Twentieth Century Zoo

Band members               Related acts

- Allan Chitwood -
- Greg Farley - 
- Skip Ladd - 
- Bob Sutko - 
- Randy Wells -



- The Bitter Sweets


Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Thunder On a Clear Day

Company: Vault

Catalog: 122

Year: 1968

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: two minor tears on front cover (see photo); minor ring, edge and corner wear; vinyl is wonderful

Available: 1

GEM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $180.00


Not yet a mega-rarity, but still rather hard to find (particularly in decent shape), this California band's sole release stands as one of our favorite slices of mid-1960s psychedelia. Unfortunately, this is another one of those outfits that we don't know much about ... anyone got anything to add? 

Based on the liner notes, the band's sole LP reflects a line up of Allan Chitwood, Greg Farley, Skip Ladd, Bob Sutko and Randy Wells (no performance credits are provided so we can't tell ya' who played what). Originally known as The Bitter Sweets, by 1967 they'd switched monikers to the hipper sounding Twentieth Century Zoo. A pair of singles for the small local Caz label ("You Don't Remember" b/w "Clean Old Man" (Caz catalog number L-103) and "Love In Your Face" b/w "Tossing and Twisting" (Caz catalog number L-10?)) did little in terms of sales, though they attracted the attention of the bigger Vault label. 

Signed by Vault, 1968's "Thunder On a Clear Day" is simply great. Interestingly, a number of music references describe the set as being bluesy. With the exception of the extended closing number "Blues with A Feeling", that doesn't strike us as a particularly accurate description. Sure there's a bluesy feel, but only to the extent material such as "Bullfrog" is full of squealing, feedback laced guitars. Musically the first side features relatively short and focused efforts ("Quiet Before the Storm" and "Love In Your Face"). In contrast, flip side numbers such as "It's All In My Head" and the previously mentioned "Blues with A Feeling" found the band stretching out. Complete with rather unsubtle druggy lyrics ("It's All In My Head") and occasional freak out sound effects (check out the segment following "You Don't Remember"), to our ears, this is prime psych !!! Did it sell? Nope. 'Course that probably helps explain why we're asking an arm and a leg for the LP ...

"Thunder On a Clear Day" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Quiet Before the Storm (P. Ladd - Robert Sutko) - 4:21
2.) Rainbow (P. Ladd - Randy Wells - Robert Sutko) - 3:55
3.) Bull Frog (M. Merrick) - 6:37
4.) Love In Your Face (Greg Farley - Robert Sutko) - 3:15

(side 2)

1.) You Don't Remember (Greg Farley - Robert Sutko) -2:38
2.) It's All In My Head (H. Aceves) - 5:04
3.) Blues with A Feeling (W. Jacobs) - 9:59



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