything? I'm the replacement of a guy. I tried to write some heavy metal tunes, which I did on 'Pink Bubbles'. I think I did a good job. But the other band members, the songwriters, they changed. And I don't know why. They did a brilliant record like 'Keeper 2' and then one of the songwriters is gone and they tried to do totally different kind of music. 'Pink Bubbles' isn't so bad, and 'Chameleon' is a total different world. I always describe it as the three Helloween songwriters' solo record or something."[7]

Markus Grosskopf said about the albums released 1991-1993: "The records capture the time and the mood that the band was in when they where done, and so I don’t see them as mistakes. We weren’t able to do anything different, because we wanted to do something like that, and we weren’t interested in doing anything else. I think it had to be done like this, to come to a point where we had to change ourselves again in some way. I think 'Chameleon' is a cool album, but it sounds a bit weird with Helloween written on it. I agree when people say that it’s a weird album under the name of the band, but I don’t regret it.

By that time, we were trying a new thing... We had always played heavy metal and everybody got the idea to say "There must be something more to it". It was a difficult album 'cause we had some serious personal problems at that time. Sometimes I listen to it and think it is a good album by another band."[8][9]

In 2013 Kiske said about the album: "The best way to describe 'Chameleon' is that its a three men solo album. There were three songwriters trying to make a solo record. We were not functioning as a band anymore. Totally dysfunctional."[10] "When we did the “Chameleon” record, it was still an honest record; we did the best we could out of the situation, but we were not a band. We weren’t working together to get the songs."[11]

"I mean ‘Longing’ is a good track of mine and… ‘I Believe’ is a good track of mine. There are a couple of good songs on it. Ingo was very sick, that was the last thing he did after he did the drumming he had a breakdown.. It was not a very pleasant time. But I think the record shows that in the way, there is some very dramatic stuff on it when you like look at some of the lyrics in there."[12]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."First Time"Michael Weikath5:29
2."When the Sinner"Michael Kiske6:54
3."I Don't Wanna Cry No More"Roland Grapow5:11
4."Crazy Cat"Grapow3:29
5."Giants"Weikath6:34
6."Windmill"Weikath5:12
7."Revolution Now"Weikath8:04
8."In the Night"Kiske5:36
9."Music"Grapow7:00
10."Step Out of Hell"Grapow4:21
11."I Believe"Kiske9:12
12."Longing"Kiske4:10
Expanded edition bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Don't Care, You Don't Care"Weikath4:01
2."Oriental Journey"Grapow5:43
3."Cut in the Middle"Markus Grosskopf3:57
4."Introduction"Weikath3:52
5."Get Me out of Here"Weikath2:50
6."Red Socks and the Smell of Trees"Helloween10:48
7."Ain't Got Nothing Better"Grosskopf4:41
8."Windmill (Demo Version)"Weikath5:28

Personnel[edit]

Helloween[edit]

Guests[edit]

It is an interesting footmark, that three of the children of the children's choir are Aminata, Jazz and Sophie from Black Buddafly, who had been 12 and 13 years old, when they sang for Chameleon.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1993) Peak
position
Swiss Albums Chart[13] 30
German Albums Chart[14] 35
Swedish Albums Chart[15] 35

Recording information[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chameleon at AllMusic. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Chameleon". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  3. ^ "truemetal". 2021-04-01.
  4. ^ "truemetal". 2021-04-01.
  5. ^ "sleazeroxx". 2021-04-01.
  6. ^ "Interview For Metalhead Magazine (August 1996)". Interview For Metalhead Magazine (August 1996). 2021-04-01.
  7. ^ "truemetal". 2021-04-01.
  8. ^ "metalblast". 2021-04-01.
  9. ^ "Interview For Metalhead Magazine (August 1996)". Interview For Metalhead Magazine (August 1996). 2021-04-01.
  10. ^ "Kiske – Good Karma Chameleon Part II". 2021-04-01.
  11. ^ "heavymag". 2021-06-01.
  12. ^ "metal-rules". 2021-04-01.
  13. ^ "Helloween - Chamaleon (Swiss Charts)". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Helloween - Chamaleon (German Charts)". charts.de. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Helloween - Chamaleon (Swedish Charts)". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 19 July 2019.