My Abbey Road: Chris White... #AbbeyRoad90

11th September 2021

My Abbey Road with Chris White

Singer, songwriter, producer and bass player in British ‘60s rock and roll band The Zombies is the next addition to our 90th-anniversary series, My Abbey Road. Reminiscing on his earliest memories of recording at Abbey Road with The Zombies, Chris recounts the sessions that went into creating the landmark album, Odessey and Oracle.

Chris on his first time at Abbey Road Studios

In 1967, the ‘Zombies’ entered Abbey Road Studios for the first time. We were booked into Studio Three for two days (1st and 2nd June). We were told that we were the first non-EMI group to record there.

It was historic also because we went in just after the Beatles had finished their Sgt. Pepper album in April that year and it was Rod Argent’s and my first production work.

As money was short, we rehearsed thoroughly before recording because our sessions were only three hours long. Throughout that year we worked on the album, which later became titled Odessey & Oracle – and was ultimately responsible for us being inducted, 52 years later, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York. On that occasion, four of the original group performed three songs from that same album.

Because of tight three hour schedules, I remember, overrunning our booked time in one morning session, all five of us were hurriedly singing a chorus to a Zombies’ song called Changes when the studio crew came in the door and moved the grand piano out whilst we were singing – and we had to use that take! Legend has it that on the mono mix you can just hear the piano shifters.

Afterwards, Rod and I produced Argent and Colin Blunstone’s first three solo albums in Studios Two and Three with great engineers like Peter Vince and Geoff Emerick. There were several other artists that we recorded in Abbey Road – because it was the best. The best acoustics and the best engineers.

My personal favourite sessions were recording Chris Gunning’s string quartet arrangements in Studio Three for Colin Blunstone’s albums.

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