Battle of the Bands – She’s Not There


It’s time for another Battle of the Bands and today I’m featuring the Zombie’s song She’s Not There. Give a listen to the contenders and vote which one you like best in the Comments section. I’ll post the results in 6 days!

“She’s Not There” is the debut single by the British rock band The Zombies, written by organist Rod Argent. It reached No.12 in the UK Singles Chart in September 1964, and reached No.1 on the Cashbox chart (No.2 on the Billboard Hot 100) in the United States at the beginning of December 1964. In Canada, it reached number two.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked “She’s Not There” number 297 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song’s background: The narrator has unsatisfactory dealings with an untrustworthy woman. He reproaches unspecified associates for failing to warn him of her unsavory character. The real inspiration behind the song, however, was Argent’s first love Patricia who called off their wedding weeks before and broke his heart.

I’m pitting The Zombies original against a live version by Santana.

Contender #1: The Zombies:

Unfortunately the Live version by The Zombies that I found online did not allow embedding so you’ll have to click on this external link to view it. But it’s worth it! Just right click and open it in another window or tab so you can stay on this page:

Or if you’re lazy and don’t want to be bothered, here’s a high quality studio version by the original band:



The song was a hit again for Santana, which also appeared on their 1977 album Moonflower. Their version of “She’s Not There” peaked at No.11 in the UK, No. 27 in the United States, and No.21 in Canada.

Live version:


TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why? And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:



41 thoughts on “Battle of the Bands – She’s Not There

  1. Morning Angel,
    I listened to both intently and must say my vote is for Santana. It has a soulish grooves that makes you want to get up and dance. So my vote is for SANTANA.
    Have a great week.
    Shalom aleichem,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Patricia. Happy Monday! I’m glad you liked Santana’s version. You’re the first vote for today and I’ve got you down for Santana. Thanks so much for coming by!
      Have a great week…


  2. Hi, Michele!

    Happy BOTB day to you, dear friend!

    I had just turned 15 when the Zombie apocalypse began in America with “She’s Not There.” I love this song plus their follow-up single, “Tell Her No,” and their biggest U.S. hit “Time of the Season.”

    This band battle unwittingly presents three different versions of “She’s Not There.” The link you offered takes us to a lip sync performance of the original studio recording as the band appeared on a TV show. The Zombies video you embedded is a slightly different version – a rerecording – not the original. The live Santana version gives us our third choice.

    Dell rats have been Santana “haters” ever since he “swiped” the song “Karate,” originally recorded in 1966 by the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania garage R&B group The Emperors, and turned it into a hit single called “Everybody’s Everything.” I don’t like Santana’s covers as much as his originals and I didn’t particularly care for his rendition of “She’s Not There.” Either version of the song by The Zombies beats Santana’s, in my opinion, and The Zombies get my vote in this contest.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting and sad about Santana stealing a song by The Emperors. How did that happen??

      I love Time of the Season! Such a great song! The Zombies are just too cool…
      And they get your vote today. Thanks for stopping by this morning. We’re getting some much needed rain today. Maybe my grass will turn from straw back to green again before my brother and sister-in-law get here tomorrow! Rain rain, glorious rain! Do you ever suffer drought in FL or do you get significant rainfall?

      Have a great week. Happy Monday Shady!


      • Hi again, dearie!

        I put quotes around the words “haters” and “swiped” to indicate Dell rats’ disappointment that the original recording of “Karate” didn’t catch on with record buyers as well as the updated, thinly disguised and arguably inferior version by Santana. The Emperors’ “Karate” reached #55 at the end of 1966 and in the early weeks of 1967. Santana’s single went to #12 at the end of 1971. Santana reportedly like the groove of “Karate” but wanted to change the lyrics. He sought and obtained permission to do so from Emperors members Milton Brown and Ty Moss and gave them writing credit on his single and album.

