Setlist Insider: The Zombies

A question we neglected to ask The Zombies when they were in our studio: Did they have ANY idea their name would represent them so literally? If you don't know the story - The Zombies broke up in 1968. They scored their first hit single for "Time of the Season" after they threw in the proverbial towel. While they were off being NOT the Zombies for decades, their songs worked their way into the cultural zeitgeist. You know "This Will Be Our Year" and "She's Not There" for sure - how about "Spooky Little Girl Like You"? "Summertime"? The list goes on. And here, now, 50+ years later they are touring the world. It's such a fantastic story - we'll let Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent tell it in this new episode of Setlist Insider:

The "Time of the Season" Story:

Rod: "Number two on the list is 'Time of the Season.' It was actually released in the states a year and a half after we'd broken up. Al Cooper, perhaps one of the top producers in the world at that time, had just joined CBS records. Al said, "You've gotta put out "Time of the Season." One person in Boise, Idaho picked up on the single and would not stop playing it. And after he played it, it spread like wildfire. The day that it was actually published showing as number one in the charts was exactly to the day 50 years from when we were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019."

Colin: "It's incredible. With regard to 'Time of the Season' it was actually the last track that we recorded. It always amuses me because I wasn't really fully familiar with the tune. We spent the summer in Abbey Road recording with wonderful engineers who had just been recording with the Beatles. The Beatles were in the studio sort of two days before us. They left all their instruments around. We were picking up their instruments and using them. So, we were really fortunate. So, he's in the control room and I'm in the studio. Also, there was a big clock ticking and I knew we were running out of money. He's being really patient and I'm starting to panic. And the language started to get so bad between us. I remember I said to Rod, "If you're so bloody clever, you come in here and you sing it." And he said to me-"
Rod: "Now, come on."
Colin: "'You're the bloody lead singer. You stand there till you get it right.' At the same time as we are singing it's the time of the season for loving."
Rod: "We had some of our nicest recording experiences there. didn't we?"
Colin: "We absolutely did. There's a wonderful atmosphere in that building."

Abbey Road Studios Livestream in 2021:

Rod: "It was lovely to go back into Abbey Road. It was a great show. We just had two and a half years of COVID, hadn't we? It was very exciting to be playing a live show for the first time in ages. But the other point about it was we couldn't rehearse. And also, we were doing what three or four new songs from the new album that we'd never, ever played live. And that was giving us collywobbles, you know, it really was."
Colin: "I was a little overwhelmed. I hope it didn't show on the screen."
Rod: "As we went through the set, we really settled down and started to have a lovely experience."
"There seems to be something happening as soon as you walk on stage where your energy goes back to the levels that you had when you were 18 years old, is really extraordinary."

The Jazz Cafe Show of 1997:

Colin: "I had a solo band -we were playing at the Jazz Cafe. All the original members of The Zombies were there. And at one point in the show, I don't know if you talked to one another about it, but no, we didn't. I saw them all walking towards the stage and I thought, what are they doing?"
Rod: "We had no plans to play live at all. It was because the DJ, he said, 'Come on guys, I've seen that you are all in the audience. You've gotta come up and play.' And I thought, oh my God."
Colin: "He walks on stage and I was just thinking, what will we play? It's been 30 or 40 years since we played together."
Rod: "We played, 'She's Not There.' It went down a complete storm. I said, come on, guys. We've gotta do a second one. Let's just do "Time of the Season." It was it extraordinary experience."
Colin: "It was a magical moment, yeah.
I thought The Zombies was in the past and we would never ever play together again. But, all I can say is that completely unrehearsed after 30 or 40 years, it sounded bloody good. It really did.
Years later, I rang Rod remembering that night at the Jazz Cafe. And I said, "Look, I've got six dates left on this tour. Would you consider?" I didn't think he'd do it."
Rod: "Well, I didn't think I'd do it."
Colin: "And he said, 'Okay, I'll do the six dates.' It was very kind of him."
Rod: "Just that, just that."
Colin: "But no more. But then he enjoyed it so much, here we are. 24 years later, continuing those six dates."
The Zombies will be touring in the Netherlands through October 4. Their 2023 UK tour kicks off April 5 - see a complete list of dates and details on their official site.

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Last updated: 5 Dec 2023, 07:13 Etc/UTC