I’m a sucker for British pop of the 1960’s. For this I can probably thank my Dad, who insisted on saturating my brain, at around age 8, with repeated listenings of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” LP — perhaps to provide me something other than “Star Wars” with which to be obsessed. But despite the band’s genius, I gotta admit the last time I listened to more than three of their tunes at a stretch was when a bunch of us at a public radio conference were comped tickets to see Cirque Du Soleil’s Beatles-scored Vegas freakout “Love.”
Not so with The Zombies, whose 1968 album “Odessey and Oracle” is on constant rotation not only on my stereo but in my subconscious. I blasted it through earbuds to take my mind off the pain when I got a tooth pulled — It’s that good, from the Beach Boys-inflected opener “Care of Cell 44” to the classic closer “Time Of the Season,” with stops along the way for bittersweet odes to the elderly (“A Rose For Emily”) and hymns to childhood (“Beachwood Park”).
So, when, during this year’s SXSW fest in Austin, I was invited to sit in on a Daytrotter Session featuring the Zombies’ lead singer and main songwriter playing an acoustic set in some guy’s living room, I didn’t quite believe it until it was actually happening. This explains why I had the presence of mind to shoot only a single tune from their performance — the beloved “Odessey & Oracle” track “This Will Be Our Year.” It’s a song of pure positivity that’s been covered by modern rockers from Foo Fighters to OK Go. But the Zombies still do it the best.