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coverpic flag Mare Smythii - Full Moon 53 - 02/08/01

Various Artists
Wake Up Your Windows, Let's Do The Zombies
Zapruder Groove Records

The Zombies might have ended as a British 60s bespectacled one hit wonder. With the characteristic electric piano of Rod Argent and pure choirboy vocals of Colin Blunstone in their midst, they scored a massive hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1964 with She's Not There. The group recorded the magnum opus swan song album Odessey & Oracle in 1967 that earned them a second US no. 1 hit, Time Of The Season, in early 1969, a year after the band had called it a day. Odessey & Oracle has a lot more to offer, one of my favourite albums ever! And four of the songs on this 5 track EP originate from the Odessey file (got that one, eh?). The Tables (Norway) kick off with the pop-and-love classic Friends Of Mine. It sounds like other Tables' cover versions; it's not difficult to discern the Zombie song, but on the other hand it has the entire Tables' characteristics. The vocals certainly haven't got any choirboy qualities, but they are as full of charm as ever. American The Photon Band's Beechwood Park is very similar to the original melancholy song apart from the organ that's missing, but the recording has probably been destroyed somewhere in the process. Too much treble and distortion might make it sound more psychedelic, but it's almost unlistenable all the same. Norwegian Dipsomaniacs have picked the greatest challenge, the anti-war epic Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914). It's as keyboard drenched and melodramatic as the original - a great effort! Seattle's Green Pajamas on the other hand is in an acoustic folk mood with female vocals in A Rose For Emily who led a tragic life without love. Interspersed with wind instruments, it's probably the most original arrangement of the EP, but I prefer the Zombie original all the same. Pontius Sky Pilot is a Pajama side project and has the dubious honour of closing the record. And shame on you, Pontius! Your She's Not There is a work of haste. The vocals are weak and not even nicely out of tune. Just out of tune in between. I had to play the Zombies' version five times in a row to recover.

I might be chauvinistic, but this leave us with an easy 2-1 victory to Norway against the USA. Photon Band and Pontius Sky Pilot will have to miss the next two tribute records after this.

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