The Zombies and the BBC. That’s all that needs knowing to justify this double LP purchase. Frosting on the cake is Record Store Day exclusivity. 38 vintage tracks spanning from 1964 – 1968. Worth. Every. Penny.
The only other album that I’ve ever heard to legitimately rival The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968, The Kinks) is, of course, Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies (1968). Newbury Comics did an exclusive run back in 2015 of 1000 on… let me look it up because, you know, accuracy… “Red, Blue & Yellow Haze” vinyl. It’s no longer available on Newbury’s site (though I highly recommend their limited run exclusives), but as with most anything, it can be found over at Discogs. If you’ve got the green for some red, blue and yellow, we suggest this amazing and limited reissue.
So, it APPEARS, that The Zombies will end their Odessey & Oracle tour finale in Los Angeles at an undisclosed location in late April of next year. 50 years, kids! I’ve already asked for this day off from work (a Saturday), so book your flights and sweet talk the in-laws to watch the little ones, because The Zombies are coming to town…
Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger
George Thorogood & the Destroyers – More George Thorogood & the Destroyers
Minutemen – The Punch Line
The Statler Brothers – The Best of the Statler Brothers
Tim Hardin – This is Tim Hardin (mono)d
Underworld – MMM Skyscraper, I Love You
I was excited to rather recently discover that Rod Argent had continued his music career after the disbanding of The Zombies. Having written the serene The Way I Feel Inside, the colossal hit She’s Not There, the catchy Tell Her No, and the masterpiece Time of the Season, expectations are certainly high for 1969’s Argent. Having not heard anything by Argent (the band, not the man), I’m confident tonight’s spin will be an advantageous one, or should I say Argentageous? No, no I shouldn’t.
This 1967 psych-rock album is the first from Long Island’s Vanilla Fudge, and would serve as the band’s most successful offering, peaking at #6 on the Billboard charts. With only three originals on the album Illusions of My Childhood, Pts. 1-3 (all instrumentals), Vanilla Fudge contains far-out and refreshing covers by The Zombies (She’s Not There), The Beatles (Eleanor Rigby and Ticket to Ride), The Supremes (You Keep Me Hangin’ On), and Cher (Bang Bang). For a refreshing take on classic 60’s flare, try some Vanilla Fudge in your groove diet.
For reasons far beyond my level of feeble comprehension, here is the back (ass-cover) to The Zombies’ 1965 debut, Begin Here. Mind you, this is just a reissue (180 gram, half speed mastering at Abbey Road), but Mr. Rod Argent’s humbling write-up has all the makings for an entry worthy of withstanding the tests of time. Have a read, then a listen (if you’re already in the know). The Zombies : Begin Here…
I passed on the opportunity to snatch the 2013 Record Store Day reissue of the US version of The Zombies’ debut album (titled The Zombies in the states, Begin Here in the UK). I didn’t think much for the bastardized cover, and although the album is obviously essential listening material, I opted to hold out for the original UK art. At my local hit-or-miss brick-and-mortar the other day I found this amazing gem, a UK import of the 2014 limited edition reissue. If Heinz ketchup has taught me anything, it’s that good things come to those who wait, so I feel I made the educated decision. Plus, this copy sounds flippin’ amazing! Side A is unstoppable, and it’s sad to fathom that this amazing band only lasted for two albums. Next on the “need” list, their 2nd, and last album, 1968’s Odessey and Oracle.
Not unlike the London / Parrot / Coliseum advertinsert from last April, this London / Parrot / Deram insert features, once again, Them, the Stones, and The Zombies under the “teen beat” umbrella, but this time around sporting a seasonably fashioned blue trim. My SO mentioned the other night how I hadn’t done an insert post in a while. Truth be told, I’m desperately running low on inserts, so… off to the local brick and mortar I go for another blaze orange hunt for early Kinks, late Hardin, and vibrant record inserts. Happy Friday, kids!
London Recordings, with all her lofty divisions, offered a red, white and blue window into the mid-60s English Assault, and was home to some pretty significant acts producing some pretty extraordinary cuts. Their mainstay, and supplier of the label’s flowing honey, were, as you’ve probably guessed, the Rolling Stones, but what I didn’t recognize until earlier today was how many other British Invasion favorites, or in this case Teen Beat favorites, also strolled under the London Recordings umbrella. Unit 4+2, the Moody Blues, the Zombies, and Them all saw early offerings on London, or one of her sisters, and in such a short amount of time, helped propel this label into the upper, heavily coveted realms of rock n’ roll history.
According to Liberty Records Inc. (Los Angeles 28, California), Martin Denny’s Exotic Percussion, Around the World With the Chipmunks, Bud and Travis in Concert, and 60 Years of Music America Hates Best are definitively, the personality sounds of the 1960s.
Forget about The Kinks, 13th Floor Elevators, Tim Hardin, Silver Apples, The Monks, Them, The Zombies, and the man in black… and for that matter, forget about the entire UK Encroachment (that’s what it’s called, right?), because Johnny Burnette, The Fleetwoods, and Bobby Vee are decade-defining personalities that history has proved to be as monumental as the title of this record label.
Liberty Records, like a symbolic statue of freedom, knew personality when they heard it. And thank goodness, because I don’t know what I’d do without all the tree-hugging, acid-dropping, tie-dyed skirt wearing, marvelous wonders provided by Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan.
Arguably the best 30 track compilation featuring the monstrously influential British Invasion ever to be pressed to wax, this 1981 collaboration between Warner Special Products and Lake Shore Music marries the pinnacle of head-spinning talent that the Queen of England’s own had to offer… up to and including the 1961 single, My Bonnie, featuring Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers. The Beat Brothers, as you know, would eventually change their name to The Beatles… the band name this track is credited to on this compilation.
I’m not going to bore you with the A-1 list of exceptional talent highlighted here (The Hollies, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Unit 4+2, Donovan, Manfred Mann, The Zombies, Them, Chad & Jeremy, The Beatles, The Spencer Davis Group…), but I will (briefly) mention that someone off Discogs offered to buy my copy of British Sterling, which I appropriately, and respectfully declined. One of these days I’m going to gather enough motivation to digitize this double LP, but until that (dreadfully long and labor intensive) day, two flips for 30 tracks suits me just fine.
Although I don’t consider A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum a pivotal part of the British Invasion, there is something striking about the 1-2 punch of Procol’s Shade followed by Tell Her No by The Zombies. Somebody knew what the hell he or she was doing when they made this compilation. To whomever that is… (raises Sun Records coffee mug) I salute you!