The surviving ’60s bandmates will perform "Odessey" and "Oracle" in full.
Of the many iconic rock bands of the 1960s, only a few created a sound that was exclusively their own. Mix the jazz-soaked keyboard playing of Rod Argent, the pellucid lead vocals of Colin Blunstone and choirboy backing harmonies — folded into (often) minor-key songs — and you get something special that only the Zombies provide.
Unfortunately, they weren’t able to translate that musical mojo into consistent sales; “She’s Not There” was a hit in their native England and eventually the States, where they managed a follow-up smash in “Tell Her No.” They hit the top 10 again in the U.S. with “Time of the Season” in 1969, but the group broke up even before the 1968 release of Odessey and Oracle, an album now almost universally considered one of the finest rock discs of all time.
However, by the new millennium, periodic one-off reunions led to Blunstone and Argent touring together regularly, which morphed into a new incarnation of the Zombies. The current band has been together as long as the ’60s version, and also includes bassist Jim Rodford (a founding member of Argent and a latter-day Kink), his son Steve on drums, and guitarist Tom Toomey. At times the other original members have also participated, including for tours where they perform Odessey and Oracle in full.
The four surviving ’60s bandmates (guitarist Atkinson died in 2004) visit the Barrymore Theatre to do just that on April 15; it’s their final tour playing the full album and the 50th anniversary celebration of its recording. The current band also will play, performing songs from 2015’s excellent Still Got That Hunger.
For a full review of Still Got That Hunger, see isthmus.com/music/vinyl-cave.