Tangerine Zoo

Band members               Related acts

- Robert Benevides -- guitar (1967-69)
- Wayne Gagnon -- rhythm guitar (1967-69)
- Ronald Medeiros -- keyboards, harmonica (1967-69)
- Donald Smith -- drums, percussion (1967-69)
- Tony Tavares -- bass, guitar (1967-68)



- The Ebb Tides
- The Kidds
- Wadsworth Mansion (Wayne Gagnon


Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title: Tangerine Zoo

Company: Mainstream

Catalog: S/6107

Year: 1967

Country/State: Newport, Rhode Island

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor sticker residue on front cover; name written on back cover (E.W. Crocker); minor stain along back left spine; scratch on front and back, but doesn't impact playing (no skips); slight hiss on quiet passages

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $170.00


Formed from members of The Ebb Tides and The Kidds (see separate entries), the Newport, Rhode Island-based Tangerine Zoo came together in late 1967. Sporting a line up of guitarists Robert Benevides and Wayne Gagnon, keyboard player Ronald Medeiros, drummer Donald Smith and bassist Tony Tavares (yep, same guy as was in the '70s soul outfit), the band attracted considerable attention on the local club circuit (Newport's Dorian's and Lucifers niteclubs), quickly scoring a contract with the Detroit-based Mainstream label. 

Making their debut with 1968's cleverly titled "Tangerine Zoo", musically the album was a mixed success. As the primary writers, Gagnon and Mederios turned in a marginally interesting blend of garage, pop ("Please Don't Set Me Free") and psychedelic influences ("Trip To the Zoo", "The Flight" and " Crystalescent Heaven"). The absence of a distinctive lead singer coupled with the lack of a killer song didn't help the proceedings. On the other hand, the performances were all enthusiastic (check out "Nature's Children"), and "Mommy and Daddy" was easily one of the earliest slices of progressive rock we've ever heard. As was standard marketing procedure, the LP was rounded out by a couple of popular covers, including a meltdown version of Them's "Gloria" (check out the stunning feedback laced guitar) and equally nifty take on The Miracles' "One More Heartache".

"Tangerine Zoo" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Gloria (Van Morrison) - 6:06
2.) Trip to the Zoo (Donald Smith - Robert Benevides) - 3:50
3.) Please Don't Set Me Free (Wayne Gagnon) - 3:48
4.) Nature's Children (Ronald Medeiros - Donald Smith) - 3:49
5.) The Flight (Ronald Medeiros) - 4:27

(side 2)

1.) Mommy and Daddy (Ronald Medeiros) - 1:42
2.) Symphonic Psyche (Wayne Gagnon) - 3:50
3.) Crystalescent Heaven (Wayne Gagnon) - 4:36
4.) One More Heartache (W. Moore - W. Robinson - R. Rogers - M. Tarplin - R. White) - 2:35





Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Outside Looking In

Company: Mainstream

Catalog: S/6116

Year: 1968

Country/State: Newport, Rhode Island

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $200.00


Released in the wake of Tavares' departure (the band continuing as a quartet with Benevides assuming bass duties), "Outside Looking In" found the group moving away from garage rock towards a distinctive psychedelic attack. Full of feedback, weird time structures, dumb lyrics (check out the spoken word intro to "Confusion"), tracks such as the self-penned "Wake Up Sun", the extended meltdown "Young Dream", "Farther Down the Road" and "Can't You See" weren't half bad, though overall the set would have benefited from stronger melodies and tighter arrangements. Elsewhere, parts of the album found the band tentatively exploring Moody Blues-styled symphonic orchestration - the set even included an over-the-top cover of the Moodies' "Another Morning". Like the debut, the sophomore set instantly vanished, followed in short order by the band.

"Outside Looking In" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Birth (instrumental) (Ronald Medeiros) - 2:36
2.) Like People (Robert Benevides) - 2:32
3.) Wake Up Sun (Tangerine Zoo - Vic Armen) - 4:17
4.) Another Morning (The Moody Blues) - 2:45
5.) Confusion (Wayne Gagnon) - 4:49

(side 1)

1.) You I Love (Robert Benevides - Vic Armen) - 3:52
2.) Farther Down the Road (Vic Armen - Wayne Gagnon) - 4:30
3.) Can't You See (Wayne Gagnon - Ronald Medeiros) - 3:52
4.) Young Dream (Wayne Gagnon) - 9:15

In the wake of the band's breakup, guitarist Gagnon reappeared with Wadsworth Mansion (see separate entries).





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