Like many other British Invasion groups, the Zombies were sent to the United States to tour behind their new hit single. One of their most memorable early U.S. gigs were Murray the K's Christmas shows at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre, where the band played seven performances a day. Hugh Grundy later recalled also contributing to the sets by the Shangri-Las — not as a musician, but by revving a motorcycle brought backstage as a sound effect for their performance of "Leader of the Pack".
In early 1965, Rod Argent's "Tell Her No" became another big seller in the United States (where a cover version by American pop vocalist Juice Newton was a hit in 1983), but failed to make the Top 40 in the band's native UK. Although subsequent recordings such as "I Love You" (which became a hit for People! in 1968), "Indication", "Whenever You're Ready", and "Is This the Dream" were of uniformly high quality, none achieved the success of the previous two singles.
Their first LP, Begin Here (1965), was a collection of early singles, featuring half a dozen original songs combined with several R&B covers. In 1967, the Zombies signed to CBS Records, for whom they recorded the album Odessey and Oracle. (The word odyssey was misspelled by cover designers.) Because the band's budget could not cover session musicians, they used a Mellotron, a device designed to imitate orchestral sections.
By the time Odessey and Oracle was released in April 1968, the group had disbanded. The album sold poorly, and was only given a U.S. release because musician Al Kooper, then signed to Columbia Records, convinced his label of the album's artistic merits. An album track, "Time of the Season", written by Argent, was released as a single and eventually (1969) became a nationwide hit (Billboard #3) after a radio DJ put it in heavy rotation. The band's original lineup declined to regroup for concerts, so various concocted groups tried to capitalize on the success and falsely toured under the band's name. Another such group toured in 1988, going so far as to trademark the group's name (since the band had let the mark lapse) and recruit a member named Ronald Hugh Grundy, who was passed off as being an original member, although he played bass rather than drums.
After The Zombies disbanded, Rod Argent formed a band called Argent, with Chris White as a non-performing songwriter. Colin Blunstone eventually launched a solo career after brief careers outside the music biz, including one stint in the burglary claims section of an insurance company. Both Argent and White continued to provide him with new songs.
In 1991 Blunstone, Grundy and White briefly reunited as The Zombies with guitarist Sebastian Santa Maria and recorded the album New World.
Blunstone and Argent reunited for an album and tour together in 2001 under the Blunstone & Argent monicker and continued playing live shows together into 2004 when they began going out under The Zombies name again. The new line-up included Rod's cousin Jim Rodford (formerly of The Kinks and Argent), his son Steve Rodford on drums, and Keith Airey (brother of Don Airey) on guitar.
An album of new material released in 2004, As Far as I Can See..., received mixed reviews. A 1997 120-track compilation of the original band's work, Zombie Heaven, was released.
In 2005 Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent of The Zombies released a DVD and 2-CD album (Live At The Bloomsbury Theatre), which received excellent reviews in the Times, Mojo, The Sun, and other publications.
In 2006 Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone carried on touring as The Zombies.
Their U.S. tour of 2007 garnered stellar reviews. "The Zombies, still led by original keyboard wizard Rod Argent and featuring the smoked-silk vocals of Colin Blunstone, is the finest British-invasion-era band still touring that doesn't have Mick Jagger as a frontman"- The Washington Times.
To mark the 40th anniversary of Odessey & Oracle, the four surviving original members of The Zombies participated in a three-night series of concerts at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire Theatre between 7 and 9 March, 2008. For the opening set Blunstone and Argent, with their current touring group, played a selection of other Zombies songs, two Argent songs, and some of Blunstone's solo material, for which a string quintet joined them on stage. For the second set, introduced by Al Kooper, The Zombies, with Keith Airey handling the guitar parts of the late Paul Atkinson, played the album in its entirety, and to reproduce the many overdubs on the album, they were joined by a horn section, additional vocalists and percussion, including Jim and Steve Rodford and Darian Sahanaja on memotron. They closed the set by performing "Tell Her No" and "She's Not There". Rod and Colin's respective websites had advertised that the 8 March concert was recorded for a CD and/or DVD release later in 2008, and the CD has been officially posted by Amazon.com to be presold for a release of 1 July, 2008.
The Zombies kicked off a North American tour on 3 July, 2008, with an outdoor festival performance at the Comerica Cityfest in Detroit, Michigan. The group played all the group's hits, five selections from Odessey & Oracle, and several Argent songs.
The Zombies will be appearing at the Rhythm Festival 2008 http://www.rhythmfestival.net/index.html
Songs on the soundtrack:
Many of their songs are used in the 2004 film Dear Wendy.
A remix of "She's Not There" can be heard in Kill Bill Vol. 2 as The Bride enters Bill's home.
"Time of the Season" was used by Bulmers/Magners cider in their March 2007 spring television advertisement campaign (http://www.bulmers.ie/the-ads/) in the UK (as Magners) and Republic of Ireland (as Bulmers).
"Time of the Season" was also used in Noxzema commercials in the late '90s.
"Time of the Season" was featured in the NBC television special The 60's.
"Time of the Season" has been used in The Simpsons and South Park.
|Release date||Title||Chart positions|
|August 1964||"She's Not There"/"You Make Me Feel Good"||#12||#2||#2|
|November 1964||"Leave Me Be"/"Woman" (not issued in US)||—||—||—|
|December 1964||"Tell Her No"/"What More Can I Do?" (UK) /"Leave Me Be" (not issued in UK)||#42||#6||#6|
|March 1965||"She's Coming Home"/"I Must Move"||—||#58||#21|
|June 1965||"I Want You Back Again"/"Remember When I Loved Her" (US only)||—||#95||—|
|August 1965||"Whenever You're Ready"/"I Love You"||—||#110||—|
|September 1965||"Just Out of Reach"/"Remember You"||—||#113||—|
|February 1966||"Is This the Dream"?"Don't Go Away"||—||—||—|
|June 1966||"Indication"/"How We Were Before"||—||—||—|
|September 1966||"Gotta Get a Hold of Myself"/"The Way I Feel Inside"||—||—||—|
|November 1966||"Goin' Out of My Head"/"She Does Everything For Me"||—||—||—|
|November 1967||"Care of Cell 44"/"Beechwood Park"||—||—||—|
|June 1968||"Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)"/"This Will Be Our Year" (US only)||—||—||—|
|November 1968||"Time of the Season"/"I'll Call You Mine" (UK & US) /"Friends of Mine" (US 2nd issue)||—||#3||#1|
|May 1969||"Imagine the Swan"/"Conversations Of Floral Street"||—||#109||#59|