The Zombies

The Zombies

:"For the undead creature of Vodou lore, see zombie. For other meanings, see Zombie (disambiguation)."Infobox musical artist |
Name = The Zombies

Img_capt = The 2008 touring version of The Zombies (L to R Airey, Blunstone, Rodford, Rodford and Argent)
Img_size =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = St Albans, Herts, England
Genre = Baroque pop, British Invasion, psychedelic pop, beat
Years_active = 1961 - 1967, 1991-Present
Label = Decca Records, CBS Records
Associated_acts = Argent
Colin Blunstone
Current_members = Rod Argent
Paul Atkinson
Colin Blunstone
Chris White
Hugh Grundy
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =Hohner Pianet

The Zombies, formed in 1961 in St Albans, are an English rock band. Led by Rod Argent on piano and Colin Blunstone on vocals, the band scored US hits in the mid- and late-1960s with "She's Not There", "Tell Her No", and "Time of the Season". [ allmusic Biography] ] Their 1968 album "Odessey and Oracle", comprising twelve songs by the group's principal songwriters, Argent and Chris White, is now considered one of the best of its time and is ranked 80 on "Rolling Stone" magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. [ [ The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time : Rolling Stone] ]


The group formed in 1961 in St Albans, England, and gained their initial reputation playing the Old Verulamians Rugby Club in that city. The group was formed whilst the members were at school. Some sources state that Argent, Atkinson and Grundy were at St Albans School, while Blunstone and White were students at St Albans Boys' Grammar School (since renamed Verulam School). [ [ Zombies' heyday recalled] - The Hendon Times] [ [ Classic Bands - The Zombies] ] Other sources claim they were all at St Albans Boys' Grammar School; [ [ The Zombies ] ] however, this is not correct. After winning a beat-group competition sponsored by the "London Evening News", the Zombies signed to Decca and recorded their first hit, "She's Not There" (Argent's second song, written specifically for this session), which was released in mid-1964 and peaked at number 12 in the UK, where it was their only UK Top 40 hit. This minor-key, jazz-tinged number, distinguished by its musicianship and Blunstone's breathy vocal, was unlike anything previously heard in British rock and would become a "bona fide" classic. It was first aired in the United States in early August 1964 on New York City rock station WINS by Stan Z. Burns, who debuted the song on his daily noontime "Hot Spot" segment during which new songs were played. The tune began to catch on in early fall and eventually climbed to #2.

Like many other British Invasion groups, the Zombies were sent to the United States to tour behind their new hit single. One of their most memorable early U.S. gigs were Murray the K's Christmas shows at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre, where the band played seven performances a day. Hugh Grundy later recalled also contributing to the sets by the Shangri-Las — not as a musician, but by revving a motorcycle brought backstage as a sound effect for their performance of "Leader of the Pack".

In early 1965, Rod Argent's "Tell Her No" became another big seller in the United States (where a cover version by American pop vocalist Juice Newton was a hit in 1983), but failed to make the Top 40 in the band's native UK. Although subsequent recordings such as "I Love You" (which became a hit for People! in 1968), "Indication", "Whenever You're Ready", and "Is This the Dream" were of uniformly high quality, none achieved the success of the previous two singles.

Their first LP, "Begin Here" (1965), was a collection of early singles, featuring half a dozen original songs combined with several R&B covers. In 1967, the Zombies signed to CBS Records, for whom they recorded the album "Odessey and Oracle". (The word "odyssey" was misspelled by cover designers.) Because the band's budget could not cover session musicians, they used a Mellotron, a device designed to imitate orchestral sections.

By the time "Odessey and Oracle" was released in April 1968, the group had disbanded. The album sold poorly, and was only given a U.S. release because musician Al Kooper, then signed to Columbia Records, convinced his label of the album's artistic merits. An album track, "Time of the Season", written by Argent, was released as a single and eventually (1969) became a nationwide hit (Billboard #3) after a radio DJ put it in heavy rotation. The band's original lineup declined to regroup for concerts, so various concocted groups tried to capitalize on the success and falsely toured under the band's name. Another such group toured in 1988, going so far as to trademark the group's name (since the band had let the mark lapse) and recruit a member named Ronald Hugh Grundy, who was passed off as being an original member, although he played bass rather than drums. [ [ "Jim Powers, The Zombies Biography"] ,]

Later years

After The Zombies disbanded, Rod Argent formed a band called Argent, with Chris White as a non-performing songwriter. Colin Blunstone eventually launched a solo career after brief careers outside the music biz, including one stint in the burglary claims section of an insurance company. Both Argent and White continued to provide him with new songs.

In 1991 Blunstone, Grundy and White briefly reunited as The Zombies with guitarist Sebastian Santa Maria and recorded the album "New World".

