by Alex Hern
Gotta do a themed post sometime. When better than Halloween?
Zombies may not be your traditional Halloween fare – that’s more along the lines of witches, wizards, ghosts and ghouls – but in the music world, they rule the roost.
Lets start at the beginning. In 1961, there was the Zombies. With a name that belied their clean, British invasion image (at least to start with), they never quite rose to the prominence of the other bands they were contemporary with, but in recent years, their final album, Odessey and Oracle (the mis-spelling in the title came from the bassists girlfriend, who designed the cover) has become a bit of a cult classic, ranking 80 in Rolling Stones’ top 500 albums ever in 2002. Their B-sides and rarities collection, Zombie Heaven, includes a cover of Burt Bacharach’s song The Look of Love (not to be confused with ABC’s song of the same name), and that is what I’ve posted here.
The Zombies – The Look of Love [MP3 Removed]
Then there is a zombie-hiatus for many years, until, in 1999, a German electronica project called Zombie Nation released one of the most famous pieces of dance music ever, Kernkraft 400. If you don’t think you know it, you’re wrong. Skip to 1:57, when the main melody kicks in, and recognition will dawn.
That famous melody is actually a remix of a song from a 1984 Commodore 64 game called Lazy Jones, and can be heard, pretty much unchanged, on that games Wikipedia entry. Admittedly, it would be a lot harder to dance to.
Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400 [MP3 Removed]
Zombina and the Skeletones were formed in 1998, and have been playing ever since, peddling their unique brand of undead-tinged 50s/60s rock and roll to anyone who will listen. Presumably a band who really feel the seasonal rush, they go beyond merely having Zombie in their name, and dress up as the living-impaired, while writing songs about pretty much everything that has ever been in a campy B-movie. Nobody Likes You (When You’re Dead), released in 2002, remains their standout song, a genuine classic that doesn’t deserve to be stuck in the niche the band have put themselves in, but Staci Stasis, which I’ve posted an acoustic version of here, comes pretty close the matching it. Either way, they both deserve to be multi-platinum hits, so grab em while they’re hot.
Zombina and the Skeletones – Staci Stasis (Acoustic) [MP3 Removed]
Zombina and the Skeletones – Nobody Likes You (When You’re Dead) [MP3 Removed]
Finally, we move to the genre of Space Rock, with the Pittsburgh duo Zombi. Armed with just a synth, bass and drums, the pair loop their arses off to create something that sounds like the future, circa 1965. This track comes from their 2006 limited edition EP Digitalis.
Zombi – Digitalis [MP3 Removed]