The Zombies Live

Posted on: 02 May 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

40 years on from Odessey & Oracle, the Zombies are touring.


In March 2008, 40 years since the release of the Zombies' swansong Odessey & Oracle, the original members of The Zombies reunited to perform three special live concerts at The Shepherds Bush Empire in London.

A super-group of musicians, including Paul Weller, Robert Plant, Robyn Hitchcock, Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and members of Garbage queued to witness the premiere performance of the 1968 album, that has inspired so many and become a cult classic.

Following The Zombies' triumphant reunion at Shepherds Bush Empire, throughout May and June the "touring Zombies" will play a run of 30 UK dates supported by The Yardbirds.

The Zombies and Beyond is also out on 2nd June 2008 on UMTV, a 20 track album that features songs previously released by The Zombies or subsequently recorded by band members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent.

In their heyday the band enjoyed massive hits such as the Argent-penned She's Not There, a major hit several years later for Santana, and Time of the Season.

Indeed, America took them even more to their hearts than Britain. Time of the Season is one of only a handful of UK hits to have been certified as receiving 4 million plays on US radio, while the LA Times named them as one of the all time top ten British bands. Vanity Fair magazine in 2002 chose the band's second album Odessey & Oracle as being the defining pop album of the sixties. Even Elvis had Zombies singles on his juke box at Gracelands, while their CDs still sell a cool 100,000 a year.

ZombiesAt the time of the release of Odessey & Oracle, the Zombies had already split up, in 1968.

Rod went on to form his eponymous band Argent and enjoy international success in the 70s. Former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft declared himself a major fan. He scored hits with such rock anthems as Hold Your Head Up, which reached the top 5 in America and Britain, and God Gave Rock 'n' Roll To You, covered by Kiss, amongst others, and has since achieved huge success in the fields of record production, television and stage musicals. Along with drummer Peter Van Hooke of Mike & The Mechanics, Rod produced three albums for Tanita Tikaram, including the massive Ancient Heart album which included the world-wide hit singles, Twist in My Sobriety and New Tradition.

Colin, meanwhile, remained a familiar chart presence through hits like Say You Don't Mind, a cover of the Motown hit What Becomes of the Broken Hearted with Dave Stewart and highly rated solo albums. He also achieved huge success as featured vocalist on a string of albums by the Alan Parsons Project, brainchild of the former Pink Floyd engineer. Colin Blunstone's first solo album One Year which housed the songs Say You Don't Mind and Caroline and was produced by Rod Argent and Zombies bass player Chris White, was released in 1971. His sophomore album Ennismore saw Colin writing more material including I Don't Believe In Miracles which is also included on The Zombies and Beyond.

In 2004 Colin and Rod reunited to record the album As Far As I Can See, with the songs I Want To Fly and Southside of The Street, and to tour together.

The Zombies and Beyond features nine timeless Zombies songs from their eponymous 1964 album and 1968's Odessey & Oracle, including She's Not There, Tell Her No, The Time Of The Season and A Rose For Emily, nestle comfortably alongside songs from Colin Blunstone's solo albums, including I Don't Believe In Miracles and his beautiful signature solo song Say You Don't Mind, the rockier Argent songs, including God Gave Rock 'n' Roll To You and Hold Your Head Up, the 1981 Blunstone / Dave Stewart recording of What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted and the 1982 Alan Parsons Project ballad Old and Wise sung by Colin.

Many current stars have professed admiration of The Zombies. Badly Drawn Boy cited the band in NME's poll of the most influential artists of all time, while Tom Petty said, "If a group like The Zombies appeared now, they would own the world." The Beautiful South recorded This Will Be Our Year for their current Golddiggers CD. Even Bruce Springsteen turned up at a New York concert a couple of years ago.

Tour Dates

May

  • 14 Manchester
  • 15 Glasgow
  • 18 Halifax
  • 21 Dartford
  • 22 Leicester
  • 23 Reading
  • 25 Birmingham
  • 28 Folkestone
  • 29 Croydon
  • 30 King's Lynn
  • 31 Buxton

June

  • 1 Gateshead
  • 4 Bournemouth
  • 5 Cardiff
  • 6 Bristol
  • 7 Cambridge
  • 8 High Wycombe
  • 11 Preston
  • 12 Sheffield
  • 13 Nottingham
  • 14 Brighton
  • 15 Northampton
  • 18 Liverpool
  • 19 Tunbridge Wells
  • 20 Basingstoke
  • 21 St Albans
  • 22 Southend
  • 25 Salisbury
  • 26 Coventry
  • 27 Peterborough
  • 28 London O2 Indigo

Web Links

You can purchase The Zombies and Beyond from all good record stores, or online at Amazon.

www.colinblunstone.co.uk

www.rodargent.com

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