Zombies – This Will Be Our Year

Next to Auld Lang Syne this is my favorite New Years Song. A favorite of mine from a favorite band of mine. Everyone… I wish you a Happy New Year in 2022.

You didn’t have to read my blog but you did and I really appreciate it…I want to thank all of you for reading and commenting in 2021.

This song sounds like it should have been a hit but it was never pushed as a single at the time. It was the B side to Butcher’s Tale  (Western Front 1914) which is an experimental song and was a big surprise to the band that it was picked as the first single. Both are from the great album Odessey and Oracle in 1968. There are several songs on this album that could have been in the charts but Time of the Season was the only one that made it and it was a year after the album was released.

Bruce Eder of AllMusic gave the album five stars out of five, calling it “one of the flukiest (and best) albums of the 1960s, and one of the most enduring long-players to come out of the entire British psychedelic boom”.

On recording Odessey and Oracle….Rod Argent

“We had the chance of going in and putting things down in the way we wanted people to hear them and we had a new studio, we walked in just after The Beatles had walked out [after recording Sgt. Pepper]. We were the next band in. They’d left some of their instruments behind … I used John Lennon’s Mellotron, that’s why it’s all over Odessey and Oracle. We used some of their technological advances … we were using seven tracks, and that meant we could overdub for the first time. And it meant that when I played the piano part I could then overdub a Mellotron part, and it meant we could have a fuller sound on some of the songs and it means that at the moment the tour we’re doing with Odessey and Oracle it means we’re actually reproducing every note on the original record by having extra player with us as well.”

This Will Be A Year

The warmth of your love
Is like the warmth of the sun
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

Don’t let go of my hand 
Now darkness has gone
And this will be our year 
Took a long time to come

And I won’t forget 
The way you held me up when I was down
And I won’t forget the way you said, 
“Darling I love you”
You gave me faith to go on

Now we’re there and we’ve only just begun
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

The warmth of your smile
Smile for me, little one
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

You don’t have to worry
All your worried days are gone
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

And I won’t forget 
The way you held me up when I was down
And I won’t forget the way you said, 
“Darling I love you”
You gave me faith to go on

Now we’re there and we’ve only just begun
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

Yeah we only just begun
Yeah this will be our year
Took a long time to come

Zombies – Odessey and Oracle…Desert Island Albums

This is my fourth-round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days.
https://slicethelife.com/2020/08/11/2020-album-draft-round-4-pick-6-badfinger20-selects-the-zombies/

In the early 90s, I purchased the Zombie’s greatest hits. The cd contained the usual songs Tell Her No, She’s Not There, and Time Of The Season. I had read about The Zombies in music books and how other bands admired them for their jazz and classical influences.

They are best remembered for those three hits but also for one album…Odessey and Oracle.  With this album, they elevated themselves to new heights…but that took a little while. In Rolling Stone magazine in the 80s and 90s I read great writeups about this album. Finally, I tried it for myself and was more than happy I did. Many critics hailed this album as one of the greatest of the decade and it lived up to their hype.

By the way… The band wanted to call the album “Odyssey and Oracle” but cover artist Terry Quirk accidentally spelled the title wrong and the band decided to run with the misspelling.

By 1967 they were close to being done. They were broke and had to pay for most of the sessions. Tell Her No and She’s Not There were 3 years in the past and in pop music…that was a lifetime.

They got together in Abbey Road studios right after The Beatles finished Sgt Pepper in 1967…even using John Lennon’s Mellotron. They ended up recording one of the best albums of the sixties. April 18, 1968, was the UK release date. It was a little while after that before America heard it.

The album almost didn’t get released in America. Al Kooper worked for Columbia Records as a staff producer in the A&R department. One of his first assignments was to go to London and he bought around 40 albums that could only be bought there. Odessey and Oracle stood out from all of the rest.

Clive Davis was about to sign off on this album not being released in America. Kooper changed his mind and convinced Clive to release the album. That is how the album was released and Time of the Season became a hit. By the time Time Of The Season peaked at #3 in 1969 the band had broken up.

It ended up ranked at #100 in Rolling Stone Magazine best 500 albums of all time. Not bad for an album that only peaked at #95 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1969.

The best way I can describe this album is somewhere between psychedelic pop/rock and baroque pop. I think that is a fair statement. I suggest listening to this album with headphones. The Zombies paid attention to detail and the backup vocals are outstanding. It the year that Sgt Pepper and The Piper at the Gates of Dawn were recorded… Odessey and Oracle belong with those albums.

It’s pure joy to sit and listen to this album. I’ll highlight these songs.

Time of the Season is the big hit off the album and also…there is an official law in the books about this song. If you produce a film about the 1960s this song must be played. The song is great and it does transport you to that time. What’s your name? Who’s your daddy? (He rich) Is he rich like me?

Care Of Cell 44 is the real star of the album to me. The song is arranged beautifully. with part vocal-only arrangements, You can hear Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney’s influence in this recording. Chris White’s (Zombies bass player) bass playing is phenomenal in this song. If Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson had a baby…this is what it would be. Take a listen to this one.

This Will Be Our Year is a wonderful optimistic song. It sounds like it should have been a hit but it was stuck on the B side to Butcher’s Tale  (Western Front 1914) which is more of an experimental song and not exactly very commercial…that was a wasted opportunity.

Another song that caught me on the first listen is A Rose For Emily. The theme is very similar to Eleanor Rigby but more subdued. “And as the years go by, she will grow old and die, The roses in her garden fade away, not one left for her grave, not a rose for Emily…”

Put this album on with some headphones and travel back to the sixties.

So far on my island…all the albums are within 4 years (1968-1972) of each other but that suits me fine. I’m sure an album will break that eventually. Odessey and Oracle brings some beautiful pop music to my hut. Grab a coconut and come over…we will listen to the Zombies…btw…Have you seen Mary Ann? I’ve been looking for her.

1. Care Of Cell 44
2. A Rose For Emily
3. Maybe After He’s Gone
4. Beechwood Park
5. Brief Candles
6. Hung Up On A Dream
7. Changes
8. I Want Her She Wants Me
9. This Will Be Our Year
10. Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914)
11. Friends Of Mine
12. Time Of The Season

 

Zombies – This Will Be Our Year

Since it’s the new year I’m re-posting this one. A favorite of mine from a favorite band of mine. Everyone I wish you a Happy New Year in 2020. Maybe they will be the roaring 20’s like the last… Thanks for reading in 2019.

This sounds like it should have been a hit but it was never pushed as a single at the time. It was the B side to Butcher’s Tale  (Western Front 1914) which is an experimental song and was a big surprise to the band that it was picked as the first single. Both are from the great album Odessey and Oracle in 1968. There are several songs on this album that could have been in the charts but Time of the Season was the only one that made it and it was a year after the album was released.

Bruce Eder of AllMusic gave the album five stars out of five, calling it “one of the flukiest (and best) albums of the 1960s, and one of the most enduring long-players to come out of the entire British psychedelic boom”.

On recording Odessey and Oracle….Rod Argent

“We had the chance of going in and putting things down in the way we wanted people to hear them and we had a new studio, we walked in just after The Beatles had walked out [after recording Sgt. Pepper]. We were the next band in. They’d left some of their instruments behind … I used John Lennon’s Mellotron, that’s why it’s all over Odessey and Oracle. We used some of their technological advances … we were using seven tracks, and that meant we could overdub for the first time. And it meant that when I played the piano part I could then overdub a Mellotron part, and it meant we could have a fuller sound on some of the songs and it means that at the moment the tour we’re doing with Odessey and Oracle it means we’re actually reproducing every note on the original record by having extra player with us as well.”

This Will Be A Year

The warmth of your love
Is like the warmth of the sun
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

Don’t let go of my hand 
Now darkness has gone
And this will be our year 
Took a long time to come

And I won’t forget 
The way you held me up when I was down
And I won’t forget the way you said, 
“Darling I love you”
You gave me faith to go on

Now we’re there and we’ve only just begun
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

The warmth of your smile
Smile for me, little one
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

You don’t have to worry
All your worried days are gone
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

And I won’t forget 
The way you held me up when I was down
And I won’t forget the way you said, 
“Darling I love you”
You gave me faith to go on

Now we’re there and we’ve only just begun
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

Yeah we only just begun
Yeah this will be our year
Took a long time to come

The Zombies

Since the first time I heard this band, I loved their sound. I liked their hits but a few years ago I bought their album Odessey and Oracle and was blown away. The Beatles were big fans of them in the sixties.

They formed in 1961 by Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone. The hit big in 1964 with singles She’s Not There that went to #2 in American and the follow up Tell Her No that went to #6 on the charts. After that, they released some more singles but nothing hit.

They went into Abbey Road studio right after The Beatles recorded the Sgt Pepper album. When recording the album they even used The Beatle’s Mellotron they left there. They recorded it in Abbey Road and some in Olympic Studio in London.

By the time the album came out they had already broken up. In 1968 CBS records were not going to release it in America at all but a young  A&R man at the time named Al Kooper who worked for CBS told Clive Davis (President of CBS Records) that there were hit singles on the album. The album was released and the single “Time of Season” went to number 1 on the Cash Box Top 100 and number 3 in US Billboard Hot 100…

The album contains much more than that though. Personally, I think “Care of Cell 44” is one of the best pop songs I’ve heard. It’s as if mid-60s Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson had a baby…and Care Of Cell 44 is it.

A Rose for Emily is another good pop song. “This Will Be Our Year” is another one. This album is one of my favorite pop albums of all time. The songs have well-crafted melodies and the sound is wonderful. Time of Season is a classic and has a mood, unlike any other song.

Colin Blunstone has a unique voice all his own. He did have a few solo hits in the UK charts during the 1970s.

Rod Argent went on to form the band Argent… they had a hit with “Hold Your Head Up” and “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” later covered by Petra and KISS with modified lyrics.

The Zombies regrouped in the 90s and are still touring. Get a good pair of headphones and listen to Care of Cell 44.

From the Al Kooper book, Backstage Passes… Talking about Odessey and Oracle

I made an appointment with Clive Davis and put the album on his desk. “I really think we should purchase the master rights to this album for the U.S.,” I aggressively suggested. He took one look at the cover and replied, “We already own this album. I was just about to sign off on our option to release it domestically.”
Now, it got good to me—
“I think that would be a huge mistake Clive. Why there’s at least two hit singles here.” He told me he would sleep on it and thanked me for bringing it to his attention. Two weeks later I got an interoffice memo saying they were gonna put it out, with instructions to rewrite the liner notes and pick a single. Cautiously, Clive released it on a little subsidiary label CBS had called Date Records, in case I turned out to be wrong. But my lucky streak was goin’ strong and that is how the single “Time of the Season” by The Zombies came to be number one. The album Oddesey [sic] and Oracle had been out quite awhile in England. (In fact, the band had already broken up and metamorphosed into a new band called Argent that CBS had signed before “Time” was released.) A buncha Zombies crossed the ocean to take photos and get gold records. No one at CBS thanked me for this; I received no gold record or cash recompense. But The Zombies, who knew what really happened, made sure to come to my office and thank me profusely. That was worth it all to me at that time.