Into the Afterlife (68-69) - Big Beat 2007
The recordings on this CD comes from the period 1968-69; the earliest from before the Zombies had officially split up. The unexpected big success of "Time of the Season" in early 1969, created doubt if the band would definitively split up or stay together - this seems to have been the case both inside and outside the band. Success of one of their final 1969 singles "Imagine the Swan" or "If it Don't Work Out" may have inspired the band members to continue as the Zombies.
A farewell album "R.I.P." consisting of earlier demos with new overdubbing along with completely new recordings done by various line-ups featuring Zombies members Chris White, Rod Argent, Hugh Grundy and Colin Blunstone, was almost ready for release. The failing success of the singles, meant that the "R.I.P." project was shelved. All songs can be found on the Zombie Heaven boxset; moreover a Japanese CD with the "R.I.P." title features all these songs along with several other Zombies recordings.
On this "Into the Afterlife" CD you'll find some great recordings done around the same time as "Imagine the Swan" - one of my personal Zombies favourites. A good handful of the songs have never before been released in any version and several are so good that they had deserved a place along the of the rest of the "R.I.P." tracks. Especially Chris White's "To Julia" stand out - a typical melodic White ballad. Also "Unhappy Girl" and "Mr Galileo" are great - both songs also written by White who obviously was very productive at this time.
Half of the album are Colin Blunstone tracks, recorded and released under the pseudonym Neil MacArthur. Some songs are really good, but generally they suffer from to much orchestration and only few really sound like Zombies recordings - apart from Blunstone's great vocals of course.