"This will be our year/Took a long time to come" will surely be the most appropriate (and soon to be most over-used) song lyric to reference in any media article relating to the Zombies this year. After four nominations, the Zombies have finally been inducted into The Rock and Rock Hall of Fame and it really is long overdue. The Zombies roll into the hall of fame this year alongside the likes of Roxy Music, Def Leppard and Stevie Nicks. Not bad for a band that was only originally recording together for five years.

The buzz around the Zombies at the moment seems to be bigger than ever. The band's 1969 magnum opus, 'Odessey and Oracle' is often namechecked by Paul Weller, Dave Grohl and the Lemon Twigs as ranking amongst their favourite albums respecively. That magnificent album is featured in a brand new 5 vinyl box set called 'The Zombies - In the Beginning'. If you can get past the ever so slightly tacky cover which houses the five records, this is really quite a nice collection. It's the first time the complete output of the original incarnation of the band has been released together on vinyl in one place. Audio nuts shouldn't go too crazy about this release as the transfers are from a digital source rather than the analogue tape which is always a little disappointing. There are, however, some lovely shiny vinyls in this collection in all kinds of wacky colours which should more than make up for that, right? Another really good thing about this collection is that it is rather good value for money. You can expect to pay hundreds if you're lucky enough to find original copies of the two proper Zombies albums 'Begin Here' and 'Odessey & Oracle'. The other three records here round up A sides, B sides, EP tracks and out-takes and are presented nicely. Great music and shiny vinyl. What more do you want?

If this box set is serving as an introduction to the Zombies, then whatever you do, you must check out the band's latest offerings. Since Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent got back together with a new touring line-up of the Zombies, their recent recordings are simply breathtaking. It's fair to say that the band sound better and more relevant than ever. Who knew that it would even be possible for Colin Blunstone to sound even better than he does on the recordings featured here but it's true. He really does.

A highly enjoyable collection!

Long live the Zombies!

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