header1.jpg header2.jpg header3.jpg

37 ZACK 37

1978 37 < ZACK > 37

37 < Z A CK > 37 is the eighth album by Tèxord based rock band bad medecine. It was published in June 1978 by Myzelf Music inc.. Recordings took place during the winter of early 1978 after the band had toured as a trio to support their previous release untitled/unwritten. On this tour, Bob Beeldhouwer had played most of the lead guitar which continued on this album. Contrary to all other albums, this one is completely credited as being written by all the members of the group.


1. [4.23]   5 [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello]      
2. [4.37]   hai [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello]    
3. [3.11]   37 < Z A C K > 37 [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello]        
4. [4.27]   i’m not [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello]   
5. [4.09]   soldiersong [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello]      

1. [5.37]   you and me [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello]       
2. [4.01]   being free [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello]        
3. [2.17]   forward/utero [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello]  
4. [4.14]   differences [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello] 
5. [4.41]   macic [Beeldhouwer, Papa Beer, Bello]



Papa Beer : bass + leadvocals
Bello : drums + vocals
Bob Beeldhouwer : guitars + vocals

Recorded at “the mick studiós” in Tèxord, January - February 1978
Produced by bad medecine
Engineered by Manfred Kevand
Mixed at “the mick studiós” by Piet Dehond and Mick Oe
Released at myzelf music inc, April 1978



All songs were born out of ideas that bad medecine had had during the tour after "untitled/unwritten". Just as their previous record, this bad medecine record is compacter and poppier than any other. In a later interview, Papa Beer declared "we realised that there was a lot of money to make and we wanted to see how long we would take it if we would make the music that would be wild and mainstream at the same time."


Writing and composition

Influences of various musical styles can be traced down throughout the album. ‘soldiersong’ is based on a 12-bar blues, ‘forward/utero’ is a furious punk song and ‘being free’ is influenced by funk. The rest of the songs have a proper chorus/verse structure, whereby ‘hai’ is driven by a reggae rhythm, ‘5’ leans on a hard rock riff and ‘macic’ & ‘i'm not’ are gloomy minimalistic rock songs.

In the lyrics, an array of topics is being discussed. Papa Beer brought up ideas that the group would work out with the three of them. He sings about social issues on ‘differences’ and ‘5’, war is the topic in ‘soldiersong’ and ‘being free’. ‘you and me’ is a love song, whereas ‘i'm not’ resolves around the lack of affection or identification with the mainstream. Other lyrics are highly influenced by the écriture automatique and both ‘37 < Z A K C > 37’ and ‘forward/utero’ have abstract lyrics, whereas ‘hai’ and "macic" are both cryptical descriptions of respectively drugs and sex.


On the back, the picture of the group depicts the trio standing in front of Tèxord’s medieval wall. Bello's hair is short, wearing a leather jacket and ragged jeans. Bob has a rasta hat, small bright red t-shirt and baggy trousers. Papa Beer's dreads are black, his beard yellow and he wears a linen suit. The band is smiling broadly and moving on the picture, Bob even hiding his face behind his hand. The letters BM on the vinyl are red with a yellow and green background.


Critical reception and legacy

The reception was very positive and critics praised the band for their combination of pop and hard rock music. ‘untitled/unwritten’ had been the comeback of bad medecine, but only with 37 < ZACK > 37 they got back to the bigger venues and seemed to matter again. The singles nearly sold as much as their massive hit '7' and during the summer they play all big festivals in Europe. 37 ZACK 37 received widespread acclaim from critics. The album's critical and commercial success secured bad medecine a place in the public psyche, reaching top 10 in charts around the globe. It is the most sold album of bad medecine, peeking number in the UK and the Netherlands for over two months in 1978

Critics praised the record for its steady rock songs, excellent song writing and poetic lyrics. The sales rose higher than ‘famous’ and they reached #1 throughout four continents. The single ‘hai’ was a summer hit that made the band even more popular than before for a wider audience and ‘soldier song’ became a massive hit to give a voice to the protest, making Papa Beer one of the major voices of his generation. The band had given up playing old songs and the freshness of the two new albums gave the band a lot of new fans. The following tour took the band to bigger venues than ever and throughout the world they have to do tv shows. Most of these were done by Papa Beer solo, which gave Bobby time to write songs for his own project.



The vibe was completely different than earlier tours and instead of driving through different countries, the follow up tour of 37 < ZAC K > 37 was very well organised and commercially set up. During the tour, the band played on fenders. Papa Beer had a jazzmaster and Bobby had an orange and purple telecaster, though he also played a white Gretsch. Bello had still the same kick as before the hiatus, with the BM logo in drums. During this tour, 'eternal dread' was recorded and the band changed line up several times.


a cufnosed circus

billy navrovski