Tuesday, February 20, 2018

"All You Zombies" by The Hooters

Song#:  2322
Date:  05/18/1985
Debut:  89
Peak:  58
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This Philly band was formed in 1980 by Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian. They quickly became a successful club attraction on the East Coast and along the way issued a few indie singles that sold well. By 1983, they were ready to issue their first album titled Amore. It was a regional hit that later helped them secure a contract with Columbia Records. For their second album, Nervous Night, the band revamped a few songs from their debut LP and recorded some new tracks. One of the older tunes they updated was this first single. The tune found an audience at Rock and made it to #11. It then crossed over to the Pop chart where it peaked near the halfway point. It was a good start for the band and they would do even better with their next few singles.

ReduxReview:  While it wasn't a big hit at Pop, I remember this song getting played quite a bit. It stood out on radio thanks to its ska/reggae-influenced feel, bible references, and title, which happened to be same as a 1958 sci-fi short story by Robert Heilman that Bazilian had read as a kid. The song was an unusual choice for a single, but it did get the ball rolling for them. It took me a while to warm up to the tune, but the zombies reference and mysterious music made it an interesting and creepy little track. Oddly, it's become a bit of a Halloween staple these days even though there is nothing remotely in common between the song and the holiday outside of the zombie reference.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Hyman and Bazilian had a chance at major label success in the late 70s. They were in a band called Baby Grand that got signed to Arista. Baby Grand released two albums in '77 and '78, but nothing came from them and the band broke up. However, one connection from their debut album would be critical in helping to launch the Hooters into the mainstream. Late in '82, The Hooters decided to split following a grueling tour. A few months later, Rick Chertoff, who was a member of Baby Grand, called on Hyman and Bazilian to help with a project he was working on. Chertoff was producing a debut album for a new artist named Cyndi Lauper. Hyman and Bazilian jumped in and worked on the album with Lauper and Chertoff. Hyman even co-wrote "Time After Time" with Lauper and that song became a #1 Grammy-nominated hit. The success with Lauper prompted Hyman and Bazilian to reform The Hooters and by the summer of '84, the band was signed to Columbia. Chertoff would produced Nervous Night for the band.


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