        I’m happy to know you are getting some much needed cooling rain. It has been a wet summer here on the west coast of Florida. In the 30+ years that I have lived in the Sunshine State we have had too much sunshine and not enough rain. Lawn watering restrictions and water conservation measures are almost always in place and the peninsula often experiences varying degrees of drought including severe dry spells that increase the risk of brush and muck fires. We are thankful for the regular doses of rain we have been getting this year.

        Have a wonderful week, dear friend Michele!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for explaining that to me. I’m glad to know that Santana gave them credit and asked permission. I feel better now. 🙂

          So glad you are getting good rain this year. I love rain and we sure don’t get enough of it here. Although when it does, it often rains to excess and then we have flash flooding. That’s what’s going on right now. My dogrun is a lake at the moment…

          Talk soon Shady! Have a good one…


  3. This is another pairing I can take out of my Battle queue. It’s been there almost from the beginning but I just kept pushing it aside. Glad you’ve used it.

    Tough choice for me since I was blown away by the Santana version when I first heard it. On the other hand The Zombies version has always been one of my favorites. Santana is mighty flashy, but for my mood this morning I’m going back to the simplicity of my rock and roll listening roots.

    I’m voting for The Zombies.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • How cool that you also had planned to use this pairing. Yes, Santana’s version is pretty darn hot and the Zombies are awesome so it’s going to be a tough choice for me. I’m still not sure. I can definitely appreciate your vote — “going back to the simplicity of my rock and roll listening roots” – Amen!

      Thanks for coming by today Lee. Have a great week…


  4. I loved this song from the moment I heard The Zombies sing it. Just loved it. I’m afraid that I simply cannot vote against them on their own song. I’m pretty sure that there isn’t anyone I’d vote for over them. I listened to most of Santana’s cover, but when it got to the screaming guitar in the middle I was really done. I already knew that they didn’t have my vote, and I just flat out didn’t like that at all, so I ended (my pain) the song. I know plenty of people love those guitar solos, and they can have ’em. Give me The Zombies. Thanks for using a song I love so much. I enjoyed getting to hear it today:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Robin. I’m so glad you like this song! Thanks for enduring the guitar solo to give Santana a fair shot. I’ve got you down for the Zombies. Such a great song and I’m so happy that you enjoyed it. Thanks for coming by today…


  5. Well, I had it all set in my mind that I was going to vote for the Zombies because I have always enjoyed their version. But WOW – Santana really put his spin on it and I really enjoyed his version. I’m going to give my vote to Santana. Great battle, Miehele!

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary! I love that you love the song. I’ve got you down for Santana. Glad you liked their version…
      Have a great week! Thanks for coming by today…


  6. Under normal conditions, Santana would get my vote ’cause…he’s Santana…but the lead singer just didn’t do it for me when compared to the original.

    ZOMBIES FOR ME! See them next month in their new series “The Walking Musicians.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol! Love “The Walking Musicians”!!! I’m a huge Walking Dead fan. You??
      Thanks for coming by and voting. I have you down for the Zombies…


  7. This song brings back a lot of memories. 🙂 I was all set to vote for the Zombies, nostalgia being the main factor but, (as I’ve probably mentioned a time or two), I’m a sucker for great guitar riffs and love Santana. Please give my vote to him and his band.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Santana is starting to rack up the votes. I knew you’d like that guitar! Thanks for your vote Debbie. So glad my battle was able to elicit memories for you. That’s the beauty of music…


  8. Funny-I am familiar with both versions, own both discs, and have never before given thought to which version I prefer.

    I am going against form by voting for a cover and a live version, but the Santana version, when played right after the Zombies, kind of blows the original band away.

    Santana it is,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Larry, thanks for stopping by! I just found your post in my Spam folder! Not sure why it ended up there but I’ll be sure to check that more often. Not sure if you caught my results post but the Zombies won this one. Santana garnered a good portion of votes though so you were in good company.
      Thanks again for checking out my battle…


  9. I have to go with the original…The Zombies because I like his voice better and the flow of the music and lyrics. Santana is great but I didn’t care for his vocals in this version as much and his brilliant guitar playing I actually found a bit distracting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Birgit. The Zombies for you. Several people are voting for the Zombies but a lot of Santana votes are coming in too so this is shaping up to be a decent battle. Thanks for coming by to vote! Have a great week…


    • Hey Pamela. So glad you liked both versions. I’ve got you down for Santana. Thanks so much for coming by to vote today. Have a great week….


