03/05/2003 9:00p PT
Matt Rowe - Reviewer
The Zombies recorded output between the years 1964 through 1968 produced a collection of songs that were as classic as many of their peers of the time. The Zombies featured prolific songwriter and advancing rock artist in Rod Argent who went on to form Argent and who created more timeless classics like "Hold Your Head Up" and the anthemic "God Gave Rock And Roll To You". But during his tenure with The Zombies, he penned and helped to produce "She's Not There", "Time of the Season", and "Tell Her No". All of these tunes are classics in their own right.
The band was a short lived one. Amazingly, their biggest hit came after they had disbanded. "Time of the Season" went on to sell more than a million copies and forever place The Zombies into beat band history.
Audio Fidelity realized the importance of collecting The Zombies' major singles and songs in one compilation. Super Audio brings out the shape of sound in quite an amazing way. It something to hear a guitar strum become a unique sound, as you hear every nuance of it's reverberations as it hangs in the air. That's something that I never was treated to before. I hear people all over stating that SACD brings back the warmth of vinyl but I certainly don't remember my LPs sounding this good.
On "The Zombies Greatest Hits", Colin Blunstone's vocals are crisp and in the forefront, allowing you the privilege of hearing them as they were recorded without the flatness or merge. The harmonies fill the background well, highlighting the era's beat group styles. All the songs on this collection are vibrant, pregnant with clarity. There are times where the vocal differences of the band's various members stand out so well that you are amazed to be hearing what you're hearing. As in "You Make Me Feel Good", there are several voices at the same time and you hear each in its fullness. The stereo separations work very well here. Overall, the package is a delightful one.
There are two mixes of "Time of the Season", one standard and one an alternate mix. "She's Not There" is duplicated here as well, with one being an album cut and the other a "hit single" version. That's a great bonus by itself. But the compilation, provided by Steve Hoffman, (nothing like being in a position to remaster your favourite collection of a band), is as good a collection as could have been assembled. It's obvious that his choices were the right ones as the disc's tracking list flows perfectly as the CD advances. The songs are a collection of both American and English origin.
With additions like "Sometimes", "Kind of Girl", the unusually dark "I Remembered When I Loved Her", and "Indication", you can hear the evolution of the band's timeline. 20 tracks, all good, all incredibly remastered, and all in one package with the special bonus of being remastered for SACD. Steve Hoffman's involvement with this project creates an SACD of superior quality which becomes the definitive single disc collection of The Zombies' greatest hits.
We live in a time of great possibilities where SACD is concerned. When you hear a disc like this one, you realize the potential in the conversion of other bands' catalogues. And with that comes anticipation. What began as a means for archiving, upon displaying a startling high audio quality, has now burst loose as a new audiophile medium. Folks, we're in for good times as this procedure makes its way toward potential standardization. What remains is for us to accept it.
With discs like "The Zombies Greatest Hits" on SACD, the world is richer.
Copyright © 2002-2003 Matthew Rowe. All rights reserved.
*Bonus Track/ Hit Single Version