Zombies will celebrate 50 years of ‘Odyssey and Oracle’ with Biloxi show

The Zombies return to Biloxi with an 8 p.m. show on Friday at the Golden Nugget Casino.
The Zombies return to Biloxi with an 8 p.m. show on Friday at the Golden Nugget Casino. Courtesy

“Odyssey and Oracle” would be the swan song for The Zombies. Founding member Rod Argent said they went into Abbey Road Studios knowing it would be the band’s last album.

And in a ironic twist of fate, their farewell album would also yield their biggest hit — “Time of the Season.” But by then, the band had moved on, regrouping briefly, and then disbanding again in 1969 as Argent moved on to form his band, Argent.

On Friday, The Zombies will be back together in both an original lineup and its modern lineup, to celebrate 50 years of “Odyssey and Oracle” with an 8 p.m. show at the Golden Nugget Casino in Biloxi. The band will perform the album in its entirety, which Argent said in an interview with the Sun Herald will be the last tour on which that’s done.

Q: Tell me about the genesis of “Odyssey and Oracle”— was it inspired by the sounds of the time, particularly what Brian Wilson was doing with the Beach Boys and what the Beatles were doing?

A: We wanted our songs to be presented in a way that we were happy with. We had been quite unhappy with the way our singles had been produced before we made that album. It was not how we wanted to hear them. We didn’t like how the harmonies sounded and we didn’t like the production on the rhythm tracks. We really wanted to produce an album and record the songs the way we heard them in our head.

As far as the influences and how we approached it, we just wanted to be natural. I do remember being knocked out by “Pet Sounds,” which was several months before we started recording. We hadn’t heard the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” because they were walking out of Abbey Road Studios as we were walking in to start recording ours. But we had heard things like “Strawberry Fields Forever” and loved the way that sounded.

We didn’t really copy anything directly from “Pet Sounds,” but I loved the song arrangement and the way Brian (Wilson) wanted to present his songs and the sonic tapestry that was involved. We loved the way his mind worked, which apparently completely at odds with the rest of the Beach Boys. It was such a great time for music — there really just seemed to be something in the air.

Q: Is it frustrating for you that it was the last album you guys made and the way it is received today as opposed to when it was released?

A: Our breaking up was purely a commercial decision. Chris (White) and I did pretty well because we wrote the songs and we always had a hit somewhere in the world and we had very honest publishers. But the rest of the guys were relying on gig income, which was becoming less and less.

We all loved the outcome of the album and it got great reviews, but it didn’t sell. So, we broke up.

Q: “Time of the Season” became a huge hit for you and to this day, it’s used in television and films and commercials. It’s a huge part of pop culture. Are you surprised at its longevity?

A: Yes. Across the board, it’s been sampled by Eminem and radio stations are still playing it. People still love it. I would have never believed it 50 years ago. But it has happened, and I’m glad that it has.

If you go

The Zombies

Golden Nugget Casino at 151 Beach Blvd. in Biloxi

8 p.m. Friday

Tickets start at $25 and are avaialble at Ticketmaster.com.