The Zombies

Zombie Heaven

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AllMusic Review by

Sometimes boxed sets are just handy to have around, just to get all of the tracks that count (or all of a group's recordings) together in one place. Other times, however, they're a scintillating musical and educational experience even for longtime fans, and that's the case with Zombie Heaven. The group is mostly known here for their three major hits, although reissues showcasing different aspects of their history have been available for years. But even for this longtime fan, hearing their Brit-beat R&B stylings all in one place was a near-revelation, showcasing performing talent that was a good match for anyone in the Beatles' line-up and composers, in Rod Argent and, to a lesser degree, Chris White (who sounds like he's slipping into a Dylan thing on "I Don't Want To Know"), that could generate the occasional classic. They were far more than a three-song band, as just about every second of the 280 minutes of this box keeps reminding us. The set is broken down into four distinct parts, the first disc profiling the group's singles and B-sides, and their one Decca-release album, Begin Here, all in the best sound they've ever had or likely ever will have; Disc Two comprises their Odessey & Oracle album (sounding much better here than it does on the Rhino CD), and the surviving tracks of various post-Zombies and Zombies-in-name-only projects put together in the wake of "Time of the Season's" success, and one lost group classic, Rod Argent's "If It Don't Work Out," which became much better known in the hands of Dusty Springfield; Disc Three is made up of various outtakes, work-in-progress, and alternate versions of their songs and demos, some of them sounding really raw and hard, as well as one radio promo for the movie Bunny Lake Is Missing, in which the group was featured in a small part (blink and you may miss them); and Disc Four, maybe the most rewarding of all, featuring their complete BBC appearances, parts of which (but not the 29 tracks here) turned up on a Rhino LP some 17 years ago. Some tracks are better than others--their cover of "You Really Got A Hold On Me/Bring It On Home To Me" is one of the better British homages to Motown, lagging behind the Beatles' version on emotional wattage but winning points for subtlety--but except for a few of the late '60s outtakes, there's not a seconde-rate song here, and the sound puts all prior versions of this material to shame. And the notes will keep fans busy reading for weeks.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:26
2 2:40
3 2:08
4 2:26
5 2:07
6 1:38
7 2:06
8 2:17
9 2:32
10 1:51
11 2:09
12 3:40
13 2:57
14 2:16
15 2:07
16 2:01
17 3:36
18 2:38
19 1:57
20 2:15
21 2:43
22 3:23
23 2:45
24 2:34
25 2:00
26 2:10
27 3:01
28 2:06
29 2:29
30 3:03
31 2:16

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:57
2 2:19
3 2:34
4 2:44
5 3:31
6 3:02
7 3:19
8 2:52
9 2:09
10 2:48
11 2:17
12 3:34
13 2:36
14 3:12
15 2:41
16 2:29
17 2:16
18 2:35
19 2:39
20 2:28
21 2:39
22 2:25
23 3:03
24 2:22
25 2:31
26 2:21
27 2:08
28 0:52

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:29
2 3:14
3 2:39
4 2:43
5 2:03
6 1:51
7 2:08
8 1:53
9 2:05
10 1:52
11 2:10
12
2:36
13 2:16
14 2:10
15 2:44
16 3:18
17 2:11
18 2:01
19 2:29
20 2:34
21 2:35
22 2:48
23 2:18
24 2:33
25 2:52
26 2:30
27 2:16
28 1:59
29 2:21
30 1:46
31 0:57

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:10
2 2:24
3 1:42
4 3:34
5 2:03
6 2:01
7 2:00
8 3:01
9 1:59
10 2:19
11 3:27
12 2:17
13 2:17
14 2:29
15 1:46
16 2:02
17 4:09
18 2:36
19 3:46
20 2:42
21 2:39
22 2:28
23 2:22
24 3:48
25 2:26
26 2:54
27 2:16
28 2:20
29 4:51
blue highlight denotes track pick