Odessey & Oracle
30th Anniversary Edition
Big Beat Records
Tracks 1-8 and 10-12 Stereo
CBS LP S63280 (P) 1968
1. Care of Cell 44
Vocal: Colin Blunstone (with Rod Argent and Chris White)
2. A Rose For Emily
Vocal: Colin (with Rod and Chris)
3. Maybe After He’s Gone
Vocal: Colin (with Rod and Chris)
4. Beechwood Park
Vocal: Colin (with Rod and Chris)
5. Brief Candles
Vocal (on chorus): Colin (with Rod and Chris)
First verse lead vocal: Rod
Second verse lead vocal: Chris
Third verse lead vocal: Colin
6. Hung Up On A Dream
Vocal: Colin (with Rod and Chris)
Bridge Vocal: Rod
Vocal: Colin (with group)
8. I Want Her She Wants Me
Vocals: Rod (with Colin and Chris)
9. This Will Be Our Year
Vocals: Colin (with Rod and Chris)
Stereo ZOMBOX 7 (P) 1997
10. Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914)
11. Friends Of Mine
Vocal: Colin (with Rod and Chris)
12. Time Of The Season
Vocal: Colin (with Rod and Chris)
Tracks 13-24 MONO
CBS LP 63280 (P) 1968
13. Care Of Cell 44
14. A Rose For Emily
15. Maybe After He’s Gone
16. Beechwood Park
17. Brief Candles
18. Hung Up On A Dream
20. I Want Her She Wants Me
21. This Will Be Our Year
22. Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914)
23. Friends Of Mine
24. Time Of The Season
25. A Rose For Emily – Alternate Mix 2
(Rod Argent) (P) 1998 Previously unissued
26. Time Of The Season – Alternate Mix
(Rod Argent) (P) 1998 Previously unissued
27. Prison Song
(Care Of Cell 44 Backing Track)
(Rod Argent) (P) 1998 Previously unissued
Compiled by Alec Palao
Original recordings produced by Rod Argent and Chris White
Thanks to Derek Everett and Al Kooper
Package design by Phillip Lloyd-Smee at Waldo’s Design & Dream Emporium
Original cover artwork by Terry Quirk
Transferred from original analogue master tapes.
Mastered by Nick Robbins at Sound Mastering Ltd.
The copyrights in these sound recordings are owned by Marquis Enterprises and are licensed to Ace Records Ltd.
(P) Marquis Enterprises
(P) 1998 Ace Records Ltd
© 1998 Ace Records Ltd
Big Beat Records, and imprint of Ace Records Ltd.
42-50 Steele Road, London NW10 7AS
All titles (P) 1968 except where noted. All titles published by Verulam Music Co Ltd.
Original Liner Notes:
“Be not afraid;
The isle is full of noise
Sounds, and sweet airs that give delight and hurt note. Sometimes a thousand twanging instruments
Will hum about mine years; and sometimes voices”
Really music is a very personal thing; it’s the produce of a person’s experiences. Since not two people have been exactly alike, each writer has something unique to say. That makes anything which is not just a copy of something else worth listening to. Believing this, and laden with gifts of fruit and nuts from the Orient, we descended upon CBS chieftain Derek, and with smarm and charm extracted, astonished, the finance necessary to compose, arrange and perform, produce and cover an LP ourselves, with no outside help or interference.
This is the result:
Thanks to Terry Quick, artist flatmate of Chris, for the cover. Thanks to Will Shakespeare, not a flatmate of Chris, for his contribution to the sleeve notes.
ROD ARGENT, 1968
A few years ago we all fell under the spell of ‘She’s Not There’ and ‘Tell Her No’. Well, they are back again with the same spells and a few new ones.
With this album, The Zombies establish themselves alongside the royalty of rock. The songs are so original in thought – a girl soon to come home to you (from prison), the horror of the First World War, with melodies incorporating well-timed diminished chords leaping through warm melodic tapestries. The musicianship level set on ‘She’s Not There’ is not betrayed, and The Zombies have indeed benefited from the time since then.
