With an upcoming solo tour on the horizon and six dates in June with classic 1960’s psychedelic pop band The Zombies, I spoke to Colin Blunstone to find out all the news and quizzed him on The Zombies’ classic album Odyssey and Oracle.
I asked Colin what sort of repertoire he and his band would be playing on the tour and he informed me that he tried to keep it as far away from The Zombies as possible. “We will probably only play a couple of Zombies tunes, probably She’s Not There and Time Of The Season“. The rest of the music will come from his various solo albums, including 1971’s One Year which saw Colin establish himself as a solo artist after The Zombies initial split in 1968.
While Colin says that touring is great fun and like “a holiday with his pals”, the travelling can be quite intense so he and his band like to create playlists of upbeat music to get them ready for the show. An upbeat playlist with “a dip in the middle” when Zombies guitarist Tom Toomey added Leonard Cohen’s track Suzanne. “It’s a beautiful song, but I don’t think Tom understood the point of the playlist.”
The Zombies have six dates coming up in the UK starting in Bexhill-on-sea on the 6th of June. Colin says that he is “really looking forward to the tour because we haven’t played in the UK for such a long time”. Those attending any of the dates can expect a set list spanning all of The Zombies‘ albums and not just Begin Here and Odyssey and Oracle. Colin said that they usually play a small selection from each album so there may only be a four song ‘mini set’ of Odyssey and Oracle.
Odyssey and Oracle, though now revered as a classic staple of 1960’s psychedelic rock, was not well received when it originally came. Colin says that the album would not have even been released in the United States had it not been for Al Kooper [Columbia Records], and that at the time the album was released he had no idea what it would become: “At the time it was the best that we could do”. Colin went on to say that the album didn’t sell at all and “although it got a couple of good reviews it was widely ignored”. The biggest surprise came after Time of the Season was released as a single in America when it reached number 3 on the Billboard 100. “It was a massive hit all over the world, but it never made an impact in the UK.”