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Audio CD, Audiobook, Box set, 24 November 1997
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 14.5 x 25.7 x 2.01 cm; 426.09 Grams
- Manufacturer : BIG BEAT UK
- Manufacturer reference : ZOMBOX7
- Original Release Date : 1997
- Label : BIG BEAT UK
- ASIN : B0000004E0
- Number of discs : 4
- Best Sellers Rank: 5,249 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
- Customer Reviews:
Frequently bought together
Thorough release covering the band's career, including 41 unissued tracks (outtakes, early demos, home recordings, etc.), a 30 track compilation of live recordings 1964-1971, top quality packaging as a four CD digipak, a 64 page booklet with rare photos and memorabilia and sleeve notes made in cooperation with all band members. A total of 119 digitally remastered tracks, including the timeless hits 'She's Not There', 'Time of the Season' and 'Tell Her No'. 6 x 10in digi-book packaging. 1997 Big Beat release. Ace.
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The four discs offer an absolutely comprehensive overview of the Zombies' sixties recordings. The first two contain all the "official" studio recordings (with all of the timeless "Odessey and Oracle", in sequence, opening up disc two). Disc 3 includes various rarities and disc 4 covers live recordings made for the BBC.
The expansive booklet is full of band photos, memorabilia and an amazingly detailed timeline. The comprehensive notes from Alec Palao, who knows more about this stuff than all of us have ever forgotten, are detailed, informative, insightful and, as another reviewer has pointed out, critical, if constructively, when appropriate. Judicious comments from band members are interspersed throughout.
The sound quality - mostly crisp mono - is impeccable.
So are there any problems?
Well, yes. It's debatable as to whether The Zombies' output really merits this level of attention. The early hits "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No" are lovely - the former in particular seems shockingly ahead of its time even now - and I couldn't trust anyone who didn't adore "Odessey and Oracle", which is not only one of the most beautiful albums of the sixties but one of the most coherent. It's entirely deserving of its legendary status. And the crisp, restrained SOUND of The Zombies is unique and captivating even when the material isn't that strong.
And therein lies the problem, because the rest of the material is largely forgettable. The band's own songs largely lack bite and impact, and the cover versions add nothing to the originals and often offer less. So much of what's on these four discs is, essentially, filler, and listening all the way through becomes something of a chore. Devoted fans will adore it but for the rest of us it's hard to imagine it being played that much, with the obvious exception of "Odessey and Oracle" in such pristine sound.
So there we have it - not exactly a triumph of style over content, but certainly a case of the presentation being more impressive than the content. I don't regret buying it, because it's such a lovely artefact, but it won't be coming off the shelf very often.
However, i am a Pop history buff and, as such, an avid collector of boxed sets: this one is STATE OF THE ART, no less. It contains almost all of their recordings (according to the booklet, only 1 or 2 of them could not be located) and the sequencing is exemplary, simply faultless ! The sound is GREAT.
But, even better is the booklet: 68 pages of densely composed, very interesting comments which range far and wide, with an abundance of quotes all the members of the group. No less than 91 photos (yes, i counted them) are provided, excluding photos of 45rpm-labels, adverts, press clippings ... etc. Yet, it is marvellously critical, in the sense that we get measured and rather satisfyingly complex appreciations and analysis of the music. The compiler-author clearly loves, adores, worships The Zombies, but keeps his appreciation impressively 'Cool': a great, worthy achievement !! No 'brilliant, must-have, awesome, iconic, timeless' and other such over-the-top nonsens here ! All-in-all, this is one of these boxed sets which enlightens mightily and enhances neatly The Zombies' small but significant body of work. Recommended !
Nice detail: i ordered this item from a British company, Reissuesdirect (via this website) but received a damaged item. The booklet had become unstuck. Upon my complaint, i received immediately a new, perfect item, no questions asked ... and i could keep the damaged one. Great service. Thank you !