The Zombies: Breathe Out, Breathe In

The dead walk still.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Fifty years ago the bespectacled, starched-collared Zombies looked like they’d come to file your tax returns. St Albans’s finest beat combo had a medium-sized hit with She’s Not There in 1964, but their follow-up singles and 1968’s baroque masterpiece Odessey And Oracle stiffed.

Only relatively recently has their distinctive combination of harmonies, Hammond and Mellotron been fully appreciated, with founders Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent playing rapturously received comeback gigs.

The new LP proves the years haven’t dulled their partnership’s sparkle. Any Other Way aches with regret for a lost love – ‘You turned and never looked around again, I knew you never would’ – and Play It for Real is a resigned plea to a wayward friend. Two songs are reworked from Argent (their post-Zombies outfit), while Let It Go has shades of Procol Harum.

It may have taken half a century, but The Zombies are at last seeing a brighter dawn.

Claudia Elliott

Claudia Elliott is a music writer and sub-editor. She has freelanced for BBC Radio 2's Sounds of the 60s, Uncut, History of Rock, Classic Rock and The Blues magazine. She is a 1960s music specialist.