Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1983: Zebra

zebra_album

Don’t ask me how but for some reason, the debut album from the American hard rock/heavy metal band Zebra passed me by. I don’t remember it getting any airplay on local radio nor do I remember seeing any videos from them on MTV. If it hadn’t been for Rich at Kamertunes, I never would have heard of this band ever let alone get the opportunity to listen to the debut album. But thank God for Youtube as once again, it allows me to listen to another album I never heard before.

Now that I got to listen to this album thrice, I am now able to deliver a verdict on it. I always believe in starting with the negative or at least the less positive. I don’t feel that I missed anything major by not listening to the album way back in 1983. The album has a definite “it’s all been done before” feel to it. I can’t really say that there’s anything original about it. Furthermore, I think Zebra attempts to be all things to all people here. There’s snippets of progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal dotted all throughout and I’m sorry, the track “Slow Down” sounds too 1950s. I know the song was written in 1958 but there seemed little attempt to bring it up to date. I said it then and I’ll say it now, if I want the 1950s in the 80s or any decade, I’ll listen to the Stray Cats. Likewise, the closer, “The La La Song,” begins like an easy listening tune which spoils most of the song even though it goes a harder not long into it.

Now for the more positive. Overall, the album is pretty good. While I don’t think I missed anything by not buying it, if I had heard it in 1983, I still would have bought it. One can’t fault the efforts of the three men who make up Zebra. There are some really cool intros on tracks one, two and four and they are all decent to very good tracks, all hard rock. The only gripe is that possibly the opener, “Tell Me What You Want,” ends too abruptly. “Who’s Behind the Door,” I have to say impresses the hell out of me. I do detect a bit of Rush influence here and the vocals are ear catching. “Take Your Fingers From My Hair” does sound like classic 1970s progressive rock, sort of in the vein of Yes or Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The musicianship is ace on this one and it is my favourite track on the album. The next track rocks pretty good as well with a good guitar riff. In short, the seven better tracks do cancel out the two unimpressive ones.

Track Listing:

  1. Tell Me What You Want
  2. One More Chance
  3. Slow Down
  4. As I Said Before
  5. Who’s Behind the Door
  6. When You Get There
  7. Take Your Fingers From My Hair
  8. Don’t Walk Away
  9. The La La Song
Zebra

Zebra

Randy Jackson- guitar, lead vocals, piano, Mellotron, synthesizer, percussion

Felix Hanemann- bass, backing vocals, keyboards, strings

Guy Gelso- drums, backing vocals, percussion

Zebra’s debut album came and went in 1983 and escaped my notice for thirty-three years. Now that I finally did, I liked what I heard from the debut album. However and I know I’m repeating myself here, I don’t think I missed anything super special.

Next post: Aldo Nova

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChidren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

10 Responses to “Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1983: Zebra”

  1. Sorry it didn’t live up to my hype but I’m glad you found some things to like on this album. Perhaps it’s a matter of “you had to be there.” I’m glad I was there, as Zebra holds a special place in my heart, and their music takes me back to a great time in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking forward to your Aldo Nova post!

    As for Zebra I know very little. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do remember Zebra getting played on MTV as that was how I heard of them. Their debut was their best album and Who’s Behind the Door was my favorite song on the album. I was hoping for more on their next album, but was disappointed. Can’t wait to hear your take on Aldo Nova. Huge fan of his and met him very briefly once at an album signing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My household didn’t get MTV until December of 1983 which was probably why they passed me by. “Who’s Behind the Door” is a good track as well and I did hear the opening song on their follow up album and thought it sounded really good. I’ll definitely be keeping an ear out when I get around to that year. Wow, you met Aldo Nova, that is cool!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: