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About Blue Zoo

Throughout their brief existence, the quirky British combo Blue Zoo juggled various musical styles with gleeful abandon. Formed in England in 1980, Blue Zoo released their first single, "I Shoot Sheep," under the moniker Modern Jazz. Featuring Andy O (vocals), Tim Parry (guitar), Mike Ansell (bass), and Micky Sparrow (drums), Blue Zoo shifted from post-punk gloom to jubilant synth-pop to offbeat funk on their 1983 debut album Two by Two, with only O's flamboyant, high-pitched vocals linking the tracks together. The vigorous dance song "Cry Boy Cry" catapulted Blue Zoo onto BBC TV, but tracks like "Open Up" and "Love Moves in Strange Ways" revealed the group's versatility. The mechanical rhythms and robotic singing of "Open Up" suggests the influence of early Wire, while "Love Moves in Strange Ways," a breakup tale told with ghostly keyboards, brittle acoustic guitars, and O's plaintive wailing, unearthed the band's darker side. Elements of the Associates, XTC, and New Order are tossed into Blue Zoo's stylistic soup on Two by Two. The masses, though, were either largely unimpressed or deeply perplexed by Blue Zoo's schizophrenic mood swings. The group produced a final single, the relentlessly upbeat "Somewhere in the World There's a Cowboy Dancing," and then entered the obscurity file after splitting apart in 1985. ~ Michael Sutton

  • ORIGIN
    England

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