Time takes its toll on all mechanical things. Sooner or later the cog wheels become clogged with a sticky gunge, the hands on the clock face slow to a crawl and the pendulum shudders to a halt. And what applies to the steady tick-tock of a grandfather clock also applies to the fast spinning disks of popular desktop computers. Yesterday the hard drive in the Crotchety Couple’s trusty iMac failed and our dearly beloved “Amelia” now stands comatose on the study desk, a zombie with a dark expressionless face.
We have backups. The mechanical parts can be replaced and our data recovered. We just need to spend a little money and take the time to set it all up again. But, perhaps, the seasons are changing. Amelia is more than six years old now; she is no Spring chicken. Perhaps it’s time to retire the old girl and bring in a new, fresh faced electronic assistant – a youthful, early Summer model to replace the creaky old one now in the Autumn of her life.
Hard on the heels of those thoughts of time and seasons and intelligent machines sleeping the sleep of the undead came the echo of a pop song from the sixties: a single called Time of the Season taken from The Zombies‘ 1968 album, Odyssey and Oracle.
Generally speaking The Zombies made (and still make) candy floss pop songs that Crotchety Man finds too insubstantial to be satisfying. Listening to Odyssey and Oracle again confirms that impression; the compositions are perfectly fine but somehow the production lacks depth and the performance never quite delivers on the promise of the song.
Even Time of the Season suffers from that a little bit. But what this song lacks in substance it more than makes up for in confident originality. The vocal harmonies work beautifully, the sparse rhythms of the bass, drums and handclaps make for itchy feet, and Rod Argent’s carefree excursions over the organ keys lift the track miles above the bubblegum level. Although it never graced the charts in the UK it reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and it had a cherished place in the Crotchety Singles Collection for many years.
It seems only days ago when ’twas the season to be jolly. Now, it seems, is our temporary winter of discontent. Tomorrow, with luck, will be the start of a joyous rite of Spring when we take Amelia to the computer doctor. We may be giving her the last rites but there will always be another machine to take her place – a newer, shinier, slicker machine for the months and years to come. Perhaps it’s the time of the season for loving Amelia Mk II.