While in London recently, I acquired forty British LPs. Once home, I began to listen to all forty. This record stuck out like a rose in a garden of weeds. It is for you now to enjoy this experience as I have, and I know once you have, you will continue to play some cuts from this album every day for a long time. The Zombies who are – very much alive.
AL KOOPER, 1968
TELL IT TO ME SLOWLY, I REALLY WANT TO KNOW:
THE MAKING OF ODESSEY & ORACLE
by Alex Palao
On paper, the late spring of 1967 did not seem like the best of times for the Zombies. In the three years since they had won the Herts Beat competition that initiated their professional career, the group from the small provincial town of St. Albans had enjoyed mind-boggling success and global recognition for their unique music. But the past few months had seen the Zombies’ recording career slide as, hitless, their option with the Decca label expired and they were forced to look for a new outlet. 1966 had seen little chart action and the group only made two official visits to the recording studio the entire year. Live, they were still in demand on the lucrative club and college circuit, and the Zombies continued popularity in Europe made for numerous jaunts to the continent. In fact, the band had just returned from an enervating and hair raising trip all the way to the Phillippines, where the performed to adoring crowds of over 30,000 but were held literally prisoners of their own popularity.
It was out of this seemingly bleak environment that the Zombies finest artistic statement emerged: “Odessey & Oracle”. The album was the product of several things. It was borne of a renewed approach to the Zombies on record, upon a new label with a set of fresh original material (as opposed to the spirited, if hopeful, covers they had resorted to issuing as singles in the last days of Decca) and a desire to spend time to assemble a real album, in contrast to the hurried rush of their first long-player. But most of allthe genesis of “Odessey” came from the Zombies’ determination, led by Rod Argent and Chris White, to produce themselves and shape their own destiny in the studio.
From 1964 until early 1967, the Zombies’ catalogue had been virtually flawless in both content and performance, but artistically the group were feeling restless and it’s worth pointing out, in light of the album that was to follow, that they had not recorded any new original material for release for almost a year. Songwriters Rod and Chris had amassed a backlog of songs, not quite enough for a full album but certainly the makings of a great one, and with common themes and imagery: dewy-eyed reminiscences of childhood, a loss of innocence in growing older, the strangeness of dreams, and occasional glimpses of an all-too brutal reality. There was a unity of purpose in what the Zombies were to achieve that has similarities to another epochal pop album of the time: the Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”. But rather than being directly influenced by that record, “Odessey and Oracle” instead reflects not only as innate Englishman, but a special magic that the group could only achieve themselves.
This was not a direct criticism of the band’s erstwhile producer Ken Jones, whose technique had given the band a distinctive and wholly appropriate – in the light of their predominantly minor key style – sound. Rather, the Zombies were stretching, confident in their own abilities and eager for the opportunity to demonstrate them. It was an era where musicians increasingly took the mantle of producer, though normally with other artists. For instance, both John Lennon and the Hollies had previously expressed an interest in producing the Zombies, but the group’s own desire to do it themselves was still fairly unique. In any event, the newer material being developed was more sophisticated, and presented possibilities that only the group could envisage. Jones, together with his partner Joe Roncoroni, recognized the Zombies’ artistic ambition and in almost an avuncular fashion, consented to their wishes. On behalf of the group Roncoroni approached Derek Everett, formerly with EMI but newly head of A&R for the British branch of CBS.
Derek Everett: “CBS had wanted to get more into the British side of things which was basically why I was brought in, because they had a couple of local A&R guys that were spending a lot of money just producing duds. So my brief was to beef it up and sign artists. It was a complex thing because the A&R departments were completely different t in those days, they were responsible basically for the whole output of the company: scheduling American releases, picking up British things and developing it from there. Music itself was changing so quickly. CBS had all the American stuff – the Simon & Garfunkels and the Dylans and the Byrds and that sort of era. We had great success with things like the Tremeloes, Marmalade, Georgie Fame, and Love Affair, but they were singles artists and that was basically what the British market was all about.