  10. My brother and sister-in-law just got in town for a visit. They’re staying for 10 days and I’m so excited to have them here. My brother (Eddie) checked out my battle and wants to cast his vote for the original because that’s how he’s used to hearing it. So there’s another vote for the Zombies. Thanks Eddie!



  11. I’m a big fan of the Zombies and love their version of this, but liked Santana’s version more. I like the breakaway into “Soul Sacrifice” he throws into the middle. Wonder why he was wearing a Blackhawks jersey; was this done in Chicago?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if it was in Chicago or not. It was a live performance from 1979 is the only thing that I know about it. That was cool that he was wearing a Blackhawks shirt though. Bet you liked that! 🙂

      Thanks for coming by John. Have a great week….


  12. One of my favorite songs from my teen years. I love the Zombies. And they are getting my vote. I am not a fan of Santana. My 16 year old granddaughter wanted to listen to the music granny was rocking out to with my headphones on. LOL! She said she liked the Zombies better too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t that fun to share your favorite songs with your grandkids? I’m glad she liked the Zombies too. How fun! Another 2 votes for the Zombies! Thanks for coming by Paula…


    …In the late 1970s, I took my first tax return check and bought myself a really nice stereo with it – excellent turntable, powerful receiver and a couple of large, great-sounding speakers. And that was what I listened to my LPs on for many, many years thereafter.

    Whenever I wanted to show someone how great my stereo sounded I would play Santana’s version of ‘SHE’S NOT THERE’ because it had so much going for it: a great range of sound, that marvelous percussion, Greg Walker’s fantastic vocals, and of course Carlos Santana’s ferocious electric guitar lines (which I consider some of the best Rock guitar work from the Classic Rock era). That is some seriously angry guitar playing, and at the 3:21 mark Santana’s guitar LITERALLY sounds like the roar of a wildcat! Man, I LOVE that!

    I think Rod Argent’s keyboard work in the original is really quite interesting, but it is no match whatsoever for Santana’s guitar, and Colin Blunstone’s vocals in the original just sound weak and pale compared to the rich, fiery vocals of the great Greg Walker in the Santana cover.

    In my 23rd ‘BOTB’ installment I had The Kinks’ original version of ‘You Really Got Me’ going up against Van Halen’s cover. I mentioned that Ray Davies of The Kinks had gone on record publicly as saying he really liked the Van Halen cover of their original, and he felt Van Halen had taken The Kinks’ “prop plane” and turned it into a “jet fighter”. Well, that’s also EXACTLY how I feel about THIS contest between The Zombies and Santana: Carlos & Co. took that old prop plane and turned it into a jet fighter (with guns mounted all across both wings!)

    Ha! Michele, you would have no way of knowing this but all of the preceding paragraphs were written over two years ago when I explained my vote for Santana in the following Battle:

    And nuttin’ about my opinion has changed since then… except that, of course, you didn’t use the ‘Moonflower’ version here, so it’s not the great Greg Walker on vocals and the guitar solo isn’t the same. But I still vote Santana over The Zombies for mostly the same reasons.

    It’s funny that in the comment section of my 2+ years old Battle, Lee said he would need to take this match-up off his potential BOTB Songs List. Now that it’s been done twice, perhaps he really will. 😀 <– Ha!-Ha!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought it felt like some deja vu going on here. I’ll probably forget to take this off my list again and eventually will end up doing it with some other artists’ covers.

      I wonder if Richard Cheese has a version of this song?

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

      Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, how cool that we did the same battle! Thanks for including the link to it. I just did a quick cruise on the comments from that battle and read that it ended in a tie. I haven’t even begun to calculate my battle