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The Zombies: Still Got That Hunger

Eminem’s favourite 60s baroque popsters.

For a band who formed in 1961 (in St Albans, no less), and only had one UK hit – She’s Not There - The Zombies have one hell of a reputation. It largely rests on that 1964 hit, and 1968’s Odessey & Oracle, a classic of post-Sgt Pepper pop (it was recorded in Abbey Road as The Fabs were finishing Pepper).

It’s one of Dave Grohl and Paul Weller’s all-time favourite albums, and it includes the Eminem-sampled Time Of The Season, a US No.3.

Produced by Chris Potter (The Verve’s Urban Hymns) and featuring songwriter Rod Argent and singer Colin Blunstone, this follow-up to 2011’s Breathe Out, Breathe In features artwork courtesy of Terry Quirk, who did the Odessey sleeve.

It’s not quite in that gossamer baroque/psych vein though. Movin’ On is bluesy, Edge Of The Rainbow jazzy. New York is a rose-tinted reflection on The Zombies’ first ever American tour (‘City of a million dreams, you gave one up to me’), while And We Were Young Again is a cool Steely Dan-ish reverie.

They may have a more muscular setting, but there’s no denying the appeal of Argent’s ornate piano and Blunstone’s breathy warble.

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.