“The Zombies came through Joe Roncoroni of Marquis. We were seeing independent productions by publishers, and that whole publisher network was very strong in those days. Getting the Zombies was quite a coup at the time, it was a feather in our cap because obviously they were a very highly respected band, and not just another pop group. Joe made the first contact and I listened and worked out the deal and then let them get on with it, basically. When you’ve got guys of that caliber you let them do what they do. If youstart imposing things on them then you don’t get what they do, you get another animal. I don’t remember how much of a recording budget we offered them. They do sound so small, the amounts of money – 3000 pounds was an expensive album back then.”
The Zombies signed to CBS in the late spring of 1967, and began recording in the first week of June. The precise amount of the budget is not known, but it appears to have probably been in the region of 2,000 pounds. Certainly, it was a bargain in view of the finished project. In what was a growing trend, the band opted not to record the album in one go, but to fit in sessions over a period of months. This may have been partly because initially they did not have enough songs but also the chosen studio, EMI’s Abbey Road, was not always available. Thought the band were always well prepared before they went into the studio from their earliest recordings on, there was a degree of concentration afforded this particular project that mirrored their collective enthusiasm as much as the constraints of time and money. They worked quickly and economically, there were few takes, and no unused songs. Given the speed at which the Zombies worked, the textural depth of the recorded sound on “Odessey” is remarkable, and it was arrived at it in a number of ways. The band walked into the world-renowned Abbey Road just after the Beatles had finished recording “Sgt. Pepper”, and they benefited greatly from the skill and expertise of its staff engineers Peter Vince and Geoff Emerick. For outsiders like the Zombies to record there was something of an anomaly, and according to Vince, “Odessey” was in fact one of the first albums to be recorded there by a non-EMI artist.
But it did not necessarily all come down to their new surroundings. Chris had started to us a Fender Precision instead of his trusty Gibson, and therefore the bass has more weight and prominence than before, say, on ‘Care Of Cell 44’, or ‘I Want Her She Wants Me’. Paul Atkinson’s guitar was treated in various ways, volume/tone pedal on ‘Brief Candles’, and via a Leslie cabinet on ‘Beechwood Park’. A variety of percussive effects such as cowbell and triangle are noticeable, though Hugh Grundy’s drums sound fabulous and he turns in is usual exemplary performance. Rod had begun to use acoustic piano a lot more, but the most significant addition to the Zombies’ sound was the mellotron. Utilized heavily as an accompaniment throughout the album, the mood of “Odessey and Oracle” is in many ways defined by the mellotron. In particular, the disturbed somnambulism of ‘Hung Up On A Dream’ is underscored heavily by the presence of the instrument.
In the end it is the fact that Rod and Chris were at the production helm, rather than Ken Jones, that determined the ultimate feel of the record. The biggest diefference is the emphasis on the vocals and, in particular, the vocal harmonies. In performance the grup had always relied on a three-part harmony, but Jones’ fondness for the husky timbre of Colin Blunstone’s voice meant that such vocal interplay was subdued on the Decca sides. Throughout the album the choirboy schooling of Rod was put to good use in the construction of elaborate and often breathtaking background parts sung by himself, Chris and Colin. In one particular instance, on the song ‘Changes’, the song required that all five members contribute vocally to a mass chorale. Conversely, Colin’s breathtaking lead solo on a bare-boned song like ‘A Rose For Emily’ provides ample evidence of the man’s unique voice.
The June session produced the cheerfully catchy ‘Friends Of Mine’, quickly earmarked as a single, along with ‘This Will Be Our Year’ which the group had demoed the previous November. Both written by Chris, the songs’ generally optimistic vibe contrasted with Rod’s introspective ‘A Rose For Emily’ which was also recorded at that time. A plaintive portrait of a woman growing old comparable to the Kinks’ ‘Two Sisters’, ‘Emily’ was inspired by a William Faulkner short story and its introspective piano-based arrangement was a marked departure for the band. Initial plans for the song called for both a solo cello and a combined cello-mellotron accompaniment (a mix of the latter is included for the first time in this reissue), but these were eventually discarded.
