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Into The Afterlife Import

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Image of The Zombies


Biography by Richie Unterberger

Aside from the Beatles and perhaps the Beach Boys, no mid-'60s rock group wrote melodies as gorgeous as those of the Zombies. Dominated by Colin Blunstone's breathy vocals, choral backup harmonies, and Rod Argent's shining jazz- and classical-influenced organ and piano, the band sounded utterly unique for their era. Indeed, their material -- ... Read more in Amazon's The Zombies Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 July 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Big Beat/City Hall
  • ASIN: B000R1A0GG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Thatcher on 25 July 2007
Format: Audio CD
this album is the best ive heard for many a year..words to describe the contents are 'sublime'' and 'classy'.its been very well put together and thought out.for all lovers of 60's music and definitely for lovers of the is it out on vinyl??
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By hunter on 7 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Wow!This is a gem.Just why Colin Blunstone didn't become a superstar who knows.World Of Glass,a b-side what a waste ,the totally ott but magnificent She's Not There,an atmospheric breathy version of Without Her;The vocals,The production,it just does't get any better-all just out of this world.Sit back,close your eyes and enjoy.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Clark on 2 Jun. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is for fanatics only. Bits and pieces that are interesting at best but to be avoided unless you are a die-hard fan.
Go and buy Odessey & Oracle, Ennismore, Echo Bridge or Live at the Bloomsbury Theatre - all classics.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Zombie Heaven part 2 19 Aug. 2007
By Mark F - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Here's my review from an upcoming issue of Shindig Magazine:

The Zombies may have one of the few catalogues in the history of 60s pop music to be treated with the full and proper respect it deserves. This comes down partially to the fact that the band themselves own the material but it's largely due to the caretaking abilities of compiler, writer and Zombies historian Alec Palao.

Alec made it easy for both super-fans and novices to collect the Zombies when he dreamed up Zombies Heaven, the 4 CD set of all of their studio recordings. There are side trips along the way with releases containing alternate mixes and rarities but owning the band's complete output is as easy as that one purchase. Now, 10 years since the release of Zombie Heaven Palao has given us one of the finest encores we could have imagined with Into the Afterlife.

Compiling 20 post-Odessey & Oracle tracks, Afterlife, like the box set before it, is another carefully compiled and well documented package. In this one collection you get the complete recorded output of Colin Blunstone's alter ego Neil MacArthur, a handful of excellent Rod Argent and Chris White demos, alternate mixes of later Zombies recordings and a few other oddities.

The proceedings kick off with the Neil MacArthur recording of She's Not There. The liner notes tell us that producer Mike Hurst coaxed Colin Blunstone away from his day job as an insurance salesman to make a return to the studio. The first number they tried together was this trippy version of the old Zombies hit. Luckily for us Blunstone stayed with Hurst for two more excellent singles, the Billy Vera penned blue-eyed soul track Don't Try to Explain, Nilsson's Without Her and the big production of 12:29 and It's Not Easy. We're also treated to a few rare MacArthur recordings including a breathy version of Stephen Stills' Hung Upside Down. The MacArthur tracks alone make this CD worth the price of admission.

Rod Argent and Chris White are represented by 6 demos, the highlights being Unhappy Girl and To Julia (for When She Smiles). Both of these demos would have fit nicely on Odessey & Oracle and are easily up to the standards of that album. Telescope (Mr. Galileo) is another fantastic number, very much in a pop psych vein. A completed studio recording of Telescope by an early incarnation of Argent is also included.

Rounding out the collection are 3 Zombies tracks, Walking in the Sun, I Know She Will and If It Don't Work Out, all remixes of tracks that appeared on Zombie Heaven. The mixes on Afterlife highlight the orchestral bits that were added as an effort to eek another hit out of the band. If anything could be considered filler on this CD it would be these tracks. More than anything the orchestrations prove to be bloated and overbearing when they are separated from the Zombies' original recordings.

Finally, we are presented with a rare live recording of the Zombies from 1966. On Going to a Go Go we get to hear just how much the band could rock in front of an audience and it's a shame more of these performances aren't available. While the not so excellent sound quality on this track breaks the mood it is among the most interesting artifacts on the CD.

