It’s the time of the season for The Zombies’ Greatest Hits to arrive on CD from Varese Vintage. This new anthology, co-produced by Cary E. Mansfield and Andrew Sandoval and newly remastered for CD by Chas Ferry, premiered in 2017 on vinyl and makes for an ideal introductory overview to the short-lived but still-beloved band.
The 16 tracks on Greatest Hits encompass the band’s key singles as originally released between 1964 and 1969, most in their original mono single versions. Naturally, the band’s three major hits – “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No,” and “Time of the Season” – are here. But there are also numerous other treats from Colin Blunstone, Hugh Grundy, Paul Atkinson, Rod Argent, and Chris White.
White’s “You Make Me Feel Good,” the B-side of “She’s Not There,” is an enjoyably straightforward pop ballad with that quintessential “British Invasion” sound. Another White composition, “Leave Me Be,” channeled the urgency of “She’s Not There.” When it didn’t score in the U.K., it was tapped as the U.S. B-side of “Tell Her No.” The chronologically-assembled collection finds the band growing increasingly sophisticated in production (“She’s Coming Home”) and composition (the jazz-inflected “I Want You Back Again”) alike, while not eschewing pure pop. Argent’s “Whenever You’re Ready” has an instantly catchy melody that should have resonated more with listeners.
The Zombies’ versatility is also on display here. A garage beat permeates “Just Out of Reach,” the band’s only A-side penned by Colin Blunstone. Argent’s “Is This the Dream” has a blue-eyed soul spirit, while his “The Way I Feel Inside” is beautifully understated. Just two tracks are culled from the band’s landmark Odessey and Oracle – “Time of the Season” and the brass-flecked “This Will Be Our Year,” one of the standouts on that classic, multi-layered album. The penultimate selection on Greatest Hits, “Imagine the Swan,” was written and recorded by Argent and White (by then already having formed the band Argent), and conjured the baroque atmosphere of Odessey. The set actually closes with a throwback to 1965. “If It Don’t Work Out” was written for, and recorded by, Dusty Springfield, but The Zombies’ U.S. label, Date, plucked it from obscurity for a 1969 single release.
Andrew Sandoval provides track-by-track notes within the full-color eight-page booklet here. Bill Pitzonka has handsomely designed including a replica Epic label for the CD. Additionally, the booklet features single images from the Decca, Date, and Parrot labels. The Zombies’ Greatest Hits is in stores this Friday from Varese Vintage, and can be pre-ordered at the links below!
- She’s Not There (Parrot single 9695/Decca (U.K.) single 11940, 1964)
- You Make Me Feel Good (Parrot single 9695-B/Decca (U.K. single 11940-B, 1964)
- Tell Her No (Parrot single 9723, 1965/Decca (U.K.) single 12072, 1964)
- Leave Me Be (Parrot single 9723-B, 1965/Decca (U.K.) single 12004, 1964)
- She’s Coming Home (Parrot single 9747/Decca (U.K.) single 12125, 1965)
- I Want You Back Again (Parrot single 9769, 1965)
- Whenever You’re Ready (Parrot single 9786/Decca (U.K.) single 12225, 1965)
- I Love You (Parrot single 9786-B/Decca (U.K.) single 12225-B, 1965)
- Just Out of Reach (Parrot single 9797/Decca (U.K.) single 12322, 1965)
- Is This the Dream (Parrot single 9821/Decca (U.K.) single 12296, 1965)
- Indication (U.K. Single Version) (Decca (U.K.) single 12426, 1966)
- The Way I Feel Inside (Decca (U.K.) single 12495, 1966)
- This Will Be Our Year (Date single 1612, 1968)
- Time of the Season (Date single 1628/CBS (U.K.) single 3380, 1969)
- Imagine the Swan (Date single 1628/CBS (U.K.) single 4242, 1969)
- If It Don’t Work Out (Date single 1648, 1969)
All tracks mono except Track 14 stereo