The Zombies perform at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center at Montgomery College on Sept. 29, 2019. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
Upon induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, keyboardist Rod Argent of The Zombies recalled hearing “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley at the age of 11. “For the next year or so, I just sought out the rawest rock ‘n’ roll I could find: I was totally transfixed by American rock ‘n’ roll; it seemed to represent a world and a culture that was not only magical, but so far removed from our ’50s England that whatever I did, I could never dream of any of us ever being anywhere near it.”
Inspired by Elvis, Miles Davis, and The Beatles, The Zombies recorded two remarkable albums in the ’60s then disbanded. But much like their heroes, The Zombies discovered the public would not forget them, and an initial regrouping in the early ’00s led to a full-blown reunion and The Zombies receiving their due with the Rock Hall in New York in March. Still on a career high from that experience, Rod and vocalist Colin Blunstone took their current Zombies show on the road and appeared at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center in Rockville, Maryland, recently.
The Zombies perform at 9:30 Club on March 23, 2017. (Photo by Theresa C. Sanchez)
The Zombies Continue Banner Year
If the “Modfather” hands you one of his all-time favorite albums and tells you to listen, it would behoove you to do so.
Paul Weller helped transform the sound of British rock during the 1970s with his former punk rock-new wave band The Jam and later with The Style Council in the 1980s. When he’s not recording new music on his own (his 13th solo album “A Kind of Revolution” drops May 12) or performing live, you can find him at a record store collecting vinyl like it’s his job. His musical appetite is varied and oftentimes obscure, but always on point, so it’s no surprise a critically acclaimed commercial flop like Odessey and Oracle (misspelling courtesy artist Terry Quirk) is at the top of the tastemaker’s list.
The Zombies (Photo by Andrew Eccles)
The Zombies are coming to town to perform at 9:30 Club on Thursday, March 23, in what they call the final performances of their seminal album Odessey and Oracle in its entirety.
The Zombies (Photo by Andrew Eccles)
The Zombies surely make for an unlikely success story. By the release of their seminal album, Odessey and Oracle, in 1968, the band broke up. Early in 1969, “Time of the Season” from the album became a hit in the United States, but The Zombies weren’t there to enjoy the attention.
Colin Blunstone (front) and Jim Rodford at The Muni Arts Centre, pontypridd, Wales, May 29, 2013 (Photo by Sean Rowe)
The Zombies had not played their song “I Want You Back Again” for a while but then they heard Tom Petty cover it.
The band then recalled what a good song it was, and they determined that they should revisit it in their live sets. This led them to record a new version of the song for their latest album, Still Got That Hunger, released Friday, Oct. 9, via Cherry Red Records.
“If it is good enough for Tom Petty, it is good enough for The Zombies,” quipped Colin Blunstone before a performance of the song at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Thursday night. The band then launched into their new rendition of “I Want You Back Again,” a single the original band first released in 1965.
Colin sings very soulfully on the song, dedicated to a woman who should return to the lonely narrator. The Zombies cofounder Rod Argent plays some lonely blues piano and he spearheads a rather lovely musical interlude early in the song. Rod is a keyboard maestro who really gets into the zone during moments like that interlude, and it’s a pleasure to watch him behind the piano most of all.