Music » Livewire

The Zombies

With Love. Monday, October 11, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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The Zombies
  • The Zombies
Los Angeles's Love and the U.K.'s Zombies are two of the most influential, wrongly ignored groups of all time, so it's quite fitting that they're touring together after all these years. Both acts had similar careers, starting off quickly with insanely catchy hit singles in the mid-'60s -- the Zombies reached No. 2 with the oldies staple "She's Not There," and Love scraped the top 40 with the Burt Bacharach-penned "My Little Red Book" -- only to see later, more mature masterpieces get largely overlooked. The Zombies' 1968 tour de force, Odyssey and Oracle, soundly beat Pet Sounds at its own game, but was just too clever and intricate for the post-Woodstock hippie generation, draped in love beads and zoned out on LSD. Soon after, the band split up. Ironically enough, a posthumous single from that record, "Time of the Season," became a worldwide smash, but co-vocalists Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent were already too immersed in successful solo careers to consider cashing in on it with a reunion.

Love's breakup was more tragic. After releasing the seminal Forever Changes (1967), which to this day appears on numerous critics' Desert Island lists, the original lineup disintegrated into drug-induced chaos, with two former members even being arrested for armed robbery. Immaculately hip main man Arthur Lee soldiered on with makeshift versions of the band until the early '90s, but he, too, became burdened with legal problems, eventually doing an eight-year prison stint for a firearm offense. These days, Lee is a changed man, touring nonstop in the U.S. and Europe with his hot backing group, which consists of former members of Baby Lemonade. Similarly, the new Zombies, featuring Blunstone and Argent, have been drawing their share of accolades. Don't miss this.

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