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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
Distributing label 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 in order 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, which was re-released in 1995 with extra tracks and called The Zoo Uncaged 1978-1982. Intriguingly, 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

Track listing

  • Side one
  1. "Society For Cutting Up Men" - Big in Japan
  2. "Iggy Pop's Jacket" - Those Naughty Lumps
  3. "When I Dream" - The Teardrop Explodes
  4. "The Pictures on My Wall" - Echo & the Bunnymen
  5. "Read It In Books" - Echo & the Bunnymen
  6. "Lonely Spy" - Lori and the Chameleons
  7. "The Winds" - The Turquoise Swimming Pools
  • Side two
  1. "Kwalo Klobinsky's Lullaby" - Whopper
  2. "A Suicide" - Dalek (I Love You)
  3. "Burst Balloons" - The Turquoise Swimming Pools
  4. "Camera, Camera" - The Teardrop Explodes
  5. "Suicide A Go Go" - Big In Japan
  6. "Villiers Terrace" - Echo & the Bunnymen
  7. "Take A Chance" - The Teardrop Explodes

Re-release CD track listing

  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 was 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 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] 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)
  • The Lonely Spy (1980)


  • 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., November 15-28 1979, p.11


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