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The Zombies are alive – and streaming from Abbey Road Studios



The Zombies are alive – and streaming from Abbey Road Studios

When your band is called the Zombies, of course you have a great time in the afterlife. Still riding a wave of renewed popularity, the British Invasion survivors (and 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees) take to the web Saturday with a “World Tour in One Night” from one of their old favorite haunts, Abbey Road Studios in London.

“We like to think of ourselves as an emerging rock band,” lead singer Colin Blunstone said from London this week. “Because at our age, it’s the reincarnation of the Zombies and we had to start from the beginning. We didn’t have a hit single and we had to build up a fanbase again. Originally Rod (keyboardist and co-founder Rod Argent) and I got back together to play six concert dates — that was in 1999 and here we are, 22 years later.”

The band’s put in plenty of time at Abbey Road. For one thing, their 1968 album “Odessey & Oracle” was made there, with sessions beginning shortly after the Beatles had wrapped up “Sgt. Pepper.” A flop when first released, “Odessey” has since been enshrined as a psychedelic pop landmark.

“It certainly intrigues me because there’s such a mystery about that album. It wasn’t a commercial success and to large extent, that’s why the band finished. By the time ‘Time of the Season’ became a hit, it was impossible to get us back together. I know it’s (UK rock figure) Paul Weller’s favorite album, and I’m told he gives away copies to people who haven’t heard it. So it’s quite a strange journey the album’s been on.”

The next album they made was Blunstone’s solo debut, “One Year,” which also featured Argent. Less celebrated but equally fine, that album’s about to get a 50-year reissue — with live shows set for New York, plus a longer tour that may hit Boston.

“We’re adding some demo tapes that nobody knew existed. It was very strange to hear them, because I absolutely don’t remember the sessions. It’s definitely my voice, but it’s almost like hearing someone else. My writing was in its infancy then, so people can hear how much I’ve progressed.”

The Zombies are currently at work on their fourth reunion album — and that’s saying something, because they only made only two before their original breakup in 1969.

“You can like or not like the Zombies, but I will say we’re unique. We took our inspiration from rhythm and blues along with classical music and jazz, and modern pop is in there. That’s always been one of our strengths and weaknesses. I could never tell people what kind of band we are, other than a keyboard-based band that’s always used vocal harmonies.”

Paul Weller and other guests are expected to make an appearance on Saturday’s webcast, which will be streamed live worldwide (It begins at 3 p.m. Boston time; tickets are available at It will be the band’s first show in nearly two years, with just a couple of dozen people allowed in the live audience.

“As a singer, this year’s been difficult. I try to do my vocal exercises everyday, but it’s not the same as playing live. So our adrenaline for this weekend is already going. We’ll do the hits, some deep cuts and five new songs; three of which will feature a string quartet. So it’s a lot to take on, especially since we haven’t seen each other in so long. I did suggest that the band all put name stickers on so we all recognize each other.”

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