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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Zuma II - 1988 Zuma II
Zuma II - 1988 Zuma II

YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Richard Gibbs - keyboards * Kerry Hatch - bass, background vocals * Michael Jochum - drums, percussion, background vocals * Joe Turano - lead vocals, piano * Eric Williams - guitars, hammer dulcimer, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 John Wayne * 02 A Wing And A Prayer * 03 I Know, I Know * 04 I'm Walkin' * 05 Here For You * 06 Hard Rain * 07 Lonesome Me * 08 The Sun Is Dancing * 09 Who Needs You * 10 Hurry Sundown

Some bands are a little too clever for their own good; for example the subject of this review Los Angeles based Zuma II. Was there a Zuma I? No, but I imagine curiosity seekers asked the same burning question as did a few radio programmers who spun this record and were befuddled by the sounds emanating from their speakers although this was one band who were no strangers to strange. Zuma II was headed up by Richard Gibbs and Kerry Hatch, formerly of the off-kilter but creative new wave act and KROQ favourites Oingo Boingo. Of note that band included future soundtrack composer Danny Elfman but wanting to stretch out away from Elfman's driving influence and explore different avenues led the duo toward the then proliferating hi-tech pop arena.

The Songs
According to Gibbs, in the end Zuma II never got off the ground. Not hard to understand after an initial spin but the group's penchant for the unusual can be infectious and the single pick 'John Wayne' despite coming dangerously close to a novelty tune that tends to wears paper-thin after two or more plays holds up pretty well. Vocalist Joe Turano sounds like 'Street Talk' era Steve Perry and Fergie Fredericksen in the higher range and does exceedingly well on the straighter AOR material such as 'A Wing And A Prayer' and the up-tempo charmer 'Lonesome Me' but too often than not despite oodles of talent and good intentions the album drowns in too many bells and whistles, an overabundance of musical ideas and shortage of memorable songs.

In Summary
Released on both LP and in smaller quantities on CD; the latter a long sought after but still relatively inexpensive rarity. Both Richard Gibbs and Michael Jochum went on to play in Korn's back-up band with Gibbs later following in Danny Elfman's footsteps, composing for numerous films as well as the 'Battlestar Galactica' TV series.

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