Work proceeded in July with two further sessions, the first of which produced two of the albums darker and most striking moments. Rod’s ‘Hung Up On A Dream’ is a masterpiece of atmosphere, with the liberal use of mellotron (two parts, strings and flute) a major contribution to this. The modulation from the bridge to the chorus is a simple musical device used to devastating effect. And in ‘Butcher’s Tale’, sound effects play a large part in Chris’ ominous tale of the senseless slaughter of the First World War. The wheezing pedal organ echoes a desperate plea for life, and rather than opt for the expected collage of battle and gunfire, a tape of musique concrete was reversed and laden with echo, concocting a nightmarish sound. The high pitch tone that occurs in the chorus was generated by engineer Peter Vince on the recording console, in a similar fashion to the tone used to align analogue tapes correctly.
Later in the month, with Abbey Road fully booked and unavailable, the group worked at Oympic Studios in Barnes, a studio popular at the time with the Rolling Stones, Small Faces and Jimi Hendrix. The venue caught a slightly different ambieance, particularly on Chris’ ‘Beechwood Park’. The cut is notable for it Bach-like guitar ine, played through a Leslie cabinet with appropriately churchy Hammond organ chords in support, and amood similar to a then-recent hit ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’. Chris’ other song from this recording date, ‘Maybe After He’s Gone’, best delineates the underlying streak of slightly sad desperation that runs through much of “Odessey”, a more mature side to the vulnerability portrayed in the Zombies’ earlier work. The upbeat pep of ‘I Want Her She Wants Me’, sung by its author Rod with Beatle-ish harmonies, is very much in contrast.
August of 1967 saw the Zombies return to Abbey Road, where they laid down Rod’s ‘Care of Cell 44’ and Chris’ ‘Brief Candles’. Originally titles ‘Prison Song’ (and then ‘Cell 69’, until the band’s US publisher Al Gallico objected!). ‘Care of Cell 44’ begins in a jaunty Beach Boys mode, with the listener happily bouncing along to the lyric until you surmise the slightly odd subject matter: not only has the protagonist been incarcerated for some length of time, but they are female. Almost like a mini-suite, the division of the lead vocal between the band’s three singers on ‘Brief Candles’ conveys the feeling of telling a story, and the echoing piano outro imparts an end-of-movie finality (what sounds like a door closing at the very end of the track is in fact lyric sheets being rustled during the vocal take). Also at this time, Ken Jones came in to oversee the superimposition of a brass band, and therefore impart a mournful air, to the mono master of ‘This Will Be Our Year’.
Around this time, with the album eighty percent complete, the group took a break from recording to ready some more material and prepare for the September release of ‘Friends of Mine’, which appropriately came out the day that Paul announced his engagement to dancer Molly Molloy. Though they promoted it heavily, neither ‘Friends’ nor the follow-up single (an edited ‘Care of Cell 44’) were to make any headway chartwise.
Derek Everett: “The whole thing was that the Zombies were going to be an album act anyway, and they were looked upon that way. Bands that didn’t have any following or history would start off with a two or three singles deal, and then obviously drop them if it didn’t work, or go for the album if it did. I think we were getting into that era where you actually looked at bands and said ‘no, this is an album band’, and see it through. Things were moving quite apace back then, with all the influences and particularly the American influences. And this was obviously affecting the British industry. Albums were beginning to sell in their own right, not just because they were packaged around singles. I think the concept came together as they were working on it and the songs sort of fitted together in one specific way rather than just being twelve different songs. They all kind of had that feel about them, it was their sound.”
By the time of the final sessions, the title and concept of the album were more or less in place. Chris’ flatmate and old art school friend Terry Quirk had been commissioned to design a painting for the cover, and the artist visited the group in the studio during recording. His brief was to reflect the bands thoughts and feeling of the material, and his long history with the group as a friend gave the artist an insight few others would have had anyway. Quirk’s art, while reflecting contemporary trends in pop art, nevertheless utilized the classical implications of the albums title and songs in particular. The back collaged bizarre shots from the photo session for ‘Friends of Mine’. Ironically enough, the cover art for “Odessey” was visible at Chris’ flat for all to see for several weeks before the obvious mis-spelling was noticed, and even then rather than change it, the group adapted the notion of the alternate spelling to fit the concept.
