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"She's Not There" is the debut single by British rock band The Zombies, written by organist Rod Argent. It reached No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart in September 1964,[1] and reached No. 1 on the Cashbox chart (No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100) in the United States at the beginning of December 1964. In Canada, it reached No. 2.

"She's Not There"
She's Not There single.jpg
Single by The Zombies
from the album Begin Here
B-side"You Make Me Feel Good"
Released24 July 1964
Format7-inch
Recorded12 June 1964
StudioDecca Studios, West Hampstead, London
Genre
Length2:25
LabelDecca F11940 (UK)
Parrot 45PAR 9695 (US)
Songwriter(s)Rod Argent
Producer(s)Ken Jones
The Zombies singles chronology
"She's Not There"
(1964)
"Leave Me Be"
(1964)

Rolling Stone magazine ranked "She's Not There" No. 297 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[2]

Contents

Song profileEdit

Rod Argent built the lyrics of "She's Not There" from a John Lee Hooker song, whose title – "No One Told Me" – became a part of the opening phrase of "She's Not There". Following a 29 April 1964, performance by the Zombies at St Albans Market Hall, Argent played the one verse he had written of the song for Ken Jones who was set to produce the band's first recording session. Jones encouraged Argent to write a second verse for the song, intending for the band to record it. Argent recalls: "I wrote the song for Colin's range"—referring to Zombies' vocalist Colin Blunstone -- "I could hear him singing it in my mind". The song's genres and musical styles are described by authors and music journalists as jazz rock,[3] beat[4] and pop rock.[5]

"She's Not There" was the second of four songs recorded by the Zombies at a 12 June 1964, recording session at Decca's West Hampstead Studio No. 2. The song's backing track needed seven takes.[6] One of the song's most distinctive features is Argent's electric piano sound; the instrument used was a Hohner Pianet. The backing vocals are in a folk-influenced close-harmony style. To make the single sound stronger for single release, Ken Jones organised Hugh Grundy to record a strident drum line overdub which only appears on the original mono single mix. In 2002, Ace/Big Beat releases The Decca Stereo Anthology, a 48-track 2-CD release which mixed all the Decca/Parrot recordings into true stereo for the first time. As the multitrack for She's Not There does not contain the additional, stronger drum line, Grundy specially re-created for this stereo remix project.

According to the lyrics of this song, the narrator has unsatisfactory dealings with an untrustworthy woman. He reproaches unspecified associates for failing to warn him of her unsavoury character. The real inspiration behind the song, however, was Argent's first love, Patricia, who called off their wedding weeks before and broke his heart.

This minor key, jazz-tinged single was first aired in the United States during the first week in August 1964, on New York rock radio station WINS by Stan Z. Burns, who debuted the song on his daily noontime "Hot Spot" segment, during which new songs were played. The tune began to catch on in early autumn and eventually reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1964.[7] It was kept from the No.1 spot by Mr. Lonely by Bobby Vinton.[8]

Album releasesEdit

The song was later released both on The Zombies' UK album Begin Here (December 1964) and US album The Zombies (January 1965). It was also included on the soundtrack to the 1979 feature film More American Graffiti.

Uses in popular cultureEdit

In 1996 the song was used in the soundtrack for The Long Kiss Goodnight.

In 2004 the song was heavily sampled in "About Her" by Malcolm McLaren for the soundtrack of Kill Bill Volume 2.

The Zombies' version appears in a 2017 commercial for Kohler.[9]

Chart historyEdit

Chart (1964-65) Peak
position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[10] 2
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[11] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 2
"She's Not There"
 
Single by Santana
from the album Moonflower
B-side"Zulu"
ReleasedOctober 1977
Format7"
Genre
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Rod Argent
Santana singles chronology
"Let It Shine"
(1976)
"She's Not There"
(1977)
"Stormy"
(1979)

Santana coverEdit

"She's Not There" was a hit for Santana when it appeared on their 1977 album Moonflower. Their version peaked at No. 11 in the UK.[14] It was also a hit in the US, reaching No. 27 (Billboard) and No. 20 (Cash Box). Their version features Greg Walker as the lead vocalist.

Chart historyEdit

Chart (1977–78) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report) 19
Canada RPM Top Singles[15] 21
Netherlands 3
New Zealand 9
UK 11
US Billboard Hot 100 [16] 27
US Cash Box Top 100[17] 20

Other cover versionsEdit

  • Noël Deschamps recorded the French rendering "Te Voilà" which was a minor hit in France peaking at No. 50 in early 1965.[citation needed]
  • A version by the Vanilla Fudge was released in 1967.
  • A solo version by Colin Blunstone under the name "Neil MacArthur" was released on the Deram label in 1969, reaching No. 34 in the UK singles chart.[citation needed]
  • A version by the UK Subs was released in 1979, and reached No. 36 in the UK Singles Chart.[18]
  • A version by the Purple helmets a Stranglers offshoot band on their album Rise again in 1988
  • A version by Japanese group Mi-Ke was released in their final studio album Eien no Liverpool Sound: Please Please Me Love in 1993

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "UK Top 40 Hit Database". EveryHit.com. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  2. ^ "297 The Zombies, 'She's Not There'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  3. ^ Bob Mason (2004). Magic Circles: Another Side of the Beatles. Duffy & Snellgrove. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-876631-87-1.
  4. ^ Peter Buckley (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 1222. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0.
  5. ^ Martin Charles Strong; Brendon Griffin (2008). Lights, camera, sound tracks. Canongate. p. 243. ISBN 978-1-84767-003-8.
  6. ^ Johansen, Claes (2001). The Zombies: hung up on a dream. London: SAF Publishing. pp. 74–75, 80–81. ISBN 978-0-946719-34-1.
  7. ^ "The Zombies". Billboard Music Charts. Archived from the original on 25 December 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  8. ^ https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1964-12-12
  9. ^ "Kohler Composed Collection TV Commercial, 'Never Too Wanted' Song by The Zombies". iSpot.tv.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4677." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  11. ^ "Lever hit parades: 31-Dec-1964". Flavour of New Zealand.
  12. ^ "Zombies: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "The Zombies Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "The Official Charts Company – She's Not There". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 7 January 1978. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  16. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  17. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, December 10, 1977[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, 7th Edition