Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Hooters: All You Zombies

Today’s spiritual Sunday song has an unusual title – “All You Zombies.” It was recorded by The Hooters – a band that was named after Rob Hyman’s frequent use of a Hohner Melodica. While I’ve never heard the reason for the use of the term “zombies” in this song, I theorize that it is a reference to the spiritually dead that appear somewhat alive.  The song draws heavily on the Judeo-Christian stories of Moses and Noah. No doubt it was inspired by Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian’s own Jewish roots.

I picked this song for two reasons – the mandolin parts played by Eric on his Hohner mandolin.  Rob plays a clavinet – probably a Hohner as well, as they made the original clavinets. I had a chance to meet these guys in 1986 – they were quite pleasant fellows and I enjoyed the brief repartee we shared backstage when they opened for Journey in Charleston, WV. Oh yeah, the other reason – tonight concludes the second season of “The Walking Dead” on AMC. Get it – zombies. This live version was recorded in 2009.

Earlier Version from 1983

“All you Zombies” was originally released as a live cut on a single in 1982; however, I am unable to find a copy of that particular version to feature. In 1983, a studio version was recorded and released on the band’s first album “Amoré.”

This arrangement is quite different from the one they later recorded for Columbia Records in 1985.

The Hit Version

With Rob Hyman’s co-authorship of Cindy Lauper’s hit “Time After Time,” The Hooters were in position for a major record deal and were signed to Columbia Records in 1984. “All You Zombies,” the first single from 1985’s “Nervous Night,” only charted at 58; however, it was a favorite of album radio in the mid 80s.

Personally, I like this version best. I remember Columbia Records promoting me on it and giving it some airplay, but it was the follow-up of “And We Danced” that really pushed the album to gold status. In 1986, Columbia awarded me with a gold album/cassette award for my early belief in this band from Philly.

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