Category: The Zombies

The Zombies – The EP Collection

ARTIST: The Zombies R-2168160-1267702224.jpeg
TITLE: The EP Collection
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Included here: She’s Not There (#2 US, #12 UK), Tell Her No (#6 US, #42 UK), She’s Coming Home (#58 US), I Want You Back Again (#95 US), Whenever You’re Ready (#110 US), Just Out of Reach (#113 US), Time of the Season (#3 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I Love You (the B-side to Whenever You’re Ready)
LINEUP: Colin Bluestone, Rod Argent, Paul Atkinson, Chris White, Hugh Grundy
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Zombies released just two proper albums, but put out several singles and EPs while they were active. This collection compiles their six EPs and basically is a better bet for novice fans, after they buy Odessey and Oracle.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Now, the EP is used as a teaser for an album, especially by a new bands who want to create a buzz before the whole album is ready for release. But in the 60’s, especially in the UK, EPs were viable on their own as a medium between the single and the LP.

Record companies were cognizant of fans who couldn’t afford the album so they leaked out 2-3 EPs a record for those fans. Also, in the cases of the Zombies, it was a way to collect their singles and put them out on the market. Most of the Zombies singles failed in the UK, but they did have a fan base and it helped the company in recouping costs.

More so than their first LP, this is a good overview of the sound of the Zombies, and just includes two exileable cover versions. I think this and Odessey and Oracle are musts for Zombies fans. (The latter is just a must, period). The only drawback is that it fails to capture their final two singles – contractually obligated but actually good in their own right.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This has the mono and stereo version of “She’s Not There”. It’s kind of superfluous. Mono is fine.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B+: The top tracks are here and only two cross over to Odessey and Oracle.

The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle

ARTIST: The Zombies 220px-Odessey_and_Oracle
TITLE: Odessey and Oracle
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: #95
SINGLES: Friends of Mine, Care of Cell 44, Time of the Season (#3), Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Well, a lot of people bought this record well after release, but radio just plays one track.
LINEUP: Colin Bluestone, Rod Argent, Paul Atkinson, Chris White, Hugh Grundy
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A band, disillusioned by its current lack of success, and feuding in the studio, breaks up after they finish their last album. It’s released, then a year later a single takes off in the US, and finally people realize what a great record it was.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s amazing that the Zombies recorded and released this record at all. Unhappy with management, with diminishing prospects and gigs, they had only a few short days spread over months, then after they finished the record, they split.

It was released in the UK at first, then finally the US. The singles leaked out didn’t hit the charts. Then “Time of the Season” was released in the US about six months after the fact. Finally, a hit. Too bad the band was gone and off doing other things.

It’s a great pastiche of sunshine pop, psychedelica, and baroque pop. What’s even more incredible is that with all of the beauty and delicate work done, the only overdubs were horns on one song. Everything else was done on a four-track by the Zombies. Plus, the songs seem to hold together as a consistent, fluid work – even though Argent and White wrote separately for the album – seven cuts for White and five for Argent.

For any student of the 60’s, it’s a must have.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The only reason this was released in the US was that Al Kooper picked up a copy in London and brought it to the head of Columbia, Clive Davis. Davis wasn’t going to release it since it stiffed in the UK.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There’s a 40th anniversary edition with live cuts from the reunited band.

GRADE: A: You’ve heard the hit – now hear the rest!

 

The Zombies – Begin Here

ARTIST: The Zombies 220px-Begin_here_decca
TITLE: Begin Here (US Version The Zombies)
YEAR RELEASED: 1965
CHART ACTION: US #24, UK #1
SINGLES: She’s Not There (#2 US, #12 UK), Tell Her No (#6 US, #42 UK – on US version only)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You may know some of the songs they covered.
LINEUP: Colin Bluestone, Paul Atkinson, Rod Argent, Chirs White, Hugh Grundy
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A just OK collection of originals and covers centered around wonderful singles.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Mid-1960’s albums, especially debut albums, by bands not named the Beatles are hit and miss affairs for the most part. The groups really focused on the singles and just filled in the numbers for the album. This one is no exception.

The US version has two tracks less and swapped three others out and has a different order. It’s not a big change except that the US version has Tell Her No, which is an ever better single than She’s Not There.

One big complaint is that when covering early rock-and-roll songs, Colin Bluestone stretches and strains his vocals and it doesn’t quite work to my ears.

NOTES & MINUTAE: Because they had some issues in charting in the UK, they only released one more album (the great Odeysey and Oracle).

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, for the each version that collects stray tracks.

GRADE: C : I’m torn. The US version is about a C+ and the UK version about a C-. So I’ll split the difference, EXILE it and grab the hits and singles collections.