Before 1964 the world dominance of pop music belonged to America. The next
group part of a new British invasion had no obvious influences except for the Beatles.
It was 1963 and five schoolboys got together to form a band. Entering the ‘Herts
Beat’ competition, they took out first prize and rewarded with an audition for Decca
Records. Two original songs wre released in July of 64, ‘She’s Not There’ and ‘You
Make Me Feel Good.’ Remembering this was a year that many careers began for artists.
The strengths of the group were with Colin Blunstone known for his anguished sound
of sixties pop and songwriter/keyboardist Rod Argent.
They were the ZOMBIES
All were academics, deciding to forsake study and look towards stardom with
‘She’s Not There’ climbing to No 2 on the American Billboard Hot Hundred chart.
They toured the states as well as being part of a package show called ‘Murray the K’s’
at the Brooklyn Fox in early 65 with their single ‘Tell Her No’ also charting in
January of the same year. Hometown Britain taking the song to No 42 on the charts
whereas the US once again loving it and putting it at number 6.
Touring the states once again, the next two singles were minor hits although their
influence was beginning to show in such bands as the Lovin Spoonful, the Turtles,
the Critters, and also in Simon and Garfunkel.
CBS released the album Odessy and Oracle in 1968, however, with progressive rock
making itself known, the album did not do well at all. Al Kooper founder of BST
(Blood Sweat and Tears) convinced Columbia to re-release the album and three
singles were taken and released. As America had always been a great supporter
of the band the last single went to the number 3 on the charts. Called ‘Time of the
Season’ sadly the band had already split up.
Apart from the above album listed Being There, out on Decca and World of the
Zombies, on Decca are also worth listening to if a fan of the group.
Footnote: In 1981 in collaboration with Dave Stewart, the elegant voice of Colin
Blunstone can be heard on the single ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.’
Also the Alan Parsons Project album called Ammonia Avenue recorded
a track ‘Dancing on a High-wire’ with the vocals of Colin also.
In 2017 the surviving members of the band reunited and toured North America for
the 50th anniversary of the recording of Odessy and Oracle.