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.
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.”