The final two songs to be recorded for “Odessey” were both somewhat rushed. The exact recording date for ‘Time Of The Season’ is not known, but the group’s recollection is that it was one of the last sessions, and fraught with difficulty due to Colin’s growing disillusion with his role in the band. Rod’s precise instruction to Colin for the vocal take caused friction and exacerbated tensions within the group that had been mounting, but that is not evident in the recording, and Peter Vince has since observed that he saw little evidence of conflict during the sessions. Interestingly, despite its simple structure, ‘Season’ was a complicated song to mix: part of the rhythm track on the chorus was later muted (but is evident on the early alternate mix included here), and the double-tracked organ solo was in fact an accidental bound or superimposition of one track onto another. Reflecting once more the recurrent theme, ‘Changes’ underscores the passing of time and changing of seasons, aptly conveyed by the sparse one-note piano accompaniment. Lyrically the song is fascinating, with its imagery of “strawberry clothes” and “platinum glass”. Colin’s recollection of the recording of this song is that the group were so pressed for time, studio staff were noisily moving equipments whist the musicians were still taping, although this is not evident on the session tape.
With the basic recording a wrap by the first week of November, 1967, Rod and Chris prepared to mix and assemble “Odessey”, but were faced with an unexpected problem when informed that a stereo mix of the record was also required. Industry standard for most pop records was still mono at the time, though that was soon to change, and several of the albums tracks had already been mixed in that format. The mono version of “Odessey & Oracle” has been available since its original release until now. As with Beatles records of the time, there are subtle but noticeable differences in the depth and texture of the sound that will be a revelation to anyone familiar with the album.
Derek Everett: “There were all sorts of problems at CBS as to whether we did albums in mono, in stereo, or both. There were heavy pressures from the manufacturing end because each would then be a double release, we’d be issuing two albums. I do remember marketing meeting were thing would get very heated, over what the sales were, ‘What are you guys gonna do, only so many people have stereo systems anyway’, the kind of music we were considering doing it with etc. It probably came up at one of these meetings, ‘Oh, this Zombies album is great and there’s a market for that in this new stereo thing’.
The recording budget having already been expended, Rod and Chris, as producers, were forced to dip into their songwriting royalties in order to complete the stereo mix. To the less-solvent remaining Zombies, this was all that was need to precipitate the end of the group. Colin, and to a lesser extent Paul, were beginning to see the band as a spent force, and their own disillusion coupled with their financial difficulties with the music business had terminally affected their desire to continue. One last reprieve was given in the hope that the late November release of ‘Care of Cell 44’ might give the band the much-needed hit to regain their morale but it was not to be. By the time the stereo master tape of “Odessey & Oracle” was finally assembled on New Years’ Day 1968, the Zombies were effectively over.
Derek Everett: “Probably I was not happy at the time, but I don’t think I got too involved with the internal politics of the band. It was a very freewheeling thing. I just recall the situation occurring and everyone being very disappointed that we’d got this far.”
Rather than completely dash the commercial hopes of the album they were justly proud of, the Zombies kept quiet about their imminent break up until April 1968, when the news accompanied the release of “Odessey & Oracle” and the single “Time Of The Season”. Rapturous reviews and proclamations of retroactive fondness for the group did little to help the fortunes of either record or the band’s members, all of whom, having already adapted mentally to the split, had moved on to a different pursuits. Chris and Rod busied themselves with songwriting, the formation of their Nexus production company and laying the groundwork for their next project which became Argent. Hugh and Paul played sessions and worked briefly in other areas – Hugh in a car dealership, Paul in computer programming – before they both ended up working in the A&R department of CBS records. Colin, the most drained, artistically and emotionally, retreated back into the straight world. However, within a few months he was thrown back into the pop spotlight by producer Mike Hurst under the non-de-disque Neil MacArthur, with an oddly arresting version of ‘She’s Not There’ that hit the UK Top 40 in February 1969.
