Posts Tagged ‘Chris White’

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Glasgow indie band Nightshift (featuring members of Spinning Coin, 2 Ply and Robert Sotelo) are shrewd in their sonic choices. On their new LP, “Zöe”, avant-garde and no wave tendencies mingle with classic indie-pop influences, resulting in an alluring push and pull. For an album that thrives on their rhythmic interplay and colourful chemistry, it’s surprising that these songs were recorded remotely during lockdown, but they’re still able to lock into grooves with ease. The extended breakdown on the blissful “Power Cut,” for example, finds them riffing over each other like it’s a rapturous jam session—synths, bells, and guitars flutter and glow, until a screeching flute solo invades and takes the track into wonderfully freakish territory. Other tracks like “Make Kin” and “Infinity Winner” thrive on their spacious, hair-raising qualities, with a palpable gloom brought on by jazzy post-punk. Whether it’s an offbeat drum passage or charming shared pop vocals, Nightshift have plenty of curveballs and plenty of heart

Initially formed by guitarist David Campbell and bassist Andrew Doig as a “No Wave/No New York/ early Sonic Youth/This Heat-esque” group, the addition of Eothen Stern (keyboards/vocals) and Chris White (drums) instantaneously transformed their approach (guitarist / vocalist/clarinetist Georgia Harris joined as the band was writing “Zöe”). The band self-released a full-length tape on CUSP Recordings in early 2020, laying the foundation of their sound; hypnotic, melodic, understated indie post-punk with hooks that stick around long after you’ve heard them. “Zöe” is the band’s newest effort, and first for Trouble In Mind. Unlike the band’s previous album, the songs on “Zöe” weren’t conceived live in the band’s practice space, but rather pieced together and recorded remotely during quarantine lockdown, with each member composing or improvising their parts in homes/home studios, layering ideas over loops someone made and passing it on. The isolation actually allowed for an openness and creativity to flow and many of the songs took on radically different forms from when they were originally envisioned.

From the album “Zöe”, released on February 26th, 2021 via Trouble In Mind Records

Zombies-reissues copy

The Zombies is the classic debut album from the rock icons including smashes “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No”.I Love You” is best known to Zombies fanatics as the crucial compilation, originally released as an introduction to the American public, featuring the top 5 hit “She’s Not There.”  The reissue of I Love You is be the record’s first wide re-release in the United States.

The first wave of the 60’s British Invasion saw a diverse influx of sounds and styles infiltrating the soundwaves. At one end of the scale were the students of American R&B, whose music emphasized inspirations drawn from jazz and blues of a bygone era. On the other end lived the sophisticated, intricately arranged atmospherics of The Zombies.

There was no other band whose sound filled space as gorgeously and completely as The Zombies: the jazz-inflected electric piano of Rod Argent, the choirboy vocals of him and his St. Albans schoolmates, bassist Chris White and lead singer Colin Blunstone. Other schoolmates, Paul Atkinson on guitar and vocals, and drummer Hugh Grundy, rounded out the classic original line-up, which endeared itself overnight to the most loyal and dedicated army of fans, to which any rock band can lay claim.

Originally scrapped in 1969, R.I.P has gone down in musical lore as the legendary group’s “lost” album. Assembled in the wake of the success of “Time of the Season” the album contains the band’s last recordings and other assorted unreleased numbers including, “Imagine the Swan” and “If It Don’t Work Out.”

The classic U.S. debut album from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees includes two Top 10 smashes “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No.”  Most of the contents from the record came from the previously released U.K. album, “Begin Here.” Relative to the time, The Zombies was a fresh mix of pop, rock and R&B blended with blues and jazz elements.   Keyboardist, Rod Argent, would be the primary writer of the material, with Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke and a George and Ira Gershwin track added in for good measure. While this LP has appeared in a box set and as a special edition in recent years, this constitutes the first widely available re-release since the mid-1960’s.

