CHRONICLES: THE YEAR 1968
Their Grandiose Era
“Zabadak” in 1967 marked a turning point, the end of their Beat era.
For Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend of Xanadu” was their first death disc, and would be followed by four more, in fact all of their subsequent singles if one considers that the biting of “A Snake In The Grass” is the first episode of the Orpheus myth which sent Eurydice to “The Underworld”.
(And similarly, “Run Colorado” is a kind of “High Noon” story where the hero has to fight the town gang or lose his loved one).
As for the Shangri-Las’ teenage epics before them, Steve Rowland produced a musical drama for each of these vignettes, full of sound effects enhancing the theatrical lyrics.
But 1968 was also the year of the split between teenager music and a youth life style, between single hits for the pop market and albums as works of art, between “pop music” and “underground”…
Early in ’68, “Zabadak” finally cracked the US hit parade and nearly made the Top 50. “Zabadak” and its follow-up “Xanadu” also were their first big hits in Japan.
“Xanadu” brought them a chart-topper for the first time in England, and remains the summit of their career.