Album: Script of the bridge.
With its giant big guitar recontextualization of the “Peter Gunn Theme” riff and lead singer Mark Burgess singing from on top of the incredibly high ledge from which he was worried about falling, “Don’t Fall” was a helluva way to kickoff The Chameleons debut album Script of the bridge.
Or it would have been, except for the fact that – here in the Colonies – “Don’t Fall” was the lead off track to the second side. For whatever reason, their U.S. record company – MCA, quite possibly the worst major label ever – completely reconfigured Script of the bridge to lead with the “Up The Down Escalator” single and while that’s a fine song, it’s in no way as dramatic, catchy or distinctive as “Don’t Fall.”
That said, I’m not sure if The Chameleons would have fulfilled their short-lived “Next Big Thing” status even if Script of the bridge had been completely intact here. None of the other songs had moments even remotely as thrilling as when in the the first verse, the music quiets for a couple of measures and it’s just Burgess on the ledge singing for his life:
I hear my name above everything else
Mark! Mark! Above everything else
And the way he sings it, it feels the most important thing in the history of things. By the time the song is over, you get the impression that just being able to sing this huge huge song was good enough to save him from the fucking mess he’d gotten himself into.
And by the way, while I never completely got into The Chameleons, they were big and intense enough that I’m guessing that some of you still love them fully and unreservedly.
Fan-made video for “Don’t Fall”