Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Zombies bring 6 decades of hits to Winnipeg this spring

The Zombies on their Odessey & Oracle 50th Anniversary Finale Tour in 2017. Mike Fowler / Mike Fowler Photography

His band was formed way back in 1962, but Zombies lead singer Colin Blunstone isn’t stopping any time soon.

After all, people are still discovering his music, all these years later.

Blunstone, 74, will be stopping in Winnipeg with the band in April for a gig at Club Regent Casino.

He told 680 CJOB that his band’s success to this point has been a bit of a mystery.

The Zombies’ 1968 album, Odessey and Oracle – an album they never performed live at the time because they’d split up before its release – has had a life of its own in the decades that followed, even being declared number 100 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

“At the time, it was totally ignored,” said Blunstone.

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“It wasn’t a commercial success and it wasn’t really a critical success either, and yet now it’s getting this acknowledgement. It’s quite a unique story, really, that it’s taken so long for people to find this album, and they seem to think it’s pretty good.

“I suppose all of our lives would have been very different if we’d got the recognition in the late ’60s.”

That modern-day recognition includes induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, an unexpected honour after almost six decades in the business.

“It was a wonderful honour, because you really are voted by your peers,” said Blunstone. “Fellow inductees have the final vote on whether you’re inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

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“It was great to go through that process and see so many people supporting us. It was a wonderful evening with great bands like the Cure and Roxy Music, Janet Jackson, Def Leppard… so many wonderful other bands that were playing who were inducted on the same night.”

Blunstone said one thing that sets the Zombies apart from many of their ’60s contemporaries is that – despite multiple breakups, reunions and lineup changes over the years – they’re still plugging away on tour.

“It is very important to us that we’re still playing live, that we’re still touring. I think probably of the ’60s bands that we tour as much as everybody, and we love to play.

“I’m gonna keep touring as long as I’m physically able. It keeps us all young and it keeps us energized.”

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The Zombies are, in fact, still recording as well, and Blunstone said the band will be performing some brand new, never-before-heard songs at their April 15 Winnipeg gig, along with throwback hits like Time of the Season and She’s Not There.

“I think they can expect all the old standards — some tunes from the past, the present and the future, because we’ll play all the hits.”

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Eh To Zed – A Tribute to Canadian Rock

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