CHROME – 4 “Damon period” albums (1984-90)

It’s become something of a cliche to knock the “Mark II” period of Chrome, sales that stretch of time between the mid-80s to the mid-90s in which Damon Edge ditched other core member Helios Creed in San Francisco, and headed for Europe to make music under the Chrome name. Most nerds think that all these albums are utter shit, and aren’t even worth a listen. I say that they sound normal for the period, and how would they know anyway that Chrome’s material wouldn’t have turned out like shit with Helios still in the band anyway?

Granted, they’re not brilliant — I wouldn’t slate them for repeat listening, but they are certainly listenable. They’re slightly different than the first batch of Chrome stuff (stopping at 1982′s “3rd From The Sun”,) in that the guitar work is less prevalent. I bet all of you out there have never even heard any of this stuff before. It’s odd to me that these albums are almost completely absent from the blogosphere — it took me several days of serious searching to track down all these tracks.

Actually, now that I think about it, I seriously liked the “extended jam” album “Eternity” (1986). Listen to that one first out of these four below.

Also, check out a previous post of another album from this period, “The Lyon Concert”, as well as their brilliant slab ‘o wax from 1980 (and my favorite album of theirs,) “Red Exposure”.

Chrome – “Into The Eyes of the Zombie King”, 1984 (ZIP file)
Chrome – “Another World”, 1985 (ZIP file)
Chrome – “Eternity”, 1986 (ZIP file)
Chrome – “Mission of the Entranced”, 1990 (ZIP file)
Chrome on Amazon MP3 Store

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315 Responses to CHROME

  1. Mr X says:

    AMG said of “Into the Eyes”:

    After Helios Creed departed Chrome in a huff, Damon Edge split from San Francisco and the Stench brothers rhythm section to settle with his girlfriend, occasional album guest Fabienne Shine, in Europe. His lust for music hadn’t died, and as the original founder and only remaining member of Chrome left in the band, he decided to form a new lineup with four French musicians and continue under the Chrome name. This turned out to be a bad move, though, as Into the Eyes of the Zombie King, the first post-Creed Chrome release, showed in spades. Exchanging the thrilling, often jaw-dropping Creed guitar antics and the dependable Stench players for competent but no-better-than-mediocre performers wasn’t a good move at all. Those used to the heights of past Chrome will wish in vain for more from the performers, especially guitarist Remy Devilla. There’s no question that he can play his chosen instrument, every so often coming up with some wannabe-Creed pyrotechnics, as on “It Wasn’t Real.” There’s also no question that he has nothing like the inventive passion of Creed, content simply to play what he’s been asked to do. His one collaboration with Edge, the album-opening “Trip the Switch,” has a vaguely corporate new wave/modern rock catchiness to it, but that’s about it. The rest of the time Edge writes further attempts at being up to date (in 1984 terms, at least); the result is bland material that slots in with the worst of the Fixx. Sometimes there’s more going on there that calls to mind the real Chrome days — the title track has some booming background drumming that’s suitably weird and hollow, while Edge grunts the title line through heavy vocal treatments. The odd sci-fi lyric raises its head as well, but it’s not enough, especially with Edge’s vocals turning more from alien weirdness to stupid sleaze, making Zombie King the first signpost on a dreadful slide for Edge into unfortunate obscurity.

    As a Chrome fan for 30 years now I couldn’t agree more.

  2. bret says:

    But, Mr. X — did you actually download the record and listen to it, or are you going off the memory of something you heard a few decades ago?

    I’ve been a Chrome fan for years now too, and these records don’t strike me as super-stupid, or anything outta line with what the band probably would’ve done had Creed been with them up through the ’90s. Have you heard any of Creed’s solo stuff? It’s way worse than what these albums here sound like.

