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The Long Island via New Orleans, trio Zebra broke from the gate with their eponymous first release, a record that was, at the time, one of Atlantic Records' fastest-selling debuts ever. Tapping into the vacuum left by Led Zeppelin's breakup, lead singer Randy Jackson and company gave the masses a good, healthy dose of Zeppelin-like hard rock. True, they are a pale imitation of their icons, but they pack enough requisite crunch into the album's nine tracks to make Zebra an enjoyable listen. The use of synthesizer dates the album, but they did manage to score a pair of radio hits with the driving "Tell Me What You Want" and "Who's Behind the Door?" which builds to a respectably thunderous climax. Jackson manages to do a decent approximation of Robert Plant's primal howl, although some of the lyrics ("The la la Song," "Take Your Fingers From My Hair") are embarrassingly self-conscious in their attempt to strive for the proper mix of mysticism and depth.
Performance CreditsZebra Primary Artist
Jack Douglas Percussion,Keyboards
Guy Gelso Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Felix Hanemann Synthesizer,Strings,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Eric Troyer Synthesizer
Karen Atta Percussion
Michael Grossman Piano
Randy Jackson Synthesizer,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Mellophonium,Vocals,Mellotron
Technical CreditsLarry Williams Composer
Jack Douglas Producer,Engineer
David Farrell Engineer
Felix Hanemann Contributor
Rod O'Brien Engineer
Clay Hutchinson Engineer
Mark Puma Director
Randy Jackson Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One of the most underrated bands of the early 80's, Zebra is long overdue for a revival of interest in, and appreciation for their music. The songs still sound great, and the lyrics and melodies are quite thoughtful and original.
The first Zebra album is a near-perfect post-Led Zeppelin masterwork of great hard rock, with superb Plant-esque lead vocals, Beatles/CSN-esque harmonies, lead guitar, and a solid rhythm section. For the one-two punch of "As I've Said Before" into "Who's Behind the Door" alone should any fan of '70s and '80s hard rock must have this album. Unfortunately for Zebra, their debut came out in 1983, right at the time MTV was changing the musical landscape, making it so that a band had to be visually-oriented, rendering bands with post Zeppelin, Yes, Boston song-craft and skill obsolete (at the time in the early 1980's), favoring bands such as Duran Duran and Culture Club, whose music was in tune with the times but whose image was even more important than the music (so it appeared when watching MTV). Zebra weren't pretty boys (Def Leppard), nor artsy (Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel) - they just rocked hard and put on great live shows. Too bad that wasn't enough to survive the hostile MTV climate of the 1980's.