Saturday, December 29, 2007

She's Not There, The Zombies (1964)

It's not always a bad thing to have to compose a song that can be played in 3 minutes or less. She's Not There is the quintessential example of one that achieved sheer perfection clocking in at just 2:24. I think having the freedom to make it longer would actually have hurt it.

I'm not sure I can convey how exotic She's Not There sounded in 1964, the first year I started listening to rock music. Rolling Stone says, in anointing it one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, "With Colin Blunstone's gauzy vocals and (Rod) Argent's scampering piano, She's Not There was one of the British Invasion's jazziest singles."

Even more than that, it was the distillation of seething emotion around what I took to be the grave risks of giving your heart to someone else only to have it trampled upon, as expressed in the song's distinctive crescendo. I still shiver when I hear it.

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