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Song of the Day #1637

Song of the Day: Time of the Season, composed by keyboard player, Rod Agent, is one of the featured tracks on the album, "Odessey and Oracle," by The Zombies, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The song was recorded in 1967 at the Abbey Road Studios, right after the Beatles finished recording "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Argent actually used the mellotron and piano left behind by John Lennon from the "Sgt. Pepper's" session. The album and the song have an unusual history. With the word "Odessey" misspelled on the psychedelic art cover designed by Terry Quirk, the album didn't do well in its 1968 release in Great Britain. It was Al Kooper, formerly of Blood, Sweat, and Tears, who urged producer Clive Davis at Columbia Records to release the album in the U.S. on a subsidiary label. This song caught on, first with a disc jockey in Boise, Idaho, and eventually throughout the United States, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. With lyrics that include a nod to Gershwin's "Summertime" and a bass line like that of "Stand by Me," the song eventually propelled the album to plantinum status, with over two million copies sold. It has been covered by artists as diverse as the Dave Matthews Band, and jazz artists Curt Elling and Cassandra Wilson. But nothing is as definitive as the Zombies' truly classic recording [YouTube links]. Thanks to my friend John F. Welsh for sharing all this wonderful trivia with me, as I prepared to honor this year's crop of R&R Hall of Famers. We'll have a chance to see the broadcast of this year's ceremonies on HBO in about a month.