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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Zebra - 1983 Zebra
Zebra - 1983 Zebra

ALBUM: Zebra
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7 80054-1
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1989, Atlantic, 7 80054-2


LINEUP: Randy Jackson - vocals, guitars * Felix Hanneman - bass, keyboards * Guy Gelso - vocals, drums * Session Musicians: Jack Douglas - keyboards, percussion * Mike Grossman - piano * Eric Troyer - synthesizer

TRACK LISTING: 01 Tell Me What You Want * 02 One More Chance * 03 Slow Down * 04 As I Said Before * 05 Who's Behind The Door * 06 When You Get There * 07 Take Your Fingers From My Hair * 08 Don't Walk Away * 09 The La La Song


Three good old boys from the land of the Bayou head off to Long Island New York in search of fame and fortune. Yessiree, that's the story of Randy Jackson and Zebra. Hard to believe that this three-piece formed as far back as 1975, but it would eight years later that their debut album was released. From recollection, the album was the fastest first week seller for Atlantic Records at the time, shifting a respectable 75,000 copies. Over the years, Zebra have been unfairly labelled as a Led Zep clone. Sure they might have done a few Zep covers in their time but so have a lot of other bands. I actually think they are closer to Rush and Triumph, but that's my opinion. Zebra paid their dues as regulars on the Long Island circuit, plus playing further afield from Boston down to Washington DC.

The Songs
There are some great tunes here, some say they are the pick of their overall discography but I disagree. There are more than a handful of useful songs on their third album '3V' that rank right up there. The stand out tracks include the tremendous opener 'Tell Me What You Want', the astral pomp rock of 'One More Chance', notwithstanding the space rock extravaganza of 'Who's Behind The Door', reminding us of Tommy Shaw's work with Styx. The other highlight is the epic 'Take Your Fingers From My Hair', which has a bombastic finale with all instruments on red alert. Interesting that Dream Theater have chosen to cover this song on their 2009 album 'Black Clouds And Silver Linings'. On occasion, some people may be put off by the ultra-high falsetto by Randy Jackson, you'll hear this trait coming through on some songs, including 'The La La Song'. Over the years I've learned to live with it, as I did with Geddy Lee and those early Rush albums.

In Summary
This album spend most of 1983 in the charts. Typically though, the second album syndrome proved near disastrous for the band, as 'No Tellin' Lies', their 1984 release was nowhere near as good, though things picked up for their aforementioned third release '3.V', but by then, most of the buying public weren't buying. At the time of writing in 2009, Zebra are still a going concern, so good on the trio for keeping the fire burning.

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#1 | Eric on August 18 2009 21:06:35
Great album. I recall hearing them advertised playing certain bars on LI, but I never had a chance to see them myself. I do remember Zebra opening for Marshall Crenshaw at an outdoor gig somewhere on the island which was a strange pairing....
#2 | sabace on August 25 2009 15:27:50
great band, the vocals take bit of getting used to, but once you do BAM! . This is a excellent lp, but the 3.v record is legendary!
#3 | rkbluez on May 28 2012 20:27:46
Love this's by far their best but also check out the smokin' Live album that came out on Atlantic records. Great band wish they had put out a lot more music...but what they did record was excellent.
#4 | imprimateur on December 04 2015 21:43:39
This album needs a lot more loving. It really was quite good for 1983.
#5 | bpdp3 on February 19 2018 00:28:04
I bought this and the fastway debut on the same day. Both were being accused by critics of being zep clones--probably due to the vocals on both. These 2 releases will always be linked in my mind. I loved both (and both more than zep at the time!).

The mentioned songs are all good but I'd add "as I said before" among my favorite tracks.

Saw zebra open for loverboy on their keep it up tour. I remember my friends commenting that zebra was a "guys band" and loverboy was for "chicks"!
#6 | gdazegod on February 19 2018 01:43:09
Quote: "Saw zebra open for loverboy on their keep it up tour. I remember my friends commenting that zebra was a "guys band" and loverboy was for "chicks"!

yuss salute
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