Sunday, December 19, 2021

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Zombies 1969 A.D.

THE ZOMBIES-If It Don't Work Out/Don't Cry For Me US Date 2-1648 1969

 Such was the cynicism devoted to the quest for revenue at Date records following their March 1969 #1 U.S. smash with The Zombie's  "Time Of The Season" that they trawled the band's archives and came up with these two chestnuts for a June 1969 release that coupled "If It Don't Work Out" backed with "Don't Cry For Me" (both originally recorded in July 1965). Both tracks were also slated for their slapdash 1969 Date LP "R.I.P", which was cancelled and did not see the light of day until 2015 when it was released as it was intended in it's original running order. Of course like all other Date U.S. Zombies 45 releases besides "Time Of The Season" this failed to chart and as a result is much sought after.

"If It Don't Work Out" was first aired not by the Zombies but by Dusty Springfield who recorded it as an track on her October 1965 U.K. LP "Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty". It was issued as a single in March 1966 by The West Five (U.K. HMV POP 1513) who titled it "But If It Don't Work Out" (and it has often been erroneously reported that the Zombies are playing on it). 

"If It Don't Work Out" is driven by Argent's piano (he wrote it as well) and would have made an amazing single in it's own right with a particularly strong vocal performance by Colin Blunstone and some cheery backing vocals. In December '68 Gus Dudgeon added strings/flute/etc and additional vocals to the existing '65 recording fattening it up for a single release.

Rod Argent

"Don't Cry For Me" is by far, in my opinion, the stronger of the two tracks. Why this languished in the vaults and wasn't issued as a single when it was first recorded is perplexing. It has a bite and sounds almost venomous with a vengeance, something of a polar opposite to most of the band's '65 fey "little boy lost/wounded" beat ballads that they were best known for. I will say that for me the '68 mix with added backing vocals by Argent/White is far superior to the sparse original recording.

Chris White

Versions of both the '65 and '68 mixes can be found on the essential "Zombie Heaven" box set and the '68 mixes are available on the LP/CD issue of "R.I.P".

Hear "If It Don't Work Out (1968 version with overdubs)":

Hear the undubbed original 1965 version of "If It Don't Work Out":

Hear "Don't Cry For Me (1968 version with overdubs)":

Hear the undubbed original 1965 version of "Don't Cry For Me":

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