Zebra! This hard rock trio from New Orleans had been around for many years (since the mid-seventies) before they made their major label debut for Atlantic Records in 1983. Their official website, www.thedoor.com, does a pretty good job of summarizing the band’s history so I will spare you too much detail. The bottom line is that Zebra garnered a sizable, even legendary, regional following in both the New Orleans and Long Island areas before releasing Zebra. Zebra started out covering the likes of Led Zeppelin, Montrose, and The Moody Blues. Eventually they began to pepper their live gigs with more and more original tunes penned by singer and guitarist Randy Jackson.
1983’s Zebra album eventually went gold in the United States on the back of two charting hits; Tell Me What You Want and Who’s Behind The Door?.
My Worthless Opinion: Look at those three grinning bastards practically sharing a face on the album cover! They look confident, and rightly so. The record that lies beneath the cover is an elegant and classy chunk of timeless hard rock. A scan of the liner notes reveals that the songs were written between ’78 and ’81. No real surprise, as Zebra has a definite ’70s feel to it. Zebra’s days as a cover band surely had a huge influence on Randy Jackson’s own song writing. With the exception of one out-of-place cover tune, all the tracks on Zebra are winners. The tunes are well-crafted and smart. As I Said Before and Take Your Fingers From My Hair are my personal faves. The latter has a dramatic refrain in which Jackson’s voice elevates to his trademark falsetto, sending the song to another level of awesome. I like to listen to Zebra when I am in a mellow mood and want to feel all “mature” and shit. Check it out if you like good stuff. My score: A+