On 25 November, 1997, all five Zombies reunited at the Jazz Cafe in London's Camden Town as part of a solo show by Blunstone, to perform "She's Not There" and "Time of the Season".

Blunstone and Argent reunited for an album and tour together in 2001 under the Blunstone & Argent monicker and continued playing live shows together into 2004 when they began going out under The Zombies name again. The new line-up included Rod's cousin Jim Rodford (formerly of The Kinks and Argent), his son Steve Rodford on drums, and Keith Airey (brother of Don Airey) on guitar.

An album of new material released in 2004, "As Far as I Can See...", received mixed reviews. A 1997 120-track compilation of the original band's work, "Zombie Heaven", was released.

Guitarist Paul Atkinson died in Santa Monica, California, on 1 April, 2004. Having retired as a performer, he was an A&R man for many years.

In 2005 Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent of The Zombies released a DVD and 2-CD album ("Live At The Bloomsbury Theatre"), which received excellent reviews in the "Times", "Mojo", "The Sun", and other publications.

In 2006 Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone carried on touring as The Zombies.

Their U.S. tour of 2007 garnered stellar reviews. "The Zombies, still led by original keyboard wizard Rod Argent and featuring the smoked-silk vocals of Colin Blunstone, is the finest British-invasion-era band still touring that doesn't have Mick Jagger as a frontman"- "The Washington Times".

To mark the 40th anniversary of "Odessey & Oracle", the four surviving original members of The Zombies participated in a three-night series of concerts at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire Theatre between 7 and 9 March, 2008. For the opening set Blunstone and Argent, with their current touring group, played a selection of other Zombies songs, two Argent songs, and some of Blunstone's solo material, for which a string quintet joined them on stage. For the second set, introduced by Al Kooper, The Zombies, with Keith Airey handling the guitar parts of the late Paul Atkinson, played the album in its entirety, and to reproduce the many overdubs on the album, they were joined by a horn section, additional vocalists and percussion, including Jim and Steve Rodford and Darian Sahanaja on memotron. They closed the set by performing "Tell Her No" and "She's Not There". [cite web
title= The Zombies - Shepherds Bush Empire, London -
accessdate= 2008-03-28
last= Coplin
first= James
date= 2008-03-10
] [Citation
last = Petridis
first = Alexis
newspaper = The Guardian
year = 2008
date = 2008-03-10
url =,,2263788,00.html
] [Citation
last = Sinclair
first = David
newspaper = The Times
year = 2008
date = 2008-03-10
url =
] Rod and Colin's respective websites had advertised that the 8 March concert was recorded for a CD and/or DVD release later in 2008, and the CD has been officially posted by to be presold for a release of 1 July, 2008.

The Zombies kicked off a North American tour on 3 July, 2008, with an outdoor festival performance at the Comerica Cityfest in Detroit, Michigan. The group played all the group's hits, five selections from "Odessey & Oracle", and several Argent songs.

The Zombies will be appearing at the Rhythm Festival 2008

Film and advertising

"Bunny Lake is Missing", 1965 feature film directed by Otto Preminger starring Sir Laurence Olivier

Songs on the soundtrack:
*"Just Out of Reach" (Colin Blunstone) played on the television in the pub and later on the radio
*"Nothing's Changed" (Chris White) played on the television in the pub
*"Remember You" (Chris White) played on the television in the pub

In 1990 "Time of the Season" appeared in the movie "Awakenings". "This Will Be Our Year" was featured in a 2006 Nike advertisement dedicated to Tiger Woods's late father.

Use of the "Begin Here" album track "The Way I Feel Inside" in the soundtrack to the 2004 film "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" has spurred on another generation to seek out and revive their musicfact|date=August 2008.

Many of their songs are used in the 2004 film "Dear Wendy".

A remix of "She's Not There" can be heard in "Kill Bill Vol. 2" as The Bride enters Bill's home.

"Time of the Season" was used by Bulmers/Magners cider in their March 2007 spring television advertisement campaign ( in the UK (as Magners) and Republic of Ireland (as Bulmers).

"Time of the Season" was also used in Noxzema commercials in the late '90s.

"Time of the Season" was featured in the NBC television special "The 60's".

"Time of the Season" has been used in The Simpsons and South Park.


;1961 to 1968
*Rod Argent - born Rodney Terence Argent, 14 June 1945, in St Albans, Hertfordshire - (organ, vocals and songwriting)
*Paul Atkinson - born Paul Ashley Warren Atkinson, 19 March 1946 in Cuffley, Hertfordshire, died 1 April 2004 in Santa Monica, California - (guitar, vocals)
*Colin Blunstone - born Colin Edward Michael Blunstone, 24 June 1945, in Hatfield, Hertfordshire - (lead vocals)
*Chris White - born Christopher Taylor White, 7 March 1943, in Barnet, Hertfordshire - (bass, vocals and songwriting)
*Hugh Grundy - born Hugh Birch Grundy, 6 March 1945, in Winchester, Hampshire - (drums);2004 to date
*Rod Argent - (organ, vocals)
*Colin Blunstone - (lead vocals)
*Keith Airey - (guitar, vocals)
*Jim Rodford - (bass, vocals)
*Steve Rodford - (drums)


tudio albums

*"The Zombies" (Featuring "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No") (U.S.) (1965) #39 U.S.
*"Begin Here" (UK) (1965)
*"Odessey and Oracle" (1968) #95 U.S.
*"As Far As I Can See..." (2004)

Live albums

*"Live at the BBC" (Repertoire REP4790, 29 Tracks, 2003)
*"Live at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London" (2005)
*"" (2008)

Collaborations & contributions

*"Bunny Lake Is Missing - An Original Soundtrack Recording" (1965) (contributed tracks)
*"New World" (1991) (featuring Blunstone, White, Grundy, and Sebastian Santa Maria. Rod Argent appears on "Time of the Season" remake.)


*"" (A 28 song compilation from 1965-1968) (1972)
*"Zombie Heaven" (1997) (4 CD comprehensive compilation with rarities and live recordings)
*"The Singles As and Bs" (2005)
*"The Ultimate Zombies - Original Hits" (2007)
*"Into the Afterlife" (2007) (compilation of post "Odessey and Oracle" recordings)



*"I Love You", a hit for the band People!
* Dave Matthews Band began occasionally performing "Time of the Season" on their 2005 summer tour, and subsequently released a live version on their "Weekend on the Rocks" CD and DVD later that year. It continues to be a Dave Matthews Band crowd favoritefact|date=August 2008.
* Both "Time of the Season" and "She's Not There" were covered on "American Idol" by Blake Lewis and Chris Sligh, respectively, on the sixth season British Invasion episode.
* In Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill Vol. 2", the song "About Her" is a remake of "She's Not There" by Malcolm McLaren.
* Santana recorded a version of "She's Not There" and released it as a single and on their "Moonflower" album in 1977.
* The Necro song "Who's Ya Daddy" samples "Time of the Season."
*OK Go covered "This Will Be Our Year" it appeared on the "Future Soundtrack for America" compilation (2004) and the "John Tucker Must Die" soundtrack (2006).
* Jon Brion has covered multiple Zombies songs live, including "Time of the Season" and "This Will Be Our Year".
* Boston-based indie-pop duo Action Camp closed out their rare "Live at Howlers" EP with "The Way I Feel Inside". They have also performed an electronic arrangement of "Time of the Season" on occasion.
* The late Elliott Smith performed a cover of "Care of Cell 44".
* Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs covered "Care of Cell 44" on "Under the Covers, Vol. 1".
* The Tough Alliance recorded a cover of the song "Hung up on a Dream", released as the b-side of their single "First Class Riot" in 2007.
* Anthony Green performed "This Will Be Our Year" on his acoustic tour with Days Away.
* The Canadian indie-rock trio Immaculate Machine has been knownwho? to cover "Time of the Season" live.
* Various bands from the Pacific Northwest, including the Young Fresh Fellows and The Posies, contributed versions of Zombies songs to a 1994 tribute album, "The World Of The Zombies". [ [ "MC Tom, Flop: 2 Degrees Separated from Cat Butt"] , Lamestain]
* Lois recorded "The Way I Feel Inside" on her "Strumpet" lp
* The Beautiful South re-recorded "This Will Be Our Year" on their cover album "Golddiggas, Headnodders and Pholk Songs".
* Gym Class Heroes covered "Time of the Season" on their Campus Tour in 2008.
* Of Montreal covered "Friends of Mine" on their compilation "If He Is Protecting Our Nation, Then Who Will Protect Big Oil, Our Children?"
* The Vancouver indie band The Top Drawers covered "Just Out Of Reach" on "You're So Fine", and they regularly perform the song live.


* Guinness Book of British Hit Singles - 16th Edition - ISBN 0-85112-190-X
* Guinness Book of British Hit Albums - 7th Edition - ISBN 0-85112-619-7
* Guinness Rockopedia - ISBN 0-85112-072-5
* The Great Rock Discography - 5th Edition - ISBN 1-84195-017-3
* The Book of Golden Discs - 2nd Edition - ISBN 0-214-20512-6

External links

* [ Official Rod Argent Web site]
* [ Official Colin Blunstone Web Site]
* [ The Zombies biography at the AMG website]
* [ Colin Blunstone interview with Being There Magazine]
* [,,2258641,00.html Album of the living dead - Guardian interview]
* [ July 2008 Interview] with L.A. Record

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