BLUE ZOO: 2 By 2: CD

The first CD reissue of this seminal album that was originally released in 1983 on Magnet Records. This expanded version contains nine of the original album tracks plus 10 essential bonus tracks and has been mastered from the original production masters. The bonus material includes the single versions of “Love Moves In Strange Ways,” “Loved One’s An Angel” and “Somewhere In The World There Is A Cowboy Smiling”. Other tracks include the B-sides “Fate,” “Off To Market,” “These Days,” “Shine,” “Don’t Walk Away” and “Chameleon Waves.” The album was originally produced by Tim Friese-Greene of TALK TALK. The CD booklet features many of the original sleeves and a full UK discography. The sleeve notes have been written by singer/writer/front man Andy O.

Formed in 1980, their original band name was Modern Jazz, and they released two singles entitled “In My Sleep (I Shoot Sheep)” and “Ivory Towers” in 1981. After changing their name to BLUE ZOO they had three hit singles which charted in the UK. “I’m Your Man” reached #55 in June 1982 and in October 1982, “Cry Boy Cry” reached the Top 20, peaking at #13, becoming the band’s biggest hit. It stayed on the UK Singles Chart’s Top 40 for eight weeks. “(I Just Can’t) Forgive And Forget” reached #60 in May 1983. Although failing to chart, the much acclaimed single, “Love Moves In Strange Ways” was a single of the week in the NME. This remaster has sweeping vocals, awkward vocals and edgy vocals all coming from singer Andy O and it creates a diverse album that has all of the terrific new wave/synth-pop sounds that I hold close to my heart and sounds so exciting today. Being in Canada, not the UK, I had never heard most of these songs and was too cheap to buy the import album so I’m glad that I now have the opportunity to hear these fantastic songs and enjoy a band that didn’t write a bad song. You get all of the “hits” and more and the singles are every bit as thrilling as they were in the ’80s and really make me miss the days of turning on the radio and hearing something new and fresh every time.

Song after song just comes out of your speakers making for a dance party that will get you old fogies out of your chairs and kicking up your heels like in the old days, but you may need to use the pause button to catch your breath. Fantastic sound and a great package, what more could you ask for?

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