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Today’s New Favourite Best Song Ever

May 29, 2010

She’s Not There by The Zombies.

This a wonderful song – the cover version by Santana is excellent, too – in fact, I probably knew that version before the Zombies’, and to hear it reminds me of looking into a French cafe and watching the men play Baby Foot (which I seem to recall is what the French call Fussball) while She’s Not There played on the jukebox. I might have made that memory up, but it seems real to me. I just listened back to the Santana version for the first time in an age, and it really is fantastic – what you lose in tension from the original, you gain in whig-out!

Anyway, I came across The Zombies when I heard Time of the Season playing on a Californian radio station while driving into San Francisco. It’s amazing it was a huge hit in the States after they split up, but it never charted over here. I bought a Best-of from Fopp, and while the rest of their material is miles off being as good as She’s Not There and Time of the Season, it’s still good, and it played as the soundtrack to much decorating – a sure-fire test of quality. And let it be said, The Zombies is one of the all-time great band names.

Colin Blunstone’s voice is lovely. It’s full of secrets low down, and it takes guts to climb the register like that. It says something about the understanding of pop music at the time that in this TV footage they focus almost exclusively on the singers, except during the instrumental break where they switch to the drummer – and that’s a very Ringo Starr-esque style he has – and to a model lounging on a chaise longue. It would have been great to see what Rod Argent is playing on what sounds like a Wurlitzer.

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