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ZOO

Crossover Prog • Netherlands


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Zoo biography
Zoo was a melodic progressive rock band from the town of Groningen who formed in 1970 when the band SPRING changed its name, and continued through to 1974. Bass player Bert VELDKAMP joined KAYAK, while some of the others started the new group KANGAROO. Over the course of their history they released four singles and an album, but never gained much recognition within the progressive scene which may be due to not fully committing themselves to the genre.

The sole album, 'Zoo' was released in 1973, and contains a multitude of styles, with enough progressive elements to be considered as Crossover, with mellotron used sparingly. Their final release was a single taken from the album, and it is the 'B' side of this, the instrumental NAUGH MOO, that is often viewed as their finest progressive outing.

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2.58 | 10 ratings
Zoo
1973

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ZOO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Zoo by ZOO album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.58 | 10 ratings

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Zoo
Zoo Crossover Prog

Review by Albert H

3 stars Looking through a dusty pile of old records for something to play on the radio, I found this little nugget from 1972. Bert Veldkamp plays bass - and later went to join Kayak - and the other musicians were well known around Groningen when I was a kid. Other members of the band had been in a band called "Spring" (nothing to do with the English band of the same name), and I'd seen a few of their gigs. I saw this band live twice, and they were pretty good for what would be considered a "local" band. That's why I bought this album all those years ago.

I'm being generous giving this three stars - perhaps it's just the nostalgia for my teenage years that this evokes - but much of it is quite good. The "Beatles Medley" is superfluous - probably forced on to them by well-meaning management - but the rest of the album is pretty good.

The opening track "Cold Night" is predominantly guitar and Hammond Organ led, so has a bit of the Focus sound about it. The next track "Summerday" has some strange key changes and a non-obvious melody - possibly the proggiest track here. "Everybody Knows" is a a pop-rocker and I played it to death when I was a kid. "I'm Here" is a ballad that I never really liked much at the time, but sounds better these days. The Beatles Medley is best forgotten, and the next track "Zoo Music" is fine, but really didn't need the extended drum solo! The last track - "Feelings" - uses two lead voices in either channel, to give a sort of "conversation" between alternating verse lines.

This band also released four singles (that don't appear on the album), but I can't find them..... They're here somewhere!

Not essential, but worth a listen.

 Zoo by ZOO album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.58 | 10 ratings

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Zoo
Zoo Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars The Dutch band ZOO was a reconfigured version of an earlier group called SPRING, with apparently no familial relation to the British SPRING that unleashed a self titled mellotron-a-saurus in the early 1970s. That said, this sometimes sounds like a caged barely legitimate child of that minor classic. Only the first few tracks are promising, while hardly distinctive, like a cross between ARGENT and the aforementioned, and the rest is, at its best, utterly forgettable blues influenced rock for its time, with occasional prog instrumentation, chiefly the aforementioned 'tron.

At its worst, ZOO subjects us to a pointless drum solo and lyrics that reach for contemporaneous themes as though a record exec told them exactly what they needed to do to be cool, and they didn't realize they should do the exact opposite. The nadir is in the form of a idolatrous BEATLES' medley for which I can only offer the kindly anachronistic "too soon". They also fancy themselves quite the Acapella maestros, but GRACIOUS they aren't, pun intended. Another odd comparison I could make is to the late 1970s release by GALAXY, "Nature's Clear Well", but that's more a case of that album being behind the times than this one being ahead of anything other than its own flat front feet.

I can't recommend this to anyone except the prog fan equivalent of the tourists who have to go to the zoo in every foreign city they visit, no matter how poorly fed and kept its reluctant inhabitants. Oh yes, and blind followers of the Fab Four. Is there such a beast? Nah. 1.5 stars.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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