She’s Not There – The Zombies

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………………on December 12th of 1964 The Zombies reached their highest point on the Billboard Pop chart when “She’s Not There” topped out at #2. Although they recorded the track in just one take, it would stay on the Hot 100 for 3 months and climbed to #12 in the UK.The Zombies recorded this in one take after they won a talent contest at their college called the Herts Beat competition. The prize was a recording session. The group signed to Decca Records, and their keyboard player Rod Argent came up with this song for the session. It tells the story of an alluring woman who won’t be tied down to one man – the singer wants to tell us all about her, but he can only use words, since she’s not there. Some of the chord changes Rod Argent used were inspired by Brian Hyland’s “Sealed With A Kiss.” This was The Zombies first single. The band also recorded a cover of Gershwin’s “Summertime” for their first album, which was considered for the band’s first single, but “She’s Not There” got the nod. Boosted by radio play on New York powerhouse WINS, the song became a hit in the US. This was The Zombies biggest hit. Even though it did very well, their next releases didn’t catch on until 1969, when they hit US #3 with “Time Of The Season.” Unfortunately, the band had already broken up by then and Rod Argent had started his own group, Argent, with Zombies bassist Chris White on board as a songwriter. The lead instrument is an electric piano, which was very unusual at the time. In the UK, it was the first hit song with an electric piano as the lead instrument.