Newly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Zombies may be the only act in that hallowed institution whose greatest album was released after they had broken up. Record company hesitance and band squabbles hamstrung the release of Odessey And Oracle, but in the years since it finally saw the light of day in 1968, it has been rightly recognized as a classic.
Many people fixate on the sound of the album, which finds a sweet spot between psychedelic rock and baroque pop. But the songwriting, split between band members Rod Argent and Chris White, deserves serious credit as well. Argent was responsible for the album’s memorable hit single, “Time Of The Season,” while White came through with “This Will Be Our Year,” which has shown more endurance than many songs of the era that were big hits at the time.
“This Will Be Our Year” revels in open-hearted positivity, with Argent’s sprightly piano serving as the driving musical force. But that positivity means more because of how the song hints at darker times without dwelling on them for very long. It feels like the couple at the heart of the song have earned this happiness.
White’s lyrics, sung by Colin Blunstone with both eager anticipation of what’s to come and subtle acknowledgement of what’s behind, are economical yet striking. In the opening lines, the “warmth of your smile” is contrasted by the “darkness” that was recently clouded the picture for these two. “You don’t have to worry, all your worried days are gone,” the narrator promises.
In the bridge, he makes it clear that, in the past, he was the one who needed reassurance. “And I won’t forget the way you held me up when I was done/ And I won’t forget the way you said, ‘Darlin, I love you,’ you gave me faith to go on.” Having gone through the harder times, there is nothing but blue skies ahead for this pair: “Now we’re there and we’ve only just begun.”
More than most other songs, “This Will Be Our Year” leans heavily on the strength of its refrain. It’s one thing to say, “This will be our year.” It’s the second part of the line that gives the first so much weight: “took a long time to come.” Is it any wonder that this song has become a favorite, not just for people getting set to celebrate a new year, but also for those getting set to embark upon a new life as a married couple?
In fact, White told People in 2017 about how the song continues to be a wedding staple. “I’ve actually sung it at my son’s wedding, and at my wife’s sister’s wedding as they walked down the aisle,” White said. “We met Graham Nash at the Hall of Fame, and he said his girlfriend wants ‘This Will Be Our Year’ played at his wedding—and not one of his songs! He was lovely about that.”
TV soundtrack producers are all over the song as well, giving it prominent placement in both Mad Men and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel episodes. As we dive into 2019, it’s hard to think of a more heartwarming message than the one espoused by “This Will Be Our Year.” The Zombies, basking in recognition that’s long overdue, can certainly appreciate its sentiment.