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The Zombies – Different Game

The Zombies – Different Game

The Zombies were outliers even in the futuristic surge of the ’60s. Rod Argent wrote their debut, smash single “She’s Not There”, after digging up John Lee Hooker’s “No One Told Me” from a pile of blues records for his lyrical spark, but drew its unusual chords from Bryan Hyland’s Bach-based “Sealed With A Kiss”. Its central conceit, meanwhile, conjuring a girl by her absence, was worthy of American songbook masters such as the Gershwins.

The other hallowed achievement of their four-year professional run, Odessey And Oracle (1968), was dressed up in a psychedelic sleeve and title, but occupied its own realm of quiet, inward thoughts and chamber arrangements. The haunted pastoral dream of bassist Chris White’s “Beechwood Park” came closest to the season’s altered states, as Argent’s spare, hook-laden, suggestively titled “Time Of The Season” attached itself to the times to huge US success. Though they had been enthused by rock’n’roll, the closest their keystone work got to its earthy rush was the ecstatic chorus harmonies of “Care Of Cell 44”, topped by Colin Blunstone’s sweet, yearning voice, itself innocent and pure in the late ’60s tumult. Their essential self was soft…

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