I am a big fan of the Zombies and while surfing the channels of youtube, I became interested to see what the band was like live. My search dug up this somewhat awkward performance. However the fact that it’s awkward is no fault of The Zombies who play well despite the odd stage plotting and weird dancers. Despite this, the two things I find really interesting about this video are…
A: The fact that it’s shot in color and
B: it appears the band is actually performing the song and not playing to a backing track typical of televised performances of the day - a testament to their musical abilities.
In 1968 The Zombies, along with legendary engineer Geoff Emerick, recorded and self-produced the album Odessey And Oracle. Many consider (myself included) Odessey And Oracle to be one of the greatest pop/rock albums ever recorded but when it was released it largely fell on deaf ears. By the time the album came out The Zombies had already disbanded, largely due to lack of chart success. The album wasn’t even given a US release allegedly until Al Kooper (he always turns up in interesting places), convinced his label at the time, Columbia Records, to release it. One of the tracks, “Time of The Season,” was eventually issued as a single and became a huge international hit.
Unfortunately, at the peak of their career The Zombies were never able to find the success their merits deserved. Fortunately, through our revision of history, Odessey And Oracle has been given classic status. Their talents have finally been recognized allowing them to reform and establish a successful touring career, even creating new albums. However, I can’t help but feel sad for the fact that they never got the recognition they deserved when they were closest to the album. However that’s how this business goes sometimes.
HEYHEY we’re playing this Sunday at Boot & Saddle w/ DIIV and Drone Ranger. Only $3. We play first (I think) some come early!
PS our name doesn’t have an S on the end!! But thanks to whoever made the poster, it’s #communicatingwithourextraterrestrialfriends
Here is an early Joe Meek engineering/production job on skiffle artist, Lonnie Donegan. This recording has a very distinct Meek vibe, with spooky sounds, a strange clinky percussion part, and vocals recorded very close to the mic. All these things that were considered very unorthodox for recording at the time.
If you are unfamiliar with Joe Meek, he was a pioneering engineer/producer/inventor/innovator from the UK, who was the first to develop many, now standard, recording techniques such as - close miking instruments, overdubbing, and the creative use of compressors and limiters. Mr. Meek was way ahead of his time.
Check out the wiki page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Meek
And if you are looking for something a little more technical, check out the wonderful book Joe Meek’s Bold Techniques
Chain Gang Jam