8. The Chameleons | "Swamp Thing"
"Swamp Thing" by The Chameleons from the album Strange Times (1986)
Oh, to be from Manchester in the ’80s. A decade that began with Joy Division, filled the center with the Smiths, and ended with the Stone Roses, the sheer volume of musical greatness to emerge from this English industrial city is staggering. But on 1986’s Strange Times, the Chameleons (known here with the UK suffix) hit on a majesty in song with a never-ending weave of jangly guitarwork, stomp-ahead drumming, and Mark Burgess warning “The storm has come/Or is it just another shower,” perched high atop the city watch tower. The song now has a Boston tie, as well: in July 2009, Burgess played Hennessy’s on a whim with Worcester’s Curtain Society backing him up. They unexpectedly opened with “Swamp Thing,” and the Faneuil Hall crowd froze in disbelief and joy. Inspired in part by the reception here (he returned a year later), Burgess now tours with a new band, Chameleons Vox.