A must-have compilation from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.  Originally released only in The Netherlands and Japan.  After the popularity of  the single, “I Love You,” and two other Zombies songs in the Philippines, The Zombies sold out 10 concerts at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, near Manila, one if the largest arenas in Asia.  Widely available for the first time in the U.S., the compilation includes the Top 5 hit “She’s Not There.”

R.I.P., also known as R.I.P. The Lost Album, was originally scheduled to be released in 1969, but was cancelled. It was finally first released in Japan in October 2000 by Imperial Records.  In 1968, Rod Argent and Chris White began working on material for a possible new band when they were approached by CBS to do another Zombies album. Side A of the album is composed of new tracks that were cut with a lineup of led by keyboardist, Rod Argent and musicians who would become the band, Argent.  Side B is composed of old out-takes and demos that were overdubbed and enhanced.  Two songs from the album, “Imagine the Swan” (one of the newly recorded songs) and “If It Don’t Work Out” (a demo of a song that Dusty Springfield recorded and released in 1965), were put out as singles in 1969.

While this LP has appeared in a box set and as a special edition in recent years, this constitutes the first ever widely available release in the U.S. and Canada.

The Zombies - Complete Studio Recordings (5-LP Box Set)

The Zombies rode the British Invasion wave like many of the bands that weren’t the Beatles or the Rolling Stones: by having a couple of early hits and then fading into the corners of rock ‘n’ roll history. For the first time, the essential studio recordings of Britain’s legendary Zombies are assembled in one place on vinyl.

The set includes their two original US albums: “She’s Not There/Tell Her No” and “Odessey & Oracle”; two important compilations: “I Love You” and “R.I.P”.; as well as a bespoke collection of rare singles and UK-only album tracks: “Oddities & Extras”. The most comprehensive LP collection ever assembled for The Zombies, confirmed as inductees in the R&R Hall of Fame class of 2019.

After they recorded their second album Odessey & Oracle in 1967, the Zombies became discouraged by dwindling commercial success and called it quits. A few months later, the LP – earmarked as a permanently shelved record made by a band that nobody seemed to care about anymore – found a famous champion at the record company.

The five-LP The Complete Studio Recordings is set for release and includes their first U.S. album, She’s Not There/Tell Her No; its follow-up, Odessey and Oracle, an album called I Love You, which was released in the U.K. and Japan; R.I.P., which was supposed to come out after Odessey but was never released; and Oddities & Extras, a compilation of singles and U.K.-only album tracks.

The set is due a little more than a month before the British Invasion group were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last March . “There’s been lots of ups and downs in this 50-year career,”said  singer Colin Blunstone  “This is the pinnacle, to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. What a reward for all of the ups and downs over the years.”

The Zombies originally formed in 1962 and scored their first hit two years later in their native U.K. and in the U.S. with “She’s Not There.” They placed a few more songs on the chart before splitting up in 1967. A project they were working on, Odessey and Oracle, was released a year later and a single from it, “Time of the Season,” eventually climbed into the Top 3.

Over the years, that album became one of rock’s most legendary cult records, influencing artists and entire genres in the decades since its release. The Zombies reunited several times, including a recent get-together that included tour dates and a new album, Still Got That Hunger. Singer Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent continue to lead the band.

“She’s Coming Home”
From: 1965 single

Three months after “Tell Her No” gave the Zombies their second consecutive Top 10 hit (following “She’s Not There,” their biggest hit), “She’s Coming Home” stalled at No. 58. It’s the last time they got that high on the singles chart until “Time of the Season” became a fluke Top 5 smash in 1969. Maybe it’s because “She’s Coming Home” is more Phil Spector than British Invasion.

“I Want You Back Again”
From: 1965 single

Unlike most of their contemporaries, the Zombies borrowed from jazz greats, incorporating rhythmically tricky melodies not usually heard on pop radio. Keyboardist Rod Argent often took the spotlight solo, riffing like Jimmy Smith or a Miles Davis sideman and giving the band a sophistication other groups – British and American – lacked. “I Want You Back Again” is the most jazz inspired of the early singles.