Afterlife is packaged with the same quality we've come to expect Big Beat/Ace. A nice, fat booklet, filled with all the necessary details, band quotes, photos and memorabilia is housed artfully in an Odessey & Oracle part 2 cover. It may have taken 10 years to round this material up into one package but the wait was worth it. Palao and Big Beat have produced a Zombies collector's dream and one the best 60 reissues so far this year.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By Rick Holly - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a big ZOMBIES fan and bought quite a bit of Colin Blunstone solo stuff over the years as well as Rod's ARGENT albums. Over the years I was only able to get two of Colin's Neil MacArther 45 singles and they were used and beat up by the time I got them. Having these crystal clear tracks is quite a treat. The Rod and Chris demos show just how much quality material was on hand for more Zombies albums had their career not ended so prematurely. This album is for fans of the Zombies who are already familiar with the bulk of their work. If you had never heard any Beatle records before the Anthology collection, the Anthology material would not have turned you into a Beatles fan. Likewise, if you are not a Zombies fan already, this collection is not a good starting point. It is filled with solo material and (great) demos. If you are a fan, this CD is a five star effort.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Great Stuff 19 July 2007
By QED - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Demos + Previously released but hard to find singles. Definitely worth purchasing. Stand-out cuts include "If Never My Love," the Vanilla-Fudgey cover of "She's Not There," demo version of "She Loves the Way They Love Her," and a version of Buffalo Springfield's "Hung Upside Down" that bests the original. No mean feat.

None of these tracks are available on the essential Big Beat set, Zombie Heaven.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The very best English Invasion band with rare tracks and demos 28 Oct. 2007
By Triple Your Money Back - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Zombies were the quintesential British pop band to emerge from the barrage of the mid sixties invasion. This album of material that follows their careers from their earliest demos to the solo recordings made after the band broke up is a priceless addition to any Anglophile's collection.
Just hearing the magnificent voice of Colin Blunstone paired with the writing ability of Rod Argent and Chris White on little-known post-Zobies recordings fill an enormous gap in post-invasion English rock. The production is stellar and even the overblown remake of "She's Not There" shines brightly with historicl value.
This is a MUST OWN album for anyone who ever cared about the music of the sixties and seventies.
And the Zombies are, once again, on tour in the U.S.
They should not be missed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Addition to Your Zombies Collection. 22 Aug. 2007
By Morten Vindberg - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Great Addition to Your Zombies Collection.

The recordings on this new CD comes from the period 1968-69; the earliest from before the Zombies had officially split up. The unexpected big success of "Time of the Season" in early 1969, created doubt if the band would definitively split up or stay together - this seems to have been the case both inside and outside the band. Success of one of their final 1969 singles "Imagine the Swan" or "If it Don't Work Out" may have inspired the band members to continue as the Zombies.

A farewell album "R.I.P." consisting of earlier demos with new overdubbing along with completely new recordings done by various line-ups featuring Zombies members Chris White, Rod Argent, Hugh Grundy and Colin Blunstone, was almost ready for release. The failing success of the singles, meant that the "R.I.P." project was shelved. All songs can be found on the Zombie Heaven boxset; moreover a Japanese CD with the "R.I.P." title features all these songs along with several other Zombies recordings.

On this "Into the Afterlife" CD you'll find some great recordings done around the same time as "Imagine the Swan" - one of my personal Zombies favourites. A good handful of the songs have never before been released in any version and several are so good that they had deserved a place along the of the rest of the "R.I.P." tracks. Especially Chris White's "To Julia" stand out - a typical melodic White ballad. Also "Unhappy Girl" and "Mr Galileo" are great - both songs also written by White who obviously was very productive at this time.

Half of the album are Colin Blunstone tracks, recorded and released under the pseudonym Neil MacArthur. Some songs are really good, but generally they suffer from to much orchestration and only few really sound like Zombies recordings - apart from Blunstone's great vocals of course.

Anyway, a great addition to any Zombies collection.
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