The Zombies Celebrate Sixties Hits During Rock Hall Performance - Rolling Stone
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See the Zombies Celebrate Sixties Hits During Triumphant Rock Hall Performance

“Time of the Season,” “She’s Not There” and more were spotlighted for historic set

The Zombies revisited their idiosyncratic psych-pop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday night. The surviving members of the Zombies’ Oddessey and Oracle lineup reunited after giving speeches for a rousing performance, which leaned heavily on songs from that landmark 1968 album.

Singer Colin Blunstone, keyboardist Rod Argent, bassist Chris White and drummer Hugh Grundy clapped and sighed as they kicked things off with “Time of the Season.” They didn’t miss a beat, a “Who’s your daddy?” or an extended keyboard solo as the stage swirled with psychedelic colors and images of the band in the Sixties were projected behind them. Blunstone held out his arms as he sang the song’s chorus.
They slowed things down next with gently swaggering “This Will Be Our Year,” with help from a four-part horn section. Next up was the sweetly lilting “Tell Her No,” from their self-titled 1964 debut LP. Blunstone smiled and held his arm out as he sang, “her love belongs to me.”
For the last song, they played what Argent told the crowd was “just about the first song I wrote,” their first single, 1964’s “She’s Not There.” As Argent played the song’s organ solo, the people in the front rows on the floor — the highest priced tables — all got up to show their affection. For the song’s last notes, the musicians each stood up and stretched out their arms in victory.

The Zombies’ Rock Hall entrance has been a long time coming: The group was first eligible for induction in 1989. They appeared on their first ballot in 2014 and were voted in after their fourth nomination.

The Zombies’ long wait is not out of character — it has always taken their music time to sink in. “I remember when we played our first single [‘She’s Not There’] to the record company, they didn’t think it was commercial,” keyboardist Rod Argent told Rolling Stone. “… Certainly nobody thought ‘Time of the Season’ [which eventually reached Number Three on the Hot 100] was terribly commercial.”

“Rod will always say that Odessey and Oracle got some good reviews at the time, and it probably did, but overall it didn’t get a great reaction, and certainly not commercially,” lead singer Colin Blunstone added. “It’s always intrigued me that over a period of time, with nobody promoting the album, no one marketing it, people’s attitudes towards the album changed.”

The Zombies’ Rock Hall induction ceremony falls on an auspicious date for the group. March 29 is “to the day — 50 years after ‘Time of the Season’ became Number One on Cashbox,” Argent said.

“When I was a kid, Elvis [Presley] seemed like someone from another galaxy,” Argent continued. “American culture and American music of that sort seemed so far away from anything that I could aspire to at that moment. To think that all these years later, I’m on the same roster as Miles Davis, Ray Charles and all my heroes that have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it just feels like a complete honor.”

 

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