The Zombies Into the Afterlife
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- Released: July 2, 2007
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Big Beat Uk
Uncut - p.1154 stars out of 5 -- "[The tracks] are up there with anything from the group's hit-making years."
- 1.She's Not There
- 2.Hung Upside Down - (previously unreleased)
- 3.Unhappy Girl - (previously unreleased)
- 4.She Loves the Way They Love Her - (previously unreleased)
- 5.Telescope (Mr. Galileo) - (previously unreleased)
- 6.Walking in the Sun - (Orchestral Mix, previously unreleased)
- 7.Without Her
- 8.Twelve Twenty Nine
- 9.It Never Fails to Please Me - (previously unreleased)
- 10.I Could Spend the Day - (previously unreleased)
- 11.I Know She Will - (Orchestral Mix, previously unreleased)
- 12.Don't Try to Explain
- 13.World of Glass
- 14.To Julia (For When She Smiles) - (previously unreleased)
- 15.If It Don't Work Out - (Orchestral Mix, previously unreleased)
- 16.Never My Love
- 17.It's Not Easy
- 18.Telescope (Mr. Galileo) - (previously unreleased)
- 19.Going to a Go Go - (previously unreleased)
- 20.Ma Non E Giusto (She's Not There) - (Italian)
Liner Note Author: Alec Palao.
Although the Zombies broke up at the end of 1967, there wasn't a wholly clean break between that era and the time by which Rod Argent and Chris White established themselves with Argent, and Colin Blunstone established himself as a solo artist. For a year or two, they variously wrote, recorded, and produced demos and low-profile official releases as they hatched their next moves, Blunstone even left the music business entirely for a while. While some of this material came out under the Zombies name, much of it either remained unreleased or (in the case of Blunstone's recordings) was issued under the pseudonym of Neil MacArthur. The 20-track Into the Afterlife compilation rescues much of this rare material, combining numerous previously unissued demos recorded by the group's primary songwriters (Argent and White) with both sides of all three of the singles Blunstone released as Neil MacArthur. It also offers a couple MacArthur/Blunstone outtakes, alternate "orchestral" mixes of a few late Zombies tracks, an Italian-language recording of MacArthur's "She's Not There," and even a genuinely live-on-TV 1967 Zombies cover of the Miracles' "Going to a Go-Go." Far from being a barrel-scraping exercise, it shows the musicians to be making interesting music in its own right that often sounded like a natural continuation of what the Zombies had recorded in the late '60s. Argent handles lead vocals on the Argent/White demos, and while he's not quite as good a singer as Blunstone, he's both good and has a similar style, making those cuts sound pretty close to genuine Zombies tracks. Their songs share many traits with the Zombies' material circa Odessey and Oracle in their baroque melodicism, breathy vocals, and haunting flavor, though with just a tinge of the progressive rock that was starting to emerge at the end of the '60s. "Telescope (Mr. Galileo)" and "Unhappy Girl" are both standouts in this regard, and "To Julia (For When She Smiles)," the best track on the entire CD, is more than a standout; its delicate combination of quasi-classical balladry and choral backup vocals is every bit the equal of the best tracks on Odessey and Oracle. The Neil MacArthur tracks (including the minor U.K. hit remake of "She's Not There") are more floridly produced orchestrated pop/rock, but also have their silky charms, particularly the cover of Nilsson's "Without Her" and the more understated, acoustic-oriented sad ballad "World of Glass." Thorough annotation by Zombies expert Alec Palao ices the package, and as none of the tracks appear on the otherwise thorough Palao-compiled Zombies box set Zombie Heaven, this CD is a necessary supplement to that box for fans of the group. ~ Richie Unterberger
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