Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Distraction: Zed

As part of my ABC Wednesday post for Z last week, I mentioned in passing, “Zed is also the name of a New Zealand pop-rock band that was active 1998-2005.” I thought that I’d expand on that for a Weekend Distraction.

The band was formed when the members were students at Cashmere High School in Christchurch, and had six hits from their debut album, Silencer, including “Renegade Fighter” (excerpt live video on YouTube). It reached number four on the NZ charts and was the number one song in New Zealand in 2000. Their first hit from the album was a song called “Glorifilia”, and the final single from the album was “Driver’s Side” (video above), but it only reached number 36 on the chart. I thought "Driver's Side" was a better song overall, and that "Glorifilia" was a bit silly (which is why the video of the former is here, not the latter).

Their second album was called The Little Empire and marked a shift to a more pop-oriented sound. It had their last top ten hit in New Zealand, “Hard To Find Her” (video below), which is very different from their earlier songs. Nevertheless, I liked this song (though I only bought the CD single because it was in the closeout bin at The Warehouse, where most Kiwis bought music in those pre-iTunes days). Their last charted song was “She Glows”, but it only reached number 21. The final song from the album was “Firefly”, and it didn’t chart at all.

Zed basically broke up in 2005, though they’ve reunited for a couple performances. The members are now pursuing other projects.

Zed was one of a number of pop music groups that have popped up and disappeared since I’ve lived in New Zealand, and that means that I have more and more cultural history in common with people born here. I like that.

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