Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Zombies

[Note:  The Zombies were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.]

Like many people, I suppose, I am familiar with the Zombies because of two 60’s classics:  “She’s Not There” and “Time Of The Season,” which are both excellent songs that have aged well and continue to be well-known and well-recognized.  Two songs, though, even two great songs, does not make a Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame resume, though.  One needs more than that.  I must admit that this is a band that somewhat surprises me in terms of the passionate nature of its fanbase, as there are numerous people who have written me telling me to write about this particular group.  Consider this, therefore, a request that has been belatedly granted.  Who are the Zombies and why are they a worthy entrant in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  It seems that nearly every [1] worthwhile act from the 1960’s has been inducted, so how come they haven’t?

The Influence Of The Zombies

One of the ways of determining the influence of a band is seeing what kind of bands can trace themselves back to the Zombies.  Like some groups, the Zombies had a lot of turmoil and their lack of immediate success and sales led to the band breaking up before they had hits, and so even if the Zombies are fondly remembered today, they were not particularly big sellers during their heyday.  Be that as it may, one of the members of the Zombies went on to form Argent, which had a hit with “Hold Your Head Up,” a top 5 hit in the US and UK, and another couple members of a touring group that performed the songs of the Zombies ended up becoming part of ZZ Top.  Aside from anyone who would claim to be influenced by the Zombies or their fellow British Invasion acts, and that would be a lot of bands, the fact that two immensely successful bands spring from the Zombies themselves suggests that there is a great deal of influence that the band had both directly and indirectly.

Why The Zombies Belong In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Aside from their influence on other acts, the Zombies belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for two reasons.  As earlier noted, while the band had a tumultuous history, they did manage to make two immortal songs that have long outlived any of the band’s many lineups in “She’s Not There” and “Time Of The Season.”  Likewise, the band’s first album was listed among the top 100 albums of all time by Rolling Stone, and if you are able to have an album of that kind of critical appeal, even despite disappointing sales, one is doing something right.  This is the sort of band that it is easy to champion–a band that deserved a better fate than it got and whose critical appeal and lasting success make its initial struggles something to look to as evidence of the band’s underdog appeal.  And as there is plenty of room for underdog causes here on a list of snubs to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, it’s pretty easy to see that this is a band that deserves a lot more interest.  Despite a rather small discography, the band did serve as a vitally important member of the British Invasion and made some songs that still live on today.  That’s more than enough reason for them to end up in Cleveland.

Why The Zombies Aren’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

It’s quite possible the Zombies just fell through the cracks.  After the more obvious 60’s acts were inducted, the Zombies were probably just not quite famous enough to catch in the memory of the people nominating.  And now that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is starting to work on 90’s acts, it has become increasingly difficult to induct worthy acts in their early years of eligibility while inducting worthwhile acts that were passed over.

Verdict:  Put them in.  They’ve got the critical acclaim for their debut album and some memorable songs.  This shouldn’t be a very complicated decision to make.

[1] But see, for example:









About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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