"Tell Her No" is a hit single written by Rod Argent and included by English rock band the Zombies on their debut album The Zombies in 1965. It peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States in March 1965 and was one of three big American hits by the Zombies (the others being "She's Not There", in 1964, and "Time of the Season", in 1969). "Tell Her No" was only a minor hit for the Zombies in their native Britain, where it peaked at No. 42 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1965.

"Tell Her No"
Single by the Zombies
from the album The Zombies
B-side"What More Can I Do" (UK) / "Leave Me Be" (US)
Released28 December 1964 (US)
January 1965 (UK)
RecordedNovember 25, 1964
LabelDecca F12072
Parrot 9723
Songwriter(s)Rod Argent
Producer(s)Ken Jones
The Zombies UK singles chronology
"Leave Me Be"
"Tell Her No"
"She's Coming Home"
The Zombies US singles chronology
"She's Not There"
"Tell Her No"
"She's Coming Home"

In 1983, Juice Newton scored a Billboard Top 40 hit in the United States with her version of the song.



According to Argent, "Tell Her No" was influenced by the music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.[3] In a contemporary review, Record World said "The fellows have slowed down their frenzy to sing a good follow-up to 'She's Not There.'"[4] Cash Box described it as a "striking rock-a-rhythmic jumper" that's "a softly-essayed affair that moves along in ear-arresting fashion."[5]

The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll described it as "a standard Beatles cop" stating that it was "almost as good" as the Zombies' earlier hit single "She's Not There."[6] Music critic Maury Dean described it as a precursor to jazz fusion for the way the song moves in fits and starts and for its polyrhythms.[7] According to Allmusic critic Lindsay Planer, the song's "quirky instrumental introduction is repeated throughout and practically sounds off-key before it remarkably resolves into the slightly baroque verses."[3] Planer praised the catchy melody, the tight arrangement and the song's "creative advancement."[3] Dean called it an "excellent song," especially noting how Rod Argent's keyboards drive it.[7] Michael Gallucci of Ultimate Classic Rock states that the song doesn't waste a second of its little more than two minutes.[8]

The word "No" is mentioned a total of 63 times in the lyrics. Lead singer Colin Blunstone mumbled one line in the second refrain and wanted to rerecord it, but producer Ken Jones liked it that way and left it in, leading listeners to wonder what was actually being sung.[9] Blunstone thinks the words sung were "Don’t love this love from my arms."[9] Gallucci particularly praised how Blunstone sang the "whoa-oh-oh" a little earlier in the song, during the second verse.[8]

Cover versions


In 1983, country-pop singer Juice Newton recorded a cover of "Tell Her No".[10] Newton reached No. 14 on the US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary singles chart and No. 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. She changed the song's lyrical gender and point of view, which significantly altered the song's meaning to being about a woman convincing her man to resist the temptations of a potential adulteress.

Del Shannon also did a take on the song.[3] Tahiti 80 did a rendition in concert.[11]


  1. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-zombies-mn0000582313
  2. ^ https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/the-zombies-i-love-you-rip-the-zombies/
  3. ^ a b c d Planer, Lindsay. "Tell Her No". Allmusic. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  4. ^ "Singles Reviews" (PDF). Record World. January 2, 1965. p. 6. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  5. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. January 2, 1965. p. 14. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  6. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly, eds. (1992). The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll. Random House. p. 206. ISBN 0-679-73728-6.
  7. ^ a b Dean, Maury (2003). Rock 'n' Roll Gold Rush. Algora Publishing. pp. 184, 296–297. ISBN 9780875862071.
  8. ^ a b Michael Gallucci (21 October 2016). "5 Reasons the Zombies Should Be in the Hall of Fame". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  9. ^ a b Righi, Len (August 13, 2007). "Colin Blunstone's voice reanimates the Zombies". Pop Matters. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  10. ^ "Dirty Looks". Allmusic. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  11. ^ McCormick, Moira (October 21, 2000). "Tahiti 80's Heartbeat Catches Ears". Billboard Magazine. p. 11. Retrieved 2017-01-26.