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Question: What did you think of Zazu?
5 stars - a dyed-in-the-wool classic - 0 (0%)
4 stars - enjoyed it a lot - 1 (25%)
3 stars - enjoyed it just fine - 3 (75%)
2 stars - not great, but a few redeeming features - 0 (0%)
1 star - didn't like this at all - 0 (0%)
0 stars - where's my Mum? - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 4

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Author Topic: W/C 11th July - Rosie Vela - Zazu  (Read 5629 times)
AmazingWilf
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« on: July 11, 2011, 12:45:48 PM »

Rosie Vela - Zazu (1986)

Zazu (1986) is the only album released to date by American model and singer-songwriter Rosie Vela. The album was produced by Gary Katz, best known for his work in that capacity with Steely Dan. Many of the songs feature Steely Dan's Donald Fagen on keyboards and Walter Becker on guitar.

Despite receiving positive reviews, Zazu was a commercial failure in Vela's native United States. However it was more successful in Europe, notably in the United Kingdom, where it reached #20 on the national albums chart and produced a top 30 single ("Magic Smile"). The CD album has been out of print in North America and Europe since the early 1990s and is currently a highly sought-after item, with second-hand copies selling for substantial sums of money.

Vela recorded a second album entitled Sun Across the Altar, but this was shelved following the disappointing sales performance of Zazu in the United States, and to date has never been released.


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David 'Wilf' Elliott
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Simon
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 02:59:12 PM »

This is an interesting album. I remember only two things about this record at the time that still stand out to me today; the first of which was (as Wilf mentioned) the production team behind the music and the other was that Jem was rather keen on it. As a direct result of both, Zazu started to get heavy rotation on my Walkman too. There were a lot of female singer/songwriters making their names around this time like, Tanita Tikaram, Edie Brickell, Tracey Chapman, Jane Child, etc all of which were re-examining the human condition from a female perspective. Some had indie chic, some pushed the mad, bad look while others took a subtle but slick approach.

For my money however, it was Vela who stood head and shoulders above the others simply because on paper, nobody honestly thought she could pull it off. The words 'model' and 'musician' rarely make for a profound end product but the album is equal parts a sonic masterclass in slick production and a subtle snapshot of the times in which it was made.

As an album, it works and doesn't date anywhere nears as badly as the brash mid 80's clatter of Jane Child's debut but the downside is that apart from the single Magic Smile, memorable melodies are (to my ear) a little thin on the ground.
 
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Ash
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 11:44:05 AM »

never heard of it/her
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 11:50:07 AM »

You're not alone in that statement Sarah.  Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2011, 12:02:22 PM »

never heard of it/her

That's the point, in a way.
Just give it a spin.
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MikeEvs
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2011, 01:16:22 PM »

Not bad very easy to listen to gets a 3 from me
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Ash
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 07:15:24 PM »

just put it on - initially sounds VERY 1986  Grin
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Trace
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 07:19:19 PM »

I think it's a 3 from me as well.
It's a pleasant listen, but I've heard too many 'light' albums from the '80s. I've got quite a few buried in my record collection. Having heard about the backing musicians, you can hear where some of the sounds are coming from, but the instruments really are of the time.
I'd definitely listen to it again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.
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AmazingWilf
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 07:57:48 PM »

I'd definitely listen to it again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.
It's a bugger to find - I've got it on vinyl from when it was first released, and it's very hard to track down these days.
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David 'Wilf' Elliott
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2011, 05:43:06 AM »

yeah it was ok
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2011, 06:24:51 AM »

If anybody is interested, Cherry Red records are re-releasing this album on CD this month according to advert I've just seen on Record Collector magazine.
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AmazingWilf
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2011, 07:25:13 AM »

Ah, that'll be worth getting - cheers, Bryan Smiley
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David 'Wilf' Elliott
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