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Plain and Fancy

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Human Zoo - The Human Zoo (1970 us, rough garage psych with r 'n b blinks, Cicadelic 2010 issue)



Originally known as The Circus, The Human Zoo were a rock band from Westminster, California. Featuring Jim Cunningham and Roy Young on vocals, John Luzadder on guitar, Larry Hanson on guitar and keyboards, Bob Dalrymple on bass and Kim Vydaremy on drums, the group was discovered by Jim Foster, guitarist with the Los Angeles-based psychedelic band The Human Expression, whose single "Optical Sound" had been a regional hit. 

On Foster's suggestion, the band changed their name from The Circus to The Human Zoo and they landed a recording deal with Accent Records, a small label based out of Hollywood. While Accent released their debut album in 1970, it was pressed in very small quantities; it's been speculated that the label's management believed the group had the potential to be signed to a larger label and pressed the LP primarily as a promoti...


Tracks
1. It's Got To Be (Roy Young) - 3:01
2. Na-Na (Larry Hanson) - 2:07
3. Help Me (Jim Cunningham, Larry Hanson) - 3:11
4. I Dont' Care No More (Larry Hanson, John Luzadder) - 2:36
5. Funny (A.Morettini, D.Leonards) - 5:09
6. Late To My Resurrection (A.Morettini) - 3:07
7. When Papa Started Drinking (Bob Dalrymple) - 2:27
8. Gonna Take Me a Ride (Jim Cunningham, John Luzadder) - 3:31
9. Stone Sassy Fox (Jim Cunningham, D.Leonards) - 3:16
10. The Human Zoo (Roy Young, John Luzadder) - 3:12
11. The Time Was Over (Bob Dalrymple) - 2:36

The Human Zoo
*Roy Young - Vocals
*Jim Cunningham - Vocals
*Larry Hanson - Guitar, Horn, Keyboards
*John Luzadder - Guitar
*Bob Dalrymple - Bass
*Kim Vydaremy - Drums

Free Text

6 comments:

DanP said...

thanks again Marios, I think it's time finally for me to check this out.

DanP said...

How about The Human Expression, from a little reading around I would liek very much to hear Foster's band as well!! pretty please ;)

adamus67 said...

Originally known as The Circus, The Human Zoo were a rock band from Westminster, California. Featuring Jim Cunningham and Roy Young on vocals, John Luzadder on guitar, Larry Hanson on guitar and keyboards, Bob Dalrymple on bass and Kim Vydaremy on drums, the group was discovered by Jim Foster, guitarist with the Los Angeles-based psychedelic band The Human Expression, whose single "Optical Sound" had been a regional hit. On Foster's suggestion, the band changed their name from The Circus to The Human Zoo and they landed a recording deal with Accent Records, a small label based out of Hollywood. While Accent released their debut album in 1970, it was pressed in very small quantities; it's been speculated that the label's management believed the group had the potential to be signed to a larger label and pressed the LP primarily as a promotional item, hoping to attract interest from A&R executives. If this was Accent's gambit, it didn't work; sales were minimal, the remaining copies were dumped into bargain bins and The Human Zoo's sole recording all but vanished.
That's not a lot to base a reputation on, but the lone album The Human Zoo left behind is pretty good stuff, and suggests with better promotion they could have risen to much more impressive heights. Boasting two lead singers (Roy Young and Jim Cunningham), The Human Zoo worked up a full and dynamic sound with impressive harmonies on these sessions, and the rest of the band shows off some solid chops -- John Luzadder and Larry Hanson are a capable guitar combo, with Hanson also doubling on keyboards, while bassist Bob Dalrymple and drummer Kim Vydaremy hold down the rhythm with strength and confidence. While The Human Zoo could add a trippy edge to their songs (such as "I Don't Care No More"), they (at least as captured on this album) were at their best when they rocked out, and it's on numbers like "Na-Na" and "Funny" that The Human Zoo really connect, while "Gonna Take Me a Ride" and "Help Me" reveal they weren't bad with blue-eyed soul stuff, either. The production is simple, but also captures the performances in a clean and natural fashion and is thankfully short on the studio trickery often inflicted on lesser-known psych acts. The recording seems to favor the band's live sound, and if The Human Zoo sounded this tight on-stage, it's hard to say why they didn't attract greater notice at the time. The songwriting is good but not great on The Human Zoo, but otherwise this is several notches above average for a psych act of the period, and fans of late-'60s/early-'70s surprising and quirky blend of psychedelic (trippy), garage (fuzz-guitar), and funky music West Coast rock should find this worth their time. In 2010, less wealthy collectors were able to own the album as it was reissued by Cicadelic Records. Guitarist Larry Hanson later went on to a successful career as a sideman and session musician, spending eighteen years as a touring member of the popular country group Alabama.

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Marios said...

....Zooman...Hu....