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28/01/2016 : RED ZEBRA - The Beauties Of The Beast: The Best Of Red Zebra (1980-1983)

RED ZEBRA

The Beauties Of The Beast: The Best Of Red Zebra (1980-1983)

MusicCD
New wavePost Punk

[88/100]   

Starman Records
28/01/2016, Didier BECU

EN

You can not think of any new wave top 100 (or is it a top 10?) without I Can’t Live In A Living Room by Red Zebra. This irresistible sing-along with the historical guitar riff by Geert Maertens, is undoubtedly the hit each band is jealous of, but the guys from Bruges had more to offer than that! The punk band was founded in 1978. First, they called it The Bungalows, but as Red Zebra they made it to the final of Humo's Rock Rally (an important Belgian rock contest-ed.) Between 1980 and 1983 the group released two monumental records: Bastogne (1981) and Maquis (1983). Nowadays, these LPs are only available at record fairs, pasted with the label collector's item. It seems strange, but it is not easy to obtain material of this Belgian legend. The reason is simple, everything they released was sold out in no time.

So, it was written in the stars that Starman Records would do something about it. The Beauties Of The Beast is a brand new compilation, but there are so many rarities included on this CD, that it is a must for everyone.

The CD kicks off with the single that started it all (I Can’t Live In A Living Room), even though Innocent People was actually the A-side. Also Graveyard Shuffle, that was featured on the first self-released single, is included on this compilation. Crimes Of Passion is a lesser known song and was released on the collectable compilation Humo's Rock Rally Finale. The second single that was produced by Paul Couter is also present on this CD.
I'm Falling Apart and TV Activity are pure punk songs (albeit with a lot of new wave influences), written 35 years ago, but (unfortunately) still relevant today!

Peter Slabbynck, Johan Isselée and Geert Maertens always were punks, but Red Zebra is also one of the most melancholic bands of the Belgian pop history. Just listen to the beautiful instrumental Bastogne or the sledgehammer Man Comes From Ape.

The mini-lp Bastogne is completely included. The featured songs of the second album Maquis (produced by Jean-Marie Aerts, just like their debut) are: the singles Lust and Polar Club, The Beauty Of The Beast, the moving Beirut By Night, Mice And Men, Paradise Lost and Search Party.

This CD ends with a live version of Transmission (you always hear something of Joy Division in Red Zebra) and the handsome danceable version of I Can’t Live In A Living Room by Kolk, made a few years ago.

The Beauties Of The Beast is a record that makes you realize how good these guys were! Unfortunately, in 1983 the band disappeared from the radar for a while. The story of Red Zebra is not the easiest one in rock history, but that is probably inevitable when there is so much talent in one band. The Beauties Of The Beast offers a look at one of Flanders' best bands ever. Keep an eye on our pages, because soon Peter Slabbynck will talk about those wild Red Zebra-days!

Didier BECU
28/01/2016


NL

Je kan geen new wave top 100 (of is het top 10?) bedenken zonder dat daar I Can’t Live In A Living Room van Red Zebra in staat. Deze onweerstaanbare meezinger met de historische gitaarriff van Geert Maertens, is zonder twijfel de hit waarop iedere band jaloers is, maar de Bruggelingen waren zo veel meer dan dat! De punkband werd in 1978 opgericht. Eerst heetten ze The Bungalows, maar als Red Zebra bereikten ze later de finale van Humo’s Rock Rally. Tussen 1980 en 1983 bracht de groep twee monumentale platen uit: Bastogne (1981) en Maquis (1983). Deze lp’s vind je tegenwoordig alleen maar in de bakken op platenbeurzen met het etiket collectors item. Het lijkt vreemd, toch is het allesbehalve gemakkelijk om materiaal van deze Belgische legende te vinden. De reden is simpel, alles raakte in een mum van tijd uitverkocht.

Het stond dan ook in de sterren geschreven dat Starman Records daar iets aan zou doen. The Beauties Of The Beast is een verzamelaar, maar er staan zo veel zeldzame rariteiten op deze cd, dat het meteen een aanrader voor iedereen is.

De cd begint met de single waar alles mee begon (I Can’t Live In A Living Room), ook al was Innocent People de A-kant (!). Ook Graveyard Shuffle dat op de in eigen beheer uitgebrachte eerste single stond, prijkt op deze compilatie. Crimes Of Passion is een minder bekend nummer en stond destijds op de verzamelaar Humo’s Rock Rally Finale. Ook de tweede single die door Paul Couter werd geproduceerd staat op deze cd. Zowel I’m Falling Apart en TV Activity zijn pure punknummers (weliswaar met een flinke scheut new wave) die wel 35 jaar geleden zijn geschreven, maar (jammer genoeg) nog even actueel zijn!

Peter Slabbynck, Johan Isselée en Geert Maertens zijn altijd punks geweest, toch is Red Zebra tevens één van de meest melancholische bands uit de Belpopgeschiedenis. Luister gewoon naar de prachtige instrumental Bastogne of de mokerslag Man Comes From Ape.

De mini-lp Bastogne staat integraal op The Beauties Of The Beast. Uit Maquis, die net als Bastogne door Jean-Marie Aerts is geproduceerd, zijn zes nummers opgenomen: de singles Lust en Polar Club, The Beauty Of The Beast, het ontroerende Beirut By Night, Mice And Men, Paradise Lost en Search Party.

Deze knappe verzamelaar wordt afgesloten met een liveversie van Transmission (je hoort altijd wel iets van Joy Division in Red Zebra) en de knappe versie van I Can’t Live In A Living Room, die de dansformatie Kolk een paar jaar geleden maakte.

The Beauties Of The Beast is een plaat die je doet beseffen: wat waren jullie verdomd goed bezig, mannen! Het mocht niet zijn, want in 1983 verdween de band voor een tijdje van de radar. Het verhaal van Red Zebra was niet meteen het gemakkelijkste, maar dat is allicht onvermijdelijk als er zo veel talent in één band zit. The Beauties Of The Beast biedt je een kijk op één van Vlaanderens beste bands. Hou onze pagina’s in het oog, want weldra hebben we het met Peter Slabbynck over de wilde Red Zebra-dagen!

Didier BECU
28/01/2016


 

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Other reviews from RED ZEBRA
RED ZEBRA • THIEVES OF SILENCE | SINT NIKLAAS | OJC KOMPAS | 21/05/2011 | So this is Belgium...

 

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ULTRAVOX • The Island Years
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THE ASSOCIATES • Fourth Drawer Down.
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SPREADING POINT • MOMENTUM - PART II
KILLING JOKE • Live at Muziek-o-Droom - Hasselt - Belgium 05.12.2016
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NEW MODEL ARMY • Live at the Muziekgieterij, Maastricht, NL - 30.09.2016 - Photo Hub Dautzenberg
PAUL HAIG • Metamorphosis
PETE SHELLEY • Cinema Music and Wallpaper Sounds:

 

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