Unbeknownst to the band, the album took on an unexpected lease of life on the other side of the Atlantic in the latter stages of 1968, thanks to the enthusiasm of respected bandleader, A&R man, and Zombies fan, Al Kooper.
Al Kooper: “I was in the car when I first heard ‘She’s Not There’ in 1964, and it destroyed me. I loved the chord progression, the lead singer’s timbre and of course, the Wurlitzer solo. ‘Tell Her No’ was another big fave. After leaving Blood Sweat & Tears I gave CBS first refusal of my services as a producer, and they took me up on it. I took a vacation in the UK before I started my job there and I bought about forty LPs. Initially “Odessey” was just one of the forty I took home, stuff that was not available in the US. I loved the production and background vocals overall. The songwriting, while derivative of The Beatles, is pretty first rate. Faves were ‘Care of Cell 44’, ‘A Rose For Emily’, ‘Beechwood Park’ and ‘This Will Be Our Year’.
CBS in the United States had actually intended to issue ‘Care of Cell 44’ as a single in September of 1967 but had cancelled the release at the promotional stage, and passed on “Odessey & Oracle”. Kooper’s influence, together with the lobbying of the band’s loyal American publisher Al Gallico, helped reverse the decision.
Al Kooper: “I dealt with [the newly appointed head of CBS] Clive Davis – I told him to buy “Odessey & Oracle” and he told me CBS already owned the LP and were about to pass on it. I talked him into releasing it and recommended they put out as singles ‘Care of Cell 44’ and then ‘Time of the Season’. They hedged their bets, put the album out on their subsidiary Date and released ‘Butcher’s Tale’ for some reason.”
A thinly-disguised comment of Vietnam, “Butcher’s Tale” stiffed. The album did reasonable business on upon first issue in late 1968, but noghitn could have prepared CBS for the sudden success of ‘Time of the Season’. Half-heartedly released as another single in November, the record picked up airplay in the Midwest and became a sleeper hit, with demand heavy enough to ensure CBS/Date reserviced the record to radio stations and stores in February of 1969. By the first week of April it was at the top of the charts, and “Odessey & Oracle” even made the lower rungs of the album chart.
Al Kooper: “I sort of had a good luck streak going at the time and I felt [the success of ‘Time of the Season”] was part of it. CBS never thanked me or gave me a gold record or any of that shit, but when the lads came over to pick up theirs, they stopped in my office and thanked me. That sufficed.”
The posthumous interest in the Zombies after ‘Season’ was of little consequence to the band (ironically the single was also a major hit in other parts of the world save for the United Kingdom), particularly Rod, who resisted calls to reform and continue. He and Chris did deign to construct a “new” Zombies album for CBS, “RIP”, consisting of overdubbed outtakes and more recent recordings. However, the relative lack of success to ‘Season’ follow-up ‘Imagine The Swan’, and the impending debut of Argent, left the album unissued.
At the time, the enormity of ‘Time of the Season’ obscured the conceptual nature of “Odessey & Oracle”, but in the year since, the album has come to be regarded as a paragon of pop music as natural art, unselfconscious yet eternal in its significance and enduring quality. Hugely influential, the record is textbook pop craftsmanship combined with a spirituality that few artists in pop have attained. This reissue, upon the thirtieth anniversary of the album’s original release, is testament to the determination of the Zombies to find their own path and create something of lasting value. The magic of “Odessey” lives on.
Al Kooper: “I never tire of listening to “Odessey & Oracle”, it’s timeless to me. I still hear new things every time I play it. It is still the masterpiece I originally perceived it as.”
El Cerrito, California 1998
Various Newspaper Clippings:
The Liner Notes reproduce several original news clippings, which we're placing here (unfortunately, without the cool images):
Disc and Music Echo - March 30, 1968
ZOMBIES SPLIT - 'FELT WE WERE BECOMING STALE'
ZOMBIES, who sprang to fame with the hit "She's Not There," three years ago, have disbanded.
