Monday, June 27, 2011

Squeezing A Dead Zombie For An Extra Tune....

THE ZOMBIES-Imagine the Swan/Conversation Off Floral Street U.S. Date 2-1644 1969
America loved the Zombies, in fact their records charted higher here than at home in the U.K. and there was no shortage of releases here by them.  Their U.K. Decca period was released here on Parrot while their later U.K. CBS era was released by the small label Date (alongside Gary Walker and The Coasters to name but a few), home of their most oft played American hit "Time Of The Season" (#3 in November 1968 after a second release on Date with a different B-side).  Date squeezed out some interesting stuff by them, like the U.S. only 45 of two "Oddysey And Oracle" tracks "Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)" b/w "This Will Be Our Year" (Date 2-1612 November 1968).  As most of you probably know these releases were long after The Zombies jacked it in.  The label, capitalizing on the success with "Time Of The Season" churned out today's subject in May of 1969. By this point the personnel only included keyboardist Rod Argent and bassist Chris White and of course made zero impact leaving "Time.." as their last American hit (which did not even chart in the U.K.!).

"Imagine The Swan" is a beautiful piece of sentimentality, my opinion on it varies.  If I'm feeling nostalgic I dig it, if I'm jaded well I'll dismiss it as sentimental rubbish, I'm often in the latter.  Regardless it's a well produced pop track with great vocals by Chris White (and trademark Zombies choral pop perfection in the backing harmonies department).  "Conversational Off Floral Street" is an incredible organ and piano instrumental with some cool keyboard trills by Argent.  It's almost jazzy at times (and as one YouTube user pointed out owes a great deal to Dave Brubeck's "Unsquare Dance") with the ivories and the Hammond playing off each other's individual licks behind some solid drumming and bass.

Both sides have been issued in a number of places, namely the amazing "Zombie Heaven" box set or the less pricey double CD "The Singles A's & B's".

Hear "Imagine the Swan":

Hear "Conversation Off Floral Street":

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