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File:Zom10 7166.jpg

The Zombies are an English rock band, formed in St. Albans in 1961. Like many of their contemporaries, they started out playing American rhythm and blues but rapidly developed their own Baroque Pop sound, characterized by principal songwriter Rod Argent's keyboard and organ solos and lead singer Colin Blunstone's breathy vocals. This culminated in their most highly regarded work, "Odessey and Oracle", in 1968. Although they had a handful of hits in both their home country and the United States, they never received the attention or commercial success of their contemporaries. Indeed, the lack of commercial success drove the band to split before the release of "Odessey and Oracle". Ironically, a single taken from the album, Time of the Season, would go on to become one of their biggest hits despite the absence of a band to promote it. Blunstone and Argent continue to tour as The Zombies, and in recent years all the surviving members have reunited on several occasions.

The original line-up consisted of:

  • Colin Blunstone (1945-): Lead vocals
  • Rod Argent (1945-): Keyboards and vocals. Also one of the primary songwriters
  • Chris White (1943-): Bass and vocals. The other major songwriter
  • Paul Atkinson (1946-2004): Guitar and vocals
  • Hugh Grundy (1945-): Drums and vocals
Tropes used in The Zombies include:
  • Baroque Pop: One of the defining bands.
  • Break Up Song: "Maybe After He's Gone", "Brief Candles" (which is about someone else's breakup)
  • The British Invasion: Though a less prominent example than certain other bands. They had US hits with "She's Not There" in 1964 and "Tell Her No" in 1965.
  • Cherubic Choir: Argent had been a choirboy in St. Albans as a child.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The reunion concerts and reissue of "Odessey and Oracle" meant that they finally received some of the recognition they deserved… forty years too late. The album now frequently appears in “greatest album” lists.
  • I Am the Band: Thoroughly averted. Although Blunstone’s distinctive vocals helped to give them their distinctive sound, the band was very much an ensemble and all five members were given equal treatment on record sleeves and promotional materials. The band is also known for its harmonies, and lead vocals were frequently shared.
  • In the Style Of: "I Remember When I Loved Her" (similar to The Beatles' "And I Love Her"), "She Does Everything For Me" (similar to The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black"), "Beechwood Park" (similar to Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale"), and "Hung Up on a Dream" (similar to The Beatles' "A Day In The Life" and The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations").
  • List Song: "Friends of Mine"
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Care Of Cell 44," an upbeat song whose lyrics are a love letter to a female ex-con.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Care Of Cell 44," "Changes," "Butcher’s Tale (Western Front, 1914)"
  • Nostalgia Filter: "Hung Up On A Dream" is nostalgic for the Summer of Love.
    • Which had occurred mere months before.
  • One-Hit Wonder: "Time Of The Season," which perversely became a hit after the original lineup of the band had broken up. "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No" did chart in the early days, though.
  • Pop Star Composer: They contributed songs to the film Bunny Lake is Missing, in which they briefly appear on a television set.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The spelling mistake in the ‘’title’’ of Odessey and Oracle. The band did at the time try to claim it was an intentional play on the word “odes”, but no: the guy who designed the cover just didn’t know how to spell. [1]
  • Silly Love Songs: Plenty.
  • War Is Hell/World War One: "Butcher’s Tale (Western Front, 1914)"
  • What Could Have Been: Argent’s cousin Jim Rodford declined the offer to play bass in the band. He later joined The Kinks during their stadium rock period. He now tours with the band.

Notes

  1. For the record, it should be “odyssey”.
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