Monday, 26 October 2009

I am your stepping stone

The Zombies: it's a brilliant name for a rock and roll band - mindless, unstoppable monsters out to devour your children's brains. And it starts with a zed. Cool. But I think it's fair to say that the Zombies that we all know and love did little to live up to their name.

For a start two members of the group were totally rocking the Joe "Stumpy" Pepys look, though Paul Atkinson, the immaculately geekish guitarist, later ditched the specs and (I was delighted to read) shacked up with an American go go dancer he met on the set of the Murray the K show. And if members of the undead ever did form a band I think it's very unlikely that they'd record such high and dry, jazz inflected paeans to objects of unrequited love.

But, apart from the name, everything else about them is perfect. They popped up, recorded a load of brilliant songs in a few short years and then disappeared (before running out of creative steam) after realising that they were making virtually no money at all. They've been subtly percolating through the blog for a while now - the mention in the Isobel Campbell post, the flag post's title. Despite already having bestowed the honour on the Kinks I'd say the Zombies were contenders for the title of "Most English Pop Band".
And now, an unprecedented three song salute:

The Zombies: She's Not There

I don't care that everybody and their parrot has heard it a million times - I will never tire of this song.

The Zombies: Just Out Of Reach

Sounds like it should be an earlier number - I was surprised to learn that it was released a year after the more sophisticated sounding "She's Not There". This sounds just like a thousand US garage bands - in fact the Zombies is a classic garage name.

The Zombies: This Will Be Our Year

The only thing I'm posting from Odessey and Oracle. I nearly posted "Beechwood Park" or "Time of the Season" from the album as these were two tracks I was particularly thinking of when I said Isobel Campbell was under their influence. The album is hailed as a masterpiece and I do not disagree.


  1. I listened to this when I was young. It was the 70s. Man, the times. Mostly funk for me nowadays.

  2. Hello Mule,

    Thanks for stopping by. There's not much funk on my shelves it must be said. Don't know why not - the last club night I was a regular at was highly funky. Maybe I'm just a social funkster.