The Zoo Gang / Monkey Business

UK release date:
Apr 26, 1974
Publisher:
Bradley's Records
Reference:
BRAD 7407

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Track list

Side 1


1.

Zoo Gang

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

Studio versionB

Colin Frechter :
Keyboards
Tony Hiller :
Producer

Side 2


1.

Monkey Business

Studio version

About

Zoo Gang theme released 26th April by Jungle Juice – record N°. BRAD 74071. Original theme composed and performed by Wings on TV…..

From Wings Fun Club newsletter N°1, 1974

I have a vinyl single which I received from a London-based Fun Club member around December 1974 and has puzzled me ever since. The A-side is the same rendition of ‘Zoo Gang’ as the B-side of the UK single ‘Band On The Run’, the reverse is a very similar sounding instrumental entitled ‘Monkey Business’. The artist name on the disc is Jungle Juice and it is pressed on the Bradley Records label. I think that the recording is definitely Paul McCartney but has never appeared in any discography. Please could you shed some light on this?

Oliver Dziggel, Bethesda, MD, USA

Thanks to your letter, Oliver, we’ve done some digging and got to the bottom of an issue which has been intriguing collectors for years. The story goes like this: Sir Lew Grade’s television company ITC was making a new adventure serial called The Zoo Gang, based on Paul Gallico’s book of the same name. Through their then music publishing connections, Grade asked the McCartneys to compose the instrumental theme music to start and close each programme in the six-part series. Paul and Linda duly wrote the piece and recorded it. Good though it is, however, it wasn’t really appropriate as the A-side of Wings’ next single – it would have followed ‘Jet’ and been decidedly out of place – so Paul said he’d release it as the B-side of his next British 45, ‘Band On The Run’. But this wasn’t scheduled until 28 June, by which time the TV series (screened 5 April to 10 May 1974) would have finished, so Sir Lew ordered that some session musicians quickly be recruited to make another recording of the theme. Tony Hiller produced the session and Colin Frechter, a musical arranger of note on the London scene, played the all-important keyboard part. The anonymous band was named – for want of anything better – Jungle Juice and the single, issued on Grade’s own label, Bradley’s Records, was rush-released on 24 May, still late but five weeks ahead of Wings’ own version. The really astonishing part is the great similarity of the two different recordings – they are almost impossible to tell apart -which is why many fans have clamoured for a copy of the Jungle Juice 45 in the mistaken belief that it’s really a pseudonym for Paul himself and that it is his recording. It’s not.

From Club Sandwich N°78, Summer 1996

I was producing for ATV music. It was a quick request to cover a song, written by Paul and Linda McCartney, by ATV who held the publishing rights. We booked various session musicians at Pye Studios in London but I don’t recall any of them except Colin Frechter who played keyboards. I named the group Jungle Juice because of the song titles

Producer Tony Hiller – From 45cat – Jungle Juice – The Zoo Gang / Monkey Business – Bradley’s – UK – BRAD 7407

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