May 28 2021
The national football season may be over, but it is definitely the ‘time of the season’ for Hertfordshire group The Zombies.
A track from the legendary band from the 1960s served as the soundboard for the launch of the new Chelsea Football Club 2021-2022 kit.
The Champions League finalists’ online promotional video features star players Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Fran Kirby, Sam Kerr and Pernille Harder, and the music perfectly suits the psychedelic vibe of the 60s from launch.
Zombies singer Colin Blunstone, a longtime Blues fan, is pictured on the Chelsea FC website holding and proudly wearing the new 1960s-inspired indoor band.
A native of Hatfield, Blunstone, 75, formed The Zombies in St Albans with keyboardist Rod Argent in the early 1960s, with the original line-up first reuniting at the Blacksmiths Arms.
The group gained international fame with their debut single She is not there, but the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers broke up before the end of the Swinging Sixties. They have since reformed.
The time of the season was a number one American hit on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart in March 1969 – and found new audiences 52 years later.
From seminal Odessey and Oracle album, the single failed to make it to the UK when it was released, despite The Zombies’ huge success with the 1964 single. She is not there.
Chelsea FC are not the first to use the iconic track.
Ridley Scott’s 2017 crime thriller All the money in the world, which stars Oscar-nominated Christopher Plummer as billionaire J. Paul Getty, also presents the song.
Portions of this film were filmed on location in Blunstone’s hometown, with Jacobean manor Hatfield House doubling for Getty’s UK home.
“It’s a very interesting song because it’s been in so many movies,” Blunstone said when speaking to the Chelsea official site.
“I think if someone is trying to bring up a feeling from the ’60s, this is one of the songs that is used the most.”
The singer said it was great for the band as it introduces their music to a “whole new audience who wouldn’t know this song any other way.”
He added, “He was number one in America but never number one here, but most people know that from the movies.”
The staunch Blues fan is even linked to a former Chelsea title winner, 50s and 60s winger Frank Blunstone.
“I came to Chelsea for the first time with my father and this is the only time I have met Frank Blunstone,” reveals Colin on the Chelsea site.
“My dad was Frank’s dad’s cousin, and I never really understood what that makes me.”
The Zombies were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, along with The Cure, Def Leppard and Roxy Music.
At the induction event in Brooklyn, they performed The time of the season, a song the band will no doubt perform at Under the Bridge Hall in Stamford Bridge on Friday March 4, 2022.
Before that, The Zombies are due to broadcast a concert from the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, where they first recorded The time of the season in the 1960s.
The Zombies – Live from Studio Two will be the first and only “World Tour in One Night” livestream on September 18th.
The British pioneers of psychedelic pop will give a concert spanning their entire career at Studio Two on Abbey Road, and return five decades later to the sacred space where they recorded their flagship album. Odessey and Oracle in 1967.
Fittingly, the band’s concert coincides with the start of Abbey Road’s 90th anniversary celebrations.
The show will be broadcast on Veeps.com, the streaming platform founded by Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte in 2017. Good Charlotte was headlining the Slam Dunk Festival South in Hatfield Park in 2018.
The Zombies live stream event on Saturday, September 18 will begin at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and 8:00 p.m. BST.
The concert will be followed by an online Q&A session with founding members Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone.
Hosted on “the other side of the pond” by legendary rock journalist David Fricke, the group will also answer questions from a virtual audience of surprise guests.
With all of their tour plans postponed until 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Zombies jumped at the chance to do a “world tour” overnight.
The Global Stream is the band’s only live performance in 2021.
“We are really thrilled with this opportunity to reconnect with our fans,” said lead singer Blunstone, “and most importantly to reach places around the world like Australia and South America, where we have never had the chance to play live before! “
The band members are also excited to try new songs during the concert.
With the enforced break from touring, the current Zombies lineup – vocalist Blunstone and keyboardist Argent, as well as Steve Rodford (drums), Tom Toomey (guitar) and Søren Koch (bass) – have invested their creative energy in the recording. from the long awaited sequel to their album Billboard charting 2015 I still have this hunger.
Says Argent: “Of course I know the last 15 months have been tough for everyone. What suddenly makes us feel good is finally being able to continue recording our new album!
“We just finished the fifth song, and there are already three more currently in the works to be rehearsed and recorded.
“The initial reaction to the completed runs was great, and the feeling of excitement is almost like starting over!”
The Zombies burst onto the scene in 1964 at the forefront of the “British Invasion” with hit singles like She is not there and Tell him no.
The original members – Blunstone, Argent, bassist Chris White, guitarist Paul Atkinson and drummer Hugh Grundy – first entered Abbey Road, then called EMI Recording Studios, in June 1967, armed with a budget of recording of £ 1,000 from CBS Records and the ambition to self-produce their second album, Odessey and Oracle.
The group entered Studio Two on the heels of the Beatles, who had just finished Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and benefited from the Fab Four’s new advancements in multitrack recording – and also the mess they left behind!
Argent recalls: “They left quite a few instruments lying around Abbey Road Studios, including John Lennon’s Mellotron, which was found all over the album.
“I didn’t ask permission from anyone, I just used it because it was there!”
Released in 1968, Odessey and Oracle was initially a commercial disappointment, leading to the separation of the group.
Ironically, a year later the last track on the album, The time of the season, became a chart-topping single in the United States.
And over the decades, Odessey and Oracle was rediscovered as a pop touchstone, regularly making lists of “Best Albums of All Time” in the likes of Rolling stone and Mojo, and quoted by Paul Weller and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.
Following the split from the original group, singer Blunstone developed an acclaimed solo career, with hits such as Say you don’t mind what happens to broken hearts, and Old and wise with the Alan Parsons project.
Rod Argent, meanwhile, rocked the arenas of the 70s with his eponymous band Argent, best known for their hits. Keep your head up and God gave you rock and roll.
But the legend of the Zombies went on to live a life of their own. At the start of the new millennium, Blunstone and Argent were inspired to resurrect zombies.
With relentless touring and new critically acclaimed releases, the group has slowly reclaimed their legacy while developing new generations of fans.
After receiving their fourth nomination in five years, and with a wave of support from audiences and their peers, The Zombies joined Fleetwood Mac frontman Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, The Cure, Def Leppard, Janet Jackson and Roxy Music as that ranks 2019 in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The time of the season continues to permeate popular culture and is featured on an exclusive tee that debuts at Urban Outfitters in July.
The live concert on Veeps will see the band perform new tracks.
Rod Argent said: “We are going to include, of course, a lot of Zombie classics, but also some brand new songs that we are very excited about on our brand new album that we are recording right now.
“We really hope you can join us on September 18th.”
For tickets for The Zombies – Live from Studio Two, visit https://thezombies.veeps.com/
The new Chelsea kit is available for purchase now – buy from the official Chelsea online store or from the Stadium Megastore at Stamford Bridge.