“Imagine the Swan” (1969)
From: 1969 single

After Odessey & Oracle became a belated hit a couple years after it was recorded, thanks to the Top 10 single “Time of the Season,” keyboardist Rod Argent and bassist Chris White were persuaded to put together a new Zombies album that featured older unreleased tracks and some new songs recorded by the new Argent-led lineup. “Imagine the Swan” couldn’t crack the Top 100, so the album was shelved for more than three decades. Argent then moved on to his own group. The song serves as a sweet coda to a too-brief career.

But one of its songs, “Time of the Season,” eventually climbed all the way to No. 3 in 1969 – more than a year and a half after it was recorded. And the album is now considered a cornerstone work of baroque pop, and one of rock’s greatest cult records.

Even though they were around for only a handful of years at first – the Zombies reunited in 2004 and still perform – and their catalog isn’t as deep as other Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, the band’s influence is wide. And as you’ll see it’s not just Odessey & Oracle, though that classic album does show up several times.

“This Will Be Our Year”
From: Odessey & Oracle (1968)

The Zombies recorded their second album during the latter half of 1967 and then broke up before it was released. It almost never came out at all. Almost a year after Odessey & Oracle’s April 1968 release, one of its songs, “Time of the Season,” hit the Top 10, and the album became one of rock’s most heralded “lost” LPs. “This Will Be Our Year” is a highlight – all horns and Summer of Love pop swathed in one of Colin Blunstone’s warmest vocals and a centerpiece of the classic record. Like more than half of Odessey & Oracle, “Year” was written by Chris White.

“Tell Her No”
From: 1965 single

The band’s follow-up to the breakthrough “She’s Not There” runs barely two minutes, but it’s one of the breeziest two-minute singles of the ’60s. Rod Argent based the song on the hits of Burt Bacharach and Hal David from the era, which explains its almost hushed, soft-pop structure. “Tell Her No” became the Zombies’ second U.S. Top 10 hit, though it didn’t fare as well in their native England. Colin Blunstone’s breathy “whoa-oh-oh-oh” during the second verse remains one of pop’s great wordless breaks.

“A Rose for Emily”
From: Odessey & Oracle (1968)

One of Odessey & Oracle’s most melodically somber songs, and one of the best. The chamber-pop movement of the ’90s pretty much starts here. The LP split the Zombies, who were disappointed by reception to the album’s first single, “Care of Cell 44.” The record almost didn’t come out at all, until Al Kooper – a rock ‘n’ roll journeyman who played with Bob Dylan and was now a producer at the Zombies’ record company – pushed for its release. Odessey & Oraclestill wasn’t a hit, but its stature has grown over the years. “A Rose for Emily” is one of the reasons.

“Time of the Season”
From: Odessey & Oracle (1968)

The Zombies were broken up when “Time of the Season” unexpectedly climbed to No. 3 in 1969. But that didn’t stop record execs from pushing Rod Argent and Chris White – the architects behind “Season”‘s parent album, Odessey & Oracle – for more music. They never completed the project, save for a single and some songs that ended up on albums years later. “Time of the Season” is both timeless and of its time – which sorta explains why a song recorded during the Summer of Love became a hit in the way different musical climate of 1969.

“She’s Not There”
From: 1964 single

The Zombies’ first single came out just as Beatlemania ushered the British Invasion onto the U.S. charts, sending “She’s Not There” straight to No. 2. Two more Top 10 hits followed – including the late-blooming “Time of the Season” in early 1969 – before the group went dormant until the early ’90s. More than 50 years later, the song still sounds like a revolutionary record. Rod Argent, who wrote “She’s Not There,” fills the track with jazz-inspired electric piano that set the Zombies apart from their blues- and R&B-borrowing contemporaries.