Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rock on with Rod-A

We loved the Zombies, and don't believe Rod Argent has ever received proper credit for his contributions to rock music.

Being anal career journalists it is hard to defend an artist whose most famous work contains a major typographical error.  But that is the case with the Zombies' masterful 1967 album Odessey and Oracle, which includes the surprise hit "Time of the Season," the Faulknerian "A Rose for Emily" (both written by Argent) and the World War I plaint "Butcher's Tale." Members of the band at the time said the misspelling of "odyssey" was intentional, but (wink, wink) we know better.

It was another example of a band dispersing before the greatness of its album was realized. Argent and bassist Chris White had already formed Argent by the time "Time of the Season" rose to No. 3 on the U.S. chart. Surely you remember their continuing contribution in the form of the Top 10 hit "Hold Your Head Up."

It's Argent's birthday today -- happy 66th, mate! -- so we're offering up a taste of early Zombies. Do you remember The People's (only) 1968 hit "I Love You"? It was written by White and recorded first by the Zombies. So listen up -- pay particular attention to Argent's nifty keyboard work at 2:05 -- and join us in toasting today's Birthday Band:

Renaldo "Obie" Benson (1936-2005): Vocals, The Four Tops
Reach Out I'll Be There, I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)

Junior Walker (1931-95): Vocals, Junior Walker and the All Stars
Shotgun, (I'm a) Road Runner, Come See About Me

Rod Argent (1945): Keyboards, Zombies/Argent
She's Not There, Time of the Season, Hold Your Head Up

Alan White (1949): Drummer, Yes/Plastic Ono Band
Owner Of A Lonely Heart, I've Seen All Good People, Roundabout

Boy George (1961): Singer, Culture Club
Karma Chameleon

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