download mp3 The Zombies-"It's Alright With Me" bonus track from Begin Here
Begin Here is the debut album The Zombies, released in March 1965. The American version titled The Zombies repeated many of the tracks from it, but, as was common in those days, deleted some cuts and substituted some others.
The 1999 CD reissue on Big Beat expands the track lineup substantially with the addition of three songs from their 1965 UK EP The Zombies and alternate takes of "Sticks and Stones" and "It's Alright With Me," as well as demos of "I Know She Will" and "I'll Keep Trying." The demos of these last two tunes don't have the overdubs on the versions available on other albums.
The group formed in 1962 in St Albans, Hertfordshire. The band was formed while the members were at school. Rod Argent, Paul Atkinson and Hugh Grundy were at St Albans School, while Colin Blunstone and Chris White were students at St Albans Boys' Grammar School.
Their choice of names was out of desperation, and the Zombies won out over Chatterley and the Gamekeepers, according to Blunstone and White. After winning a beat-group competition sponsored by the London Evening News, they signed to Decca and recorded their first hit, "She's Not There" Argent's second song, written specifically for this session. It was released in mid-1964 and peaked at number 12 in the UK, their only UK Top 40 hit. This minor-key, jazz-tinged number, distinguished by its musicianship and Blunstone's breathy vocal, was unlike anything heard in British rock at the time. It was first aired in the United States in early August 1964 on New York City rock station WINS by Stan Z. Burns, who debuted the song on his daily noontime "Hot Spot". The tune began to catch on in early fall and eventually climbed to No.2 in early December.
Like many other British Invasion groups, the Zombies were sent to the United States to tour behind their new hit single. Among their early U.S. gigs were Murray the K's Christmas shows at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre, where the band played seven performances a day. On January 12, 1965 the band made their first in-person appearance on U.S. television, on the first episode of NBC's Hullabaloo. They played "She's Not There" and their latest single "Tell Her No" to a screaming hysterical audience full of teenage girls.
After the follow-up single to "She's Not There", "Leave Me Be", stiffed in the UK and was not issued as a single in the US, though it was on the B side of "Tell Her No", Rod Argent's "Tell Her No" became another big seller in the United States, peaking at No.6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March. However, "Tell Her No" failed to make the Top 40 in the band's native UK. Subsequent recordings such as "She's Coming Home", "Whenever You're Ready", "Is This the Dream", "Indication" and "Gotta Get a Hold of Myself" failed to achieve the success of the previous two singles although the Zombies had continued success in Scandinavia and the Philippines. A song by The Zombies which was only released as a B-side to "Whenever You're Ready" in the US and the UK in 1965, "I Love You", subsequently became a sizeable hit for People! in the United States in 1968.
The Zombies first UK LP, Begin Here, was an equal mix of original songs and R&B covers. While continuing recording in 1965-66 and trying to achieve chart success, they recorded enough material for a follow-up album, but the lack of chart success kept most of those tracks from being issued.
In 1967, the Zombies signed to CBS Records, for whom they recorded the album Odessey and Oracle The word odyssey was misspelled by cover designers. Because the band's budget could not cover session musicians, they used a Mellotron, a device designed to imitate orchestral sections.
By the time Odessey and Oracle was released in April 1968, the group had disbanded in December 1967. The album sold poorly and was only given a US release because musician Al Kooper, then signed to Columbia Records, convinced his label of the album's merits. An album track, "Time of the Season", written by Argent, was released as a single and eventually 1969 became a nationwide hit Billboard Hot 100 peak position: No.3.
During 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. Several new tracks were cut with a line-up of Argent, Hugh Grundy, Jim Rodford bass and Rick Birkett guitar, which were paired with some old Decca out-takes and demos. Unfortunately the album, scheduled for release in 1969, was cancelled and only a couple of the songs, "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 instead some of this material was released on several compilation albums during the 70s and the 80s and the album, titled R.I.P., did finally get a release in Japan in 2008.