  3. Big Eats says:

    I’m more about the Helios/ Chrome as well, but I do appreciate these downloads being available. Thanks. Someone else posted these Damon Edge solo records to my delight as well :

  4. Bizango says:

    hey now!
    as a certified chrome-o-phile, i will say eternity is my personal most hated chrome album. however, into the eyes… is top notch, another world is good the rest are worth a listen, certainly. let us not forget the often written off debut album, the visitation, recorded before helios joined the group. that is essential in my opinion.
    i am of the opinion that h’s albums are as good as damon’s albums but neither had the magick apart that they had togeher.
    meet you in the subway.

  5. nightvisions says:

    into the eyes of the zombie king is worth getting into. alliance is an amazing album. if someone finds “dreaming in sequence” or liquid jungles that would be cool!

  6. Droog says:

    I do not post in forums normally but I’m fed up reading that Damon Edge’s material is inferior to Helios Creed’s solo work. I’m a big Chrome fan myself and regard the Damon/Helios period for their best. After the split I absolutely prefer Damon’s stuff. Maybe that’s a European peculiarity. Damon might me the less talented musiscian of the two but that was never important talking about Chrome. He had a completely different aesthetic vision of the band which is way more interesting than the Helios solo records. I can listen to Damon’s work over and over again, never being bored.

    RYM says of “Alliance”:

    It’s maybe true that the most original and innovative period of Chrome was from 1978 to 1983 when Damon Edge and Helios Creed worked together.
    After the split, when both followed their solo careers (although Edge owned the name of the band and published a lot of Chrome records through the 1980s), the critics praised Creeds recordings and loathed, unjustly, the ones by Edge.

    While I also like some of Creeds solo records (he tries to continue his influences on the Chrome albums where he was involved, maybe a bit more guitar oriented), the Edge material is at least equally unique.
    It’s obvious why the Creed-fans hate the European Chrome/Edge records: They became cleaner, less noisier and sometimes even danceable.
    The style is completely different now and it seems that Edge has more interest in aesthetics. He was never part of any trend, so his works are not really New Wave. Renaud Thorez, bass player on some of the new Chrome records, said in an interview that Damon once referred to his music as “Cold Wave”, while in Edges last interview he refuses any categorization of his music.

    Whatever you want to describe his (solo career) records: Some of them are really phenomenal. Like this one.
    You maybe can’t blame Damon Edge for being too diversified but his records are very homogeneous and each record has a new approach of soundcreation. The atmosphere of “Alliance” is extremely sinister. This is maybe the darkest record of his solo career. That is by no means to compare to the stupid music of a dark wave band of the younger generation. As nonsense his lyrics possibly be – his music is intelligent. It works damn well. There is always the quirky moog sounds and excellent guitars by Remy Devilla (maybe not as innovative as those of Helios Creed, admitted). Edge never used a drum machine although his rythm section often sounds quite synthetically. But that’s another thing I love about his music: The clapping drum sounds.
    It’s true that “Alliance” has a cold and spooky atmosphere to it (Damon also sings very low on that one): While bands like Suicide had warmth through Alan Vegas voice and The Sisters of Mercy through their pathos, Damon Edge is clearly not interested in heating your heart up. But who cares?
    “Alliance” deserves a wider recognition than it has, as well as a lot of other Edge/Chrome releases and “I’m a Gentleman” should have been a hit single.
    To me, his three solo albums on the french New Rose label are truly outstanding, including the often as commercially condemned “Grand Visions” (commercial?? We are talking about Damon Edge here…).
    I know that this term is commonly used but I think it really fits to Damon Edge: one of the most underrated persons in the history of music.

    Highly recommended.

  7. Darrin says:

    Chrome changed my life, and “Another World” as well as “Alliance” are landmark albums for Damon Edge, and this unique sound, whether under the name of Chrome or not. I love Helios as well, and am glad that he carries the torch after Damon passed, but if you are a fan of “Red Exposure”, “Blood On The Moon” or “3rd From The Sun”, you can also appreciate what Damon later created even if it wasn’t pure Chrome without Helios. “Blue Nights” and “I’m A Gentleman” are masterpieces, as is the entire “Another World” album. Just be happy that this music exists.