The Zombies rode the British Invasion wave like many of the bands that weren't the Beatles or the Rolling Stones: by having a couple of early hits and then fading into the corners of rock 'n' roll history.

But then their story took a detour along the way.

After they recorded their second album Odessey & Oracle in 1967, the Zombies became discouraged by dwindling commercial success and called it quits. A few months later, the LP – earmarked as a permanently shelved record made by a band that nobody seemed to care about anymore – found a famous champion at the record company.

Al Kooper, whose Blood, Sweat & Tears helped pioneer jazz-rock, convinced the label if it released Odessey & Oracle, the album would be a hit. It wasn't. But one of its songs, "Time of the Season," eventually climbed all the way to No. 3 in 1969 – more than a year and a half after it was recorded. And the album is now considered a cornerstone work of baroque pop, and one of rock's greatest cult records.

Even though they were around for only a handful of years at first – the Zombies reunited in 2004 and still perform – and their catalog isn't as deep as other Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, the band's influence is wide. And as you'll see in our below list of Top 10 Songs by the Zombies, it's not just Odessey & Oracle, though that classic album does show up several times.

From the jazz-inspired early singles to an aborted project started after "Time of the Season" temporarily resurrected the group, you'll find some of the best British Invasion, psychedelic rock and baroque pop music ever made.

10. "She's Coming Home"
From: 1965 single

Three months after "Tell Her No" gave the Zombies their second consecutive Top 10 hit (following "She's Not There," their biggest hit), "She's Coming Home" stalled at No. 58. It's the last time they got that high on the singles chart until "Time of the Season" became a fluke Top 5 smash in 1969. Maybe it's because "She's Coming Home" is more Phil Spector than British Invasion.

9. "I Want You Back Again"
From: 1965 single

Unlike most of their contemporaries, the Zombies borrowed from jazz greats, incorporating rhythmically tricky melodies not usually heard on pop radio. Keyboardist Rod Argent often took the spotlight solo, riffing like Jimmy Smith or a Miles Davis sideman and giving the band a sophistication other groups – British and American – lacked. "I Want You Back Again" is the most jazz inspired of the early singles.

8. "Whenever You're Ready"
From: 1965 single

The Zombies' commercial run pretty much ended as quickly as it had started. But they continued to make a lot of great music over the next few years. This song stalled just outside the Top 100, but it's loaded with the band's classic sounds, including a jazzy electric piano solo and a catchy chorus. Like many of their early singles, it deserved better.

7. "Imagine the Swan" (1969)
From: 1969 single

After Odessey & Oracle became a belated hit a couple years after it was recorded, thanks to the Top 10 single "Time of the Season," keyboardist Rod Argent and bassist Chris White were persuaded to put together a new Zombies album that featured older unreleased tracks and some new songs recorded by the new Argent-led lineup. "Imagine the Swan" couldn't crack the Top 100, so the album was shelved for more than three decades. Argent then moved on to his own group. The song serves as a sweet coda to a too-brief career.

6. "This Will Be Our Year"
From: Odessey & Oracle (1968)

The Zombies recorded their second album during the latter half of 1967 and then broke up before it was released. It almost never came out at all. Almost a year after Odessey & Oracle's April 1968 release, one of its songs, "Time of the Season," hit the Top 10, and the album became one of rock's most heralded "lost" LPs. "This Will Be Our Year" is a highlight – all horns and Summer of Love pop swathed in one of Colin Blunstone's warmest vocals and a centerpiece of the classic record. Like more than half of Odessey & Oracle, "Year" was written by Chris White.

5. "Tell Her No"
From: 1965 single

The band's follow-up to the breakthrough "She's Not There" runs barely two minutes, but it's one of the breeziest two-minute singles of the '60s. Rod Argent based the song on the hits of Burt Bacharach and Hal David from the era, which explains its almost hushed, soft-pop structure. "Tell Her No" became the Zombies' second U.S. Top 10 hit, though it didn't fare as well in their native England. Colin Blunstone's breathy "whoa-oh-oh-oh" during the second verse remains one of pop's great wordless breaks.

4. "Care of Cell 44"
From: Odessey & Oracle (1968)

The opening song on Odessey & Oracle was also issued as the album's lead single in November 1967. It bombed, prompting the band to break up before the year's end and the album's release in April the next year. "Care of Cell 44," written by Rod Argent as a letter from prison, is the record's longest song, but at almost four minutes, it sweeps by, setting up all the baroque pop that follows. Entire genres have been influenced by Odessey & Oracle; "Care of Cell 44" pretty much distills it to a glowing ray of psychedelia-kissed sunshine.

3. "A Rose for Emily"
From: Odessey & Oracle (1968)

One of Odessey & Oracle's most melodically somber songs, and one of the best. The chamber-pop movement of the '90s pretty much starts here. The LP split the Zombies, who were disappointed by reception to the album's first single, "Care of Cell 44." The record almost didn't come out at all, until Al Kooper – a rock 'n' roll journeyman who played with Bob Dylan and was now a producer at the Zombies' record company – pushed for its release. Odessey & Oracle still wasn't a hit, but its stature has grown over the years. "A Rose for Emily" is one of the reasons.

2. "Time of the Season"
From: Odessey & Oracle (1968)

The Zombies were broken up when "Time of the Season" unexpectedly climbed to No. 3 in 1969. But that didn't stop record execs from pushing Rod Argent and Chris White – the architects behind "Season"'s parent album, Odessey & Oracle – for more music. They never completed the project, save for a single and some songs that ended up on albums years later. "Time of the Season" is both timeless and of its time – which sorta explains why a song recorded during the Summer of Love became a hit in the way different musical climate of 1969.

1. "She's Not There"
From: 1964 single

The Zombies' first single came out just as Beatlemania ushered the British Invasion onto the U.S. charts, sending "She's Not There" straight to No. 2. Two more Top 10 hits followed – including the late-blooming "Time of the Season" in early 1969 – before the group went dormant until the early '90s. More than 50 years later, the song still sounds like a revolutionary record. Rod Argent, who wrote "She's Not There," fills the track with jazz-inspired electric piano that set the Zombies apart from their blues- and R&B-borrowing contemporaries.

More From