Nearly half a century ago Colin Blunstone emerged as one of England’s most singular, evocative vocalists. As the lead singer of the Zombies, whose classic hits like “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No,” and “Time of the Season” helped define the British Invasion, Blunstone imparted sophistication and grace that were rare for the era. Although the group called it quits upon the release of their 1968 LP, Odessey and Oracle, Blunstone eventually found his footing as a solo artist beginning with 1971’s One Year, with such gems as "Caroline Goodbye" and “Though You Are Far Away” earning him even further distinction.
While his post-Zombies endeavors haven't enjoyed the same success in the States as they have in his native country, Blunstone has continued to explore and expound upon his talent, whether recording under his own name or in collaboration with other artists, most notably Alan Parsons and fellow Zombies alumnus Rod Argent. For a little over the past decade, in fact, Blunstone and Argent have (with an otherwise revamped lineup) brought the Zombies back to life in the recording studio as well as on the concert stage. “It reminds people of what we did years ago," says Blunstone, "and I hope it enhances it."
The same could be said for his eleventh and latest solo effort, On The Air Tonight, which reflects the hallmark sublimity of Blunstone’s classic works in timeless, touching ways.
The Zombies had a very distinct sound. Did you guys consciously strive to have a unique sound or did that unique sound come about because of the makeup of the band, particularly with Rod Argent on keyboards?
It was just the way the band sounded naturally. I think to some extent that sound evolved over a period of years. What I would say is that we consciously didn’t try to copy. That’s the one thing I would say. We didn’t try to copy people. And of course we had two quite prolific and sophisticated writers in the band. I think that that was one of the great strengths of the band that we had these two writers, Rod Argent and Chris White. Rod had always written good songs, and Chris had [too] but he really progressed in the three years we’d been on the road that by the time we got to Odessey and Oracle they were both writing really, really fine songs. In some ways that’s one of the main things that sets us apart from other bands. I know that there were some that were writing, but they had their own sound too. But there were other bands that were just copying, but we certainly weren’t.