Says leader Rod Argent, "We felt we were becoming stale. We didn't think we were progressing musically as a group."
But the St. Albans boys leave behind two new releases. A single, "Time of the Season," released on April 5, and an album, "Odyssey And Oracle," on April 19.
Adds Argent: "We are ending our career with recordings we wrote and produced ourselves for the CBS label. We have made up our minds not to re-form even if the records are big hits."
Zombies were most successful in America where "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No" won them top awards. The boys also appeared and played in Otto Preminger's film "Bunny Lake Is Missing."
Zombies Rod Argent and Chris White plan to stay in the business, songwriting and producing. Lead singer Colin Blunstone is going into insurance. Drummer Hugh Grundy intends to stay in music. And guitarist Paul Atkinson has taken to computers.
Disc and Music Echo - May 11, 1968
LP of the month
ZOMBIES: momentous last LP
ZOMBIES: "Odessey and Oracle," Care of Cell 44; A Rose For Emily; Maybe After He's Gone; Beechwood Park; Brief Candles; Hung Up On A Dream; Changes; I Want Her She Wants Me; This Will Be Our Year; Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914); Friends Of Mine; Time Of The Season (CBS)
It's rather tragic that the Zombies are splitting. But what a momentous last album they are leaving behind - quite the most outstanding record of the month for creativity, originality, sensitivity and sheer dimension.
"Rose For Emily," a song that is related by implication to "Eleanor Rigby" or "Lady Jane," and has the same texture, is so tender, so sweet, that it should have been issued as a farewell single.
All the songs were written by Rod Argent and Chris White; and they're a long way from "She's Not There," the song that shot the Zombies to the top of the international charts years ago.
Their writing is now poetic and observant, sad and wistful. And if you like music with meaningful lyrics, it's joyful.
Hear the Zombies - they're so good!
Time Of The Season (CBS)
The very last single from the Zombies before this talented group disbands. And this disc makes us realise just what we're going to miss, because it's a very good farewell offering.
Pity is that it's not the sort of thing one can confidently tip for the Charts, but the discerning listener will enjoy it immensely.
Zombies - a sad loss
I HAVE just bought the ill-fated Zombies LP, "Odessey and Oracle" and had to write to say, it's a great pity they have now broken up. We, the Alan Bown! played with them on several occasions and they were so good that I fail to see reason for their failure to interest the public.
This LP sums up their beautiful music and puts their songs on a level with the Bee Gees and Beatles. Please give the Zombies a listen even if it's too late - S. HALDANE of the Alan Bown! Edmonton, London, N. 18
"Friends Of Mine"/"Beechwood Park" (CBS)
This group seldom gets the success it deserves from British fans and in an attempt to remedy that I'm told the boys have taken six months off to re-think their pop approach.
Here they make excellent use of their harmony talents, on this happy, driving number.
Could well be the break they're looking for, hope so.
FLIP: Slow number about summer days in "Beechwood Park." Very sad and makes a nice contrast to the A side.
"Care Of Cell 44" / "Maybe After He's Gone" (CBS).
In this song, we have to imagine that the singer's girl-friend is in prison, and he is writing her a letter explaining what wonderful times they will have together when she gets out! Despite the depressing nature of the subject, and it's questionable taste, it's extremely well treated.
Sincerely rendered by it's composer Rod Argent, enhanced by colourful Beach Boy-type harmonies, with a mid-tempo beat, clavioline and a delicious string scoring.
FLIP: A plaintive tale of lost love, wistfully and delicately sung - and then exploding into a big-bash in the chorus. Again, a delightful harmonic blend.
Care Of Cell 44; Maybe After He's Gone (CBS 3987).
Not sure this might not be a hit. A boy writing to his jailed girl-friend. Good performance as ever, and the idea might catch on. Listenable, anyway (Four Stars)
Time Of The Season; I'll Call You Mine (CBS 3389)
I'm saddened by the news that this group is breaking up; for they show again that they have more ideas than most. But it is slightly over-complex for the charts. (Four Stars)