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Zoo Records

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Title: Zoo Records  
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Subject: Bill Drummond, Post-punk, Big Star, List of University of Westminster alumni, WikiProject Merseyside/WatchAll
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Zoo Records

This article is about the British independent record label, for the American record label, see Zoo Entertainment.
Zoo Records
Parent company Coca-Cola Communications
Founded 1978
Founder David Balfe
Bill Drummond
Defunct 1982
Distributor(s) ABC-Paramount Records
Genre Alternative rock
Country of origin United Kingdom
Location Liverpool, England

Zoo Records was a British independent record label formed by Bill Drummond and David Balfe in 1978. Zoo was launched to release the work of the perennially struggling Liverpool band, Big in Japan (the label's first release being the From Y To Z and Never Again EP). The label also released two singles by Lori and the Chameleons, Balfe and Drummond's band formed after Big in Japan folded.[1] Zoo Records went on to release early work from The Teardrop Explodes and Echo & the Bunnymen. The label also released the first single "Iggy Pop's Jacket" by the Liverpool band Those Naughty Lumps.

Only two albums were released on the label: a Scott Walker compilation put together by Julian Cope, called Fire Escape in the Sky, and a label compilation called To the Shores of Lake Placid. (In 1995, an American bootlegger took various Zoo 45s and tracks from To the Shores of Lake Placid and released an illegal bootleg entitled The Zoo Uncaged 1978–1982.)

Fire Escape in the Sky had the catalogue number Zoo Two, while To the Shores of Lake Placid had Zoo Four. Zoo One was scheduled to be the Teardrop Explodes album Kilimanjaro (later released on Mercury Records) while Zoo Three was to be the same band's album Wilder (or perhaps their 'never released' album Everyone Wants to Shag the Teardrop Explodes).

To the Shores of Lake Placid

To the Shores of Lake Placid
Compilation album by Various
Released 1982
Recorded 1977–1981
Genre Post-Punk
Label Zoo Records
(ZOO 4)

To the Shores of Lake Placid was released in 1982 and was compiled by Bill Drummond and Mick Houghton.

Track listing (1982)

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Artist Length
1. "Society For Cutting Up Men"   Big in Japan Big in Japan  
2. "Iggy Pop's Jacket"   Peter Hart Those Naughty Lumps  
3. "When I Dream"   Julian Cope The Teardrop Explodes  
4. "The Pictures on My Wall"   Leslie Pattinson, Ian McCulloch, Will Sergeant Echo & the Bunnymen  
5. "Read It in Books"   Julian Cope, Ian McCulloch Echo & the Bunnymen  
6. "Lonely Spy"   David Balfe, Bill Drummond Lori and the Chameleons  
7. "The Winds"   David Balfe The Turquoise Swimming Pools  
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Artist Length
8. "Kwalo Klobinsky's Lullaby"   Milk, Kevin Stapleton Whopper  
9. "A Suicide"   Alan Gill, Dave Hughes Dalek (I Love You)  
10. "Burst Balloons"   David Balfe The Turquoise Swimming Pools  
11. "Camera, Camera"   Julian Cope, Gary Dwyer, Mick Finkler, Paul Simpson The Teardrop Explodes  
12. "Suicide A Go Go"   Big in Japan Big in Japan  
13. "Villiers Terrace"   Leslie Pattinson, Ian McCulloch, Will Sergeant Echo & the Bunnymen  
14. "Take A Chance"   Julian Cope, Gary Dwyer, Mick Finkler The Teardrop Explodes  

Release notes

  • Track A1 – previously unreleased. Recorded T.W. Studios October 1977. Licensed from Warner Bros. Music Ltd.
  • Track A2 – previously released as single (Zoo Cage 002) January 1979. Recorded Open Eye Studios, Liverpool.
  • Track A3 – the original version, taken from the never released album 'Everybody Wants To Shag The Teardrop Explodes' (Zoo 1). Recorded Rockfield Studios March 1980.
  • Track A4 – original version featuring Echo, released as single (Zoo Cage 004) March 1979. Recorded August Studios, Liverpool March 1979.
  • Track A5 – b-side of Track A4, not the version on American copies of 'Crocodiles' or Korova Special Offer Version.
  • Track A6 – originally released by Zoo Records through Korova Records. Recorded Rockfield Studios January 1980.
  • Track A7 – previously unreleased. Recorded Rockfield Studios February 1981.
  • Track B1 – from the forthcoming album 'The Fuel of the Big Machine', licensed from 'Radio Peeking Duck'.
  • Track B2 – originally released on Back Door. Recorded Rockfield Studios early 1979.
  • Track B3 – previously unreleased. Recorded Rockfield Studios February 1981.
  • Track B4 – previously released as b-side of 'Sleeping Gas' (Zoo Cage 003). Recorded Open Eye Studios, Liverpool November 1978.
  • Track B5 – previously released on 'From Y To Z And Never Again' (Zoo Cage 001). Licensed from Warner Bros. Music Ltd.
  • Track B6 – recorded for John Peel Session May 1979. With kind permission of the BBC.
  • Track B7 – previously unreleased. Recorded Cargo, Rochdale November 1979.

The Zoo Uncaged 1978–1982 track listing (1995)

  1. "Suicide A Go Go" – Big in Japan
  2. "Nothing Special" – Big in Japan
  3. "Iggy Pop's Jacket" – Those Naughty Lumps
  4. "Pure and Innocent" – Those Naughty Lumps
  5. "Sleeping Gas" – The Teardrop Explodes
  6. "Camera Camera" – The Teardrop Explodes
  7. "The Pictures on My Wall" – Echo and the Bunnymen
  8. "Bouncing Babies" – The Teardrop Explodes
  9. "Touch" – Lori & The Chameleons
  10. "Love on the Ganges" – Lori and the Chameleons
  11. "To See You" – Expelaires
  12. "Frequency" – Expelaires
  13. "Treason" – The Teardrop Explodes
  14. "Books" – The Teardrop Explodes
  15. "Revolutionary Spirit" – The Wild Swans
  16. "God Forbid" – The Wild Swans
  17. "Society For Cutting Up Young Men" – Big in Japan
  18. "Taxi" – Big in Japan
  19. "Cindy and the Barbi Dolls" – Big in Japan

Lori and the Chameleons

Lori and the Chameleons were a short-lived new wave band that existed during 1979 and 1980. Formed in Liverpool by ex-Big in Japan's Bill Drummond (guitar) and David Balfe (bass, keyboards), and the singer Lori Lartey, they combined synthpop, and post-punk styles in their songs.

Lori and the Chameleons only released two singles while together, in 1979 and 1980. The first, "Touch", was written over the course of a year by Balfe and Drummond, based on Lartey's holiday in Tokyo two years earlier.[2] Tim Whitaker of Deaf School/Pink Military played drums on the single.[3] "Touch" spent one week in the UK Singles Chart in December 1979, at No. 70.[4] A second single, "The Lonely Spy" featured Gary Dwyer of The Teardrop Explodes on drums and Ray Martinez on trumpet.[3] Lartey went to art school, while Balfe and Drummond began to work with the Teardrop Explodes, as keyboardist and manager, respectively.


  • "Touch" / "Love on the Ganges" (1979), Zoo (7-inch single)
  • "The Lonely Spy" / "Peru" (1980), Korova (7-inch single)
  • "Touch" / "The Lonely Spy" / "Love on the Ganges"* (1981), Korova (7/12-inch single)

*on 12-inch single only


  • Rip It Up And Start Again: Post-punk 1978–1984 by Simon Reynolds. ISBN 0-571-21570-X
  1. ^ Head Heritage: Lori And The Chamelons – Touch
  2. ^ "Articulated Lori", Smash Hits, EMAP National Publications Ltd., 15–28 November 1979, p.11
  3. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (1999) The Great Alternative & Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 0-86241-913-1, p. 375
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 329.  
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