The Zombies Zombies And Beyond Review

Released 2008.  

BBC Review

They only had a few hits, but lived on for long in the minds of those in the know.

Chris Jones 2008

Now reformed with as many of the original members as possible, the boys from St Albans are finally getting the props they deserve. For too long only a few seemed to remember that this quintet were far more than another Beatle-booted beat combo from the home counties. The combination of Colin Bluntstone's breathy, androgynous sigh, Rod Argent's sparkling keys and Chris White's assured writing made for a brief career that yielded few hits but lived on for long in the minds of those in the know.

Zombies And Beyond compiles the greatest moments from their band days and also adds the cream of the solo projects that followed. The Zombies material is the safest place to start. The band hit paydirt early with She's Not There in 1964. Argent's Fender Rhodes grooviness lifts it into a place that few other bands of the time could match. The follow-up (also here), Tell Her No, was also a smash in the US, but three years later things were falling apart. They recorded what is now regarded as one of the defining albums of the psychedelic era, Odessey And Oracle, only to split before its release. Four of its key tracks are here including the posthumous hit, The Time Of The Season. The single's success just rubbed salt into the wounds and the members went their separate ways.

Rod Argent formed Argent whose two biggest smashes (Hold Your Head Up and God Gave Rock And Roll To You) are present and correct. Bluntsone had a reasonably successful solo career. His greatest song I Don't believe In Miracles still rings sweetly, though purists are warned that it's a re-recorded version on this album. His 1980 version of What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted (with Canterbury legend, Dave Stewart) was the last any of the band saw of chart success though he also contributed to various prog monstrosities by the Alan Parsons Project. Now reunited/undead (in part at least), anyone who has yet to experience the joys of this distinctly English group has a chance to catch up.

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