ZEBRA – Live [Japanse remaster SHM-CD Cardboard Sleeve mini LP]
All-4 first ZEBRA albums were released in Japan on a high quality SHM-CD format, remastered and packed in a Cardboard Sleeve mini LP replicating the original artwork. Of special interest is the almost unknown “Zebra Live”. It was featured here when released, but now has become pretty hard to find. Requested by one of you in Comments, here we go again.
After the third studio album 3.V, despite Atlantic Records lack of support promoting it, Zebra successfully continued touring US & Canada as main act or with the likes of REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick and more.
However, the band’s concert prowess – Zebra always had a strong, loyal fan base – did not go unnoticed by their recording label. In 1989, after many fan requests, Atlantic asked if they’d like to release a live album.
A couple of shows were recorded on Long Island in November 1989, and the excellent “Zebra Live” album resulted.
This is a special recording and quite different from your typical ‘live’ album, because showcases a band doing more than just ‘greatest hits’. In first place, except the couple of singles emanate from the self-titled debut, Zebra does not have ‘hits’, they were an ‘integral album’ band.
So they were not pressed to play the songs alive as a carbon-copy from the studio versions. We have 6 cuts from the first album, two from the 2nd and three from 3.V, all in a different delivery, some quite re-arranged and with a style and sound that was the result of more than 15 years playing together.
At this point of their career, Zebra developed a tight, dynamic musicianship plenty of musicality, melody and energy recalling – at places – Dokken, Night Ranger, Winger and alikes.
And we have more: a wonderful cover of Led Zeppelin’s “The Ocean” – a concert favorite for many years, and two new previously unreleased songs only available on this album; “She’s Waiting For You” and “Last Time”, both very good rocking tracks.
On stage, Randy Jackson’s vocals remind me of Angel’s Frank DiMino, his guitar is vibrant according to the late ’80s hard rock style, and his bandmates Felix Hanemann & Guy Gelso sound like a 4-back up musicians more than just 2, playing everything from drums, bass, keys, synths, percussion.
This fresh remaster is perfect; I own the 1990 release and everything has been enhanced and clarified to the maximum. All sounds pristine yet edgy, and the unnecessarily high crowd noise of the original has been reduced to obtain a balanced live feel.
If you don’t like live albums, or nor even Zebra itself, do yourself a favor and give it a try to “Zebra Live”. You’ll be more than pleasantly surprised. It shows an almost different band, vital, dynamic and of course, awesomely hard rockin’.
01 – Said Before
02 – She’s Waiting For You *
03 – Last Time *
04 – Wait Until The Summer’s Gone
05 – One More Chance
06 – Take Your Fingers From My Hair
07 – Bears
08 – Better Not Call
09 – The La La Song
10 – Time
11 – Who’s Behind The Door?
12 – Making You The Fool
13 – Tell Me What You Want
14 – The Ocean
* New Tracks Previously Unreleased
Randy Jackson – vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards
Felix Hanemann – bass, keyboards, vocals
Guy Gelso – drums, percussion, vocals
BUY IT !