Label: Razor Records - RAZ CD 34 • Format: CD Album, Mono, Stereo, Compilation • Country: UK • Genre: Rock, Pop • Style: Mod, Pop Rock, Prog Rock, Classic Rock
It was bliss to be alive in that dawn; Rudebox (Clean Radio Edit) - Robbie Williams - MP3 Collection to be a young British band was to be blessed with fortuity on an almost cosmic scale.
The Beatles had stormed the US entertainment establishment and all of a sudden there appeared limitless possibilities for those who followed in their wake. The Zombies, from St Albans, were perhaps the epitome of the British Invasion group, who through a combination of good timing, luck and one all-time classic managed to stake their place in rock history. The classic in question was a haunting, piano-led song that instantly struck deeper than the Mersey-flavoured pop of the time.
It should have set up Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone Act 1 - In Questa Forma Dunque - Mozart* - Mozart 225: The Late Operas co. Instead, within three years, disillusioned and convinced they were one-hit wonders, The Zombies had split, leaving only a misunderstood psychedelic gem as a parting gift.
In fact the band, all of whom were still teenagers, had to be cajoled into writing any original material of their own. At the end of they won a talent contest at Watford Town Hall.
First prize was a recording contract with Decca, who, still smarting over passing on The Beatles, were determined not to miss out again. I had only ever written one song before. I started with a minor-to-major chord sequence. So at the end of the song I had the poor guy singing at the top of his range. According to Argent, it was the very least they expected. And it was! None of us felt very enthusiastic about Leave Me Be. But this was an era when The Beatles had raised the bar to impossible heights for British groups.
There was also the fact that in Britain, at least, they were regarded as one-hit wonders. Inhaving just come back from an arena tour of the Philippines, the decision was made to throw the towel in. Argent formed his own eponymous outfit, while Blunstone kicked his heels for a time before embarking on a solo career. Covers by artists as varied as Santana and UK Subs cemented its reputation, and the original has been an influence on several generations of musicians; Roger McGuinn of The Byrds and Billy Joel have both described it as pivotal in their musical development.
For The Zombies themselves there was a happy ending. Over Shes Not There - The Zombies - Meet The Zombies! years the ill-fated [and famously misspelt] Odessey And Oracle Shes Not There - The Zombies - Meet The Zombies! worked its subtle magic, selling steadily, and became a byword for the archetypal lost psyche classic.
The upshot is that the re-formed group stepped on stage this year to perform the album; a fitting testimonial for what many regard as the British Pet Sounds. Naturally, the set-list included the song that made it all possible. See more Classic Rock features.
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