Rest in Peace (R.I.P.) - Unreleased 1969
Of course they had hoped that one of the two first singles taken from these recordings "Friends of Mine" and "Care of Cell 44" would bring them back into the charts. And when this did not happen they "realised" that their time was over, so they disbanded before the album was actually released in April 1968.
Another single was chosen to promote the album, and the big success of "Time of the Season" in America came as a complete surprise. The album also reached the lower parts of the charts in the States.
There was much said and written of a possible Zombies re-union after this unexpected come-back. But Rod Argent and Chris White ( the two very gifted songwriters in the Zombies ) were already deeply involved in gathering a new band, which eventually would become "Argent".
In this transition period Argent and White were persuaded to do a final "Zombies" album which was given the title "R.I.P." The album was supposed to consist of earlier out-takes and demos, ( with new overdubbings ) combined with new recordings.
The album was actually ready for release; the 12-songs track-listing was ready, I'm not sure if a cover was made, when the album was aborted after all. This was a big shame, as it would have been a great album, which the Japanese release clearly confirms.
6 of the songs are original Zombies recordings from 1964-66, featuring Colin Blustone on vocals. He was called in to record new vocals to "Walking in the Sun" which is the earliest track, from late 1964, but he is not involved in any of the "new" 1968 recordings. Rod Argent, who is also an incredibly fine singer, takes over the vocals on these tracks. All these 1968 songs / recordings are great. "Imagine the Swan", "Smokey Day", "Girl Help Me", "I Could Spend the Day" are outstanding songs. "Imagine the Swan" was released as a single and was a minor hit in America.
The earlier recordings ( tracks 7-12 ) featuring Colin Blunstone are equally strong. "If It Don't Work Out" was written for Dusty Springfield in 1965 and is the song is included here with a little new overdubbing. This version was also released as the Zombies final single in July 1969.
Chris White's terrific "I'll Call You Mine" had been previously released on the B-side of the "Time of the Season" single.
Rod Argent's "I'll Keep Trying" is probably the most obscure tracks, as it was the last song to be released on a CD. The song was originally recorded back in 1965 and finished in 1968. "I Know She Will" and "Don't Cry For Me" come from the same period; incredible that these songs were not chosen for release.
The final song "Walking in the Sun" is also the earliest, but the recording and Blunstone's new vocals are so great that you would never have guessed that most of the track was recorded back in 1964.
A great idea to make a CD release of this "great lost" Zombies album. A shame that so far it is only available on this Japan-release. The bonus tracks are all fine, but like the "R.I.P." songs they can all be found on the 4 CD box "Zombie Heaven"