Although The Zombies were seen as an underground band of the 1960s, their influence has been so vast that in 2019 they were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Despite that and them being seemingly a cult band, their influence cannot be underestimated, particularly in the Psychedelic Rock scene. This album also has The Zombies most popular song on it and is worth observing historically overall, so let’s listen and hear where this takes us.
Care Of Cell 44 begins the album with some gorgeous harpsichord, before launching into an excellent piece of music that does owe itself to Psychedelic Rock of the time but is gorgeous and excellently layered with various different pieces of instrumentation. A catchy, upbeat and lovely listening experience with some ear candy sounding harmonies and singing, this is a must-listen, particularly for fans of Classic Rock. This isn’t a million miles away from The Beach Boys or similar music of the era but is original and very enjoyable. A really excellent song, each instrument and part is not to be underestimated, it is truly amazing sounding. Towards the end, the 1960s harmonies take you elsewhere, before finishing up with harpsichord and more great harmonies. A very strong start to this album.
A Rose For Emily is a much shorter song that begins with chugging piano, pretty singing and simple lyrics that would make Syd Barrett jealous in its depiction of childhood memories. In fact, this is The Zombies See Emily Play in many, many ways. No guitars or other Rock instrumentation, just vocals and piano. A really excellent and cleverly constructed piece of music, this is something that Brian Wilson would have loved back in the late 1960s. A great listen all the same, and it is over before you know it.
Maybe After He’s Gone begins with double-tracked acoustic guitars, and quickly launches straight into a piece that is about heartbreak and loneliness that one can experience when in love with an ex-girlfriend. Despite the melancholy feel in the lyrics, this is enjoyable and deliciously pretty to hear. The Zombies put in a really awesome effort on this album, and not a moment is wasted on this listen. The harmonies and singing are so pretty and soothing that you’ll be left wanting more, which itself is a very good thing. The layered harmonies at the end are truly magical, great tune.
Beechwood Park begins with a nice combination of organ and guitar, before launching into a song about the weather that one can experience throughout the years. A calm listen and a really enjoyable Psychedelic Rock piece, this album is by this stage, a definite classic album. The songs present are extremely well constructed and delivered. The chorus climax present is really interesting and amazing listening, and the verses build up the scenario very well. All in all, a very top listen from The Zombies and something that people who are interesting in the music of the 1960s should explore. The harmonies are the end are very lovely.
Brief Candles begins with some pretty piano playing before some irresistible sounding harmony based singing enters. The singing is not unlike Roger Daltrey of The Who, but with a calmer and more direct delivery. Nonetheless, the song, lyrics and musicianship here make for a fantastic listen from start to finish, and this listen is a very good one. There is a keyboard solo which is brief, which then launches into the final verses. This is imaginative, surreal and artistic sounding, these guys nailed the music here. It ends with more pretty piano, a strong effort indeed.
Hung Up On A Dream begins with more piano playing and mellotron, before drums, guitars and singing enter. This is yet another great piece, this time lyrically about the surreal experience of one’s dreams. Yes, this is the late 1960s and the music and sounds go to show it. This still sounds incredible and enjoyable to this day, it just sounds really cool and excellently performed. The choir-like backing harmonies in the background are really cool, and the lyrics are somewhat melancholy sounding. Despite that about it, this is surely a great listen. It ends with more piano and mellotron, simple, yet great music.
Changes begins with some flute keyboard sounding patches which are excellently stereo panned. This abruptly ends, being replaced by many multitracked vocals and bongos, before launching into a very well written piece of music with trippy and excellently made sounds. The whole thing sounds so deliciously enjoyable that this underrated album deserves repeat listens. There is a call-and-response section between the singing and keyboard. The lyrics are about a lady who is a compulsive shopper but is a cool listen from start to finish. A very refreshing listen, this has a long keyboard outro that sounds fantastic. Nice work by The Zombies here.
I Want Her She Wants Me begins with some subdued guitars, bass guitar parts and more enjoyable harpsichord. This quickly enters into a very surreal piece of music that sounds perfect for the end of the day. In any case, The Zombies impress, even on lesser tracks. The singing, musicianship and confident, calm delivery are great. The vocals on this album indeed are really gorgeous and fantastic and are no doubt a standout alone here. The drumming also seems more intricate than your average drummer on this piece, always good to hear when this is the case. This is also very catchy, and the whole album sounds ridiculously good, along with this song. The chanted vocals towards the end are really cool. An excellent song, all the way through to the fade-out.
This Will Be Our Year [Mono] is very short at two minutes long. It begins with pounding piano before drums and vocals get going in the mix. This song, again, sounds rather like a melancholy piece dealing with internal emotions. There is some really lovely trumpet in the background as well, and this beautiful and lovely piece of music sounds really great and worthy of repeat listens. A really great song, this touches one’s heart. Great piece of music right here, nicely done.
Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914) begins with some creepy electronic sounds, before going straight into an organ-led piece that sounds pretty lyrical warped. It’s an-anti war song about the pain and suffering that war creates. Although this song is about World War I, this could easily have been applied to the Vietnam War ongoing at the time. Musically, this is different to the rest of the album, but is as good, despite the rather confrontational subject matter. Singing about being psychologically distraught and physically shaking during a war from fear, this is very melodramatic. Good regardless.
Friends Of Mine begins with some nice clean guitar, before going into a much brighter and happier song with piano and crashing drums. This is really great and enjoyable music, and it is a pretty, timeless and fine listen. A really cool listening experience, this has some nice mid-position Fender guitar sounds in the solo section, before returning to the song itself. This finishes off with names being chanted. A good piece of music, once again.
Time Of The Season is the last song on this album and is also the most popular song of all by The Zombies. It launches into a catchy bass guitar riff, a quirky drum pattern and some vocal sound effects reminiscent of Syd Barrett. A simple yet very enjoyable piece of music with call-and-response vocals present in this song, the chorus in particular is really excellent and soothing. There is a keyboard solo that really sounds expressive and perfectly played. A very good and wonderful song to hear, again and again, this does sound really fresh and incredibly enjoyable. The keyboard solo returns in the second half, and the band plays with a lot of intensity from here all the way to the fade-out. Excellent song, and a nice conclusion to a great album.
This is hands down a great album. From start to finish, each song is carefully played and performed and the whole listening experience is magical, majestic and enjoyable. You definitely should listen to this album, particularly if you dig Psychedelic Rock. A very amazing listen, too bad that The Zombies broke up after this. Nonetheless, a great album is here for those of you who need a bit of tripped out music now and again.