In the midst of its revival tour and return to music making, English psych-pop cult figureheads The Zombies
head to the House of Blues on March 12 — the band's first-ever show in New Orleans.
The band's brief career in the mid- and late-'60s produced only a couple studio albums and a handful of modest hits, but The Zombies' fingerprints on contemporary music have endured. The band's breakout singles "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No" showcase Rod Argent's burgeoning perfect-pop songwriting chops, while the band's 1965 debut Begin Here
expanded the band's English beat and jazz-influenced spin on American rhythm and blues, from Bo Diddley's "Road Runner" to then-standards "You Really Got a Hold on Me" and "Summertime." But Argent shines with his earnest, minimal "The Way I Feel Inside" and "I Remember When I Loved Her" while his organ wails on "What More Can I Do" — all a prelude to the band's 1968 cult masterpiece, Odessey & Oracle
The band recorded the album on a tight budget at a sprinter's pace at Abbey Road Studios (following The Beatles sessions for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
). The album is a miniature masterpiece of ornate, psychedelic vocal pop and lush arrangements, from songwriter Chris White's headphones-filling "Maybe After He's Gone" to Argent's enduring classic "Time of the Season." There's also the sweet, one-take pop of White's "This Will Be Our Year" and his darkly psychedelic "Butcher's Tale."
By the time the band finally had a real "hit" with "Time of the Season," it was more or less defunct — Argent went on to found, well, Argent, and vocalist Colin Blunstone began a solo career. The band reunited several times for strings of concerts and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Odessey
. Though only Argent and Blunstone remain from the original lineup, the band's latest incarnation features bassist Jim Rodford of Argent and The Kinks, along with his son Steve on drums.
The show begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12. Tickets are $35