A common misconception about music is the notion that it exists in some kind of generational vacuum, that artists and songs that surfaced decades ago are somehow inaccessible to anyone who wasn't alive at the time of their release.
To the contrary, so much music transcends time, and even the stuff that doesn't is still around. And we have access to it all (now more than ever with the internet, of course, but even as a teenager in the '90s, all it took to fall in love with the Velvet Underground was $15.99 plus tax).
Among the bands most worthy of the attention of a budding music aficionado is '60s British Invasion act The Zombies, who gained prominence during that sweet spot in which early rock 'n' roll's various iterations began to incorporate psychedelic elements.
Mainstream "oldies" stations still play "Time of the Season," the band's mega-hit off their opus, Odessey and Oracle, as well as slightly lesser-known singles as "She's not There" and "Tell her No."
But so much more of their work deserves your attention.
So, in honor of Halloween (given the act's spooky moniker), we unearth some of the band's best, if oft-overlooked, offerings.
1. "Care of Cell 44." The opening track to Odessey and Oracle, this tune is probably among the band's sunniest songs, even though its lyrics are pretty dark. Try not to bounce around when listening to it; just try.
2. "The Way I Feel Inside." Wes Anderson fans will recognize this one from a very somber point in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Lyrically more of a freeform poem, it starts out with lead singer Colin Blunstone's reverb-heavy a cappella vocals, with organ slowly seeping in. In the end, there's what sounds like a coin dropping, which adds an element of mystery to an already intriguing tune.
3. "I Love You." Similar to its better-known counterpart "She's Not There," this minor-key gem is an early example of baroque pop. Blunstone's tendency toward raw vocal flourishes really shows here.
4. "I Want You Back Again." A very swingy tune that showcases the band's tendency to foray into different genres, in this case jazz.
5. "Brief Candles." In a perfect world, this haunting, dynamic beauty off Odessey and Oracle would be what we remember most from the Zombies. Lyrically, it's a study of heartbreak and recovery aided by a dreamy melody and complex instrumental layering.
6. "Beechwood Park." Another Odessey and Oracle offering, this mellow, lyrically nostalgic tune sports a psychedelically tinged chord progression that walks down the minor scale.
7. "Don't Go Away." Another earlier offering, this is a sweet, jangly tune given a boost by harmonic backing vocals and an addictive hook at the tail end of the chorus. A tune like this shouldn't be so obscure.