Published on August 10th, 2016 | by Justin G.0
Originally released in 1986, 3.V was the third album from melodic rockers Zebra, the power trio featuring vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Randy Jackson, bassist/vocalist Felix Hanemann and drummer Guy Gelso. This was the first album produced by the band.
The band spent a long time on this album, at least by 1980s standards. Randy Jackson wrote all of the material and took the lead in producing 3.V, and did so looking to repeat the kind of commercial success the Zebra debut enjoyed. As a result, 3.V is the most polished of the three Zebra albums, and the most AOR-minded. It has a ton of gorgeous melodies and is drenched in keyboards. Jackson makes full use of his incredible vocal range as well. Album opener “Can’t Live Without” is the lone single released from 3.V, but songs like “Better Not Call” and “Hard Living Without You” were definitely single material. The whole album, like the two before it, is strong from front to back.
Unfortunately 3.V, while a very commercially-oriented album, wasn’t a commercial success. The label dropped Zebra not long after its release, and the band went their separate ways. It’s still a first class AOR album though, and one that any serious collector of melodic rock ought to own. Fans of Outside Edge, Aldo Nova, Orion the Hunter, Honeymoon Suite and April Wine in particular really need to get their hands on 3.V, especially now that it has been reissued.
Reissue Notes: For quite some time, the only way to get 3.V was in a set with No Tellin’ Lies. Rock Candy gave the album a proper reissue in 2016. Their new edition features some very impressive remastering and a booklet loaded with band info, vintage photos, etc. It’s well worth the upgrade even if you already have the earlier 2-on-1 reissue.
Summary: Rock Candy never disappoints, so this is a more than worthwhile upgrade of this melodic rock gem.