The Zombies Awaken!
Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent Reunite For New Album, As Far As I Can See... Out September 14 and U.S. Tour
Thirty-five years after The Zombies closed a chapter with their psychedelic masterpiece Odessey & Oracle, original members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent begin a new chapter in the influential British band's history with the September 14 release of As Far As I Can See... on Rhino Records.
No mere trip down memory lane, As Far As I Can See... is The Zombies reborn. Featuring 10 new tracks-plus a re-working of Blunstone's hit "I Don't Believe In Miracles"-the album is colored by The Zombies' trademark minor-key melancholy along with Blunstone and Argent's explorations of new musical territory.
"When we played the first mixes back, Colin and I were surprised to hear many resonances of our first band on the record, because they weren't achieved consciously," says Argent. "Suddenly, and for the first time in all these years, it felt honest and right to include the name 'Zombies' somewhere on the album. It still feels important to include our own names as well-a way of expressing something about the future as well as acknowledging the past."
The album has another special connection to The Zombies' storied past. Paul Atkinson, one of the group's original guitarists and a legendary music executive, earned a special A&R credit on As Far As I Can See... for his efforts championing the album. Blunstone and Argent recently played a benefit concert at the Los Angeles House of Blues to honor their friend and bandmate, who sadly died prior to the album's American release. The album also features former Zombies member Chris White contributing guest vocals on three songs: "Memphis," "I Want To Fly," and "Look For A Better Way." Produced by Rod Argent, the new CD will be available at retail outlets and www.rhino.com [ http://www.rhino.com/ ] for a suggested retail price of $18.98.
Despite a short career, The Zombies cemented their place in music history with the Top 10 singles "She's Not There," (#2), "Tell Her No" (#6), and "Time Of The Season" (#3). But it was the band's 1967 swansong, Odessey & Oracle,that truly earned The Zombies legendary status. Mojo magazine describes the album as "...without a doubt, one of the best albums of its era..." Rolling Stone recently ranked it at number 80 in the magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
"Ever since The Zombies split up in 1967, we have always resisted re-forming despite being offered lots of money," explains Argent. We didn't put the band back together then because we have always wanted to look forward, and it has always seemed wrong to put the band back together again simply to make a quick buck."
The seeds of As Far As I Can See... were planted in 2001 when Blunstone and Argent "accidentally reunited" following a performance of Rod's '70s rock band, simply named Argent. The pair started working together for the first time in three decades and wound up recording Out Of The Shadows (2002).
"Each song on the new album came into being with Colin's voice as a presence somewhere in the back of my head-just as it was in the Sixties," explains Argent. The combination of Rod's arrangements and Blunstone's voice is still magical, and proof is As Far As I Can See...
The Zombies' return comes at a time when the band's short but influential career continues to resonate with modern musicians like REM, Beck, and Super Furry Animals. No less an authority than Courtney Love once proclaimed, "The f---ing Zombies are probably the best band in world history other than Zeppelin."
Blunstone and Argent will tour this fall as The Zombies with their band-guitarist Keith Airey; bassist Jim Rodford; and his son, drummer Steve Rodford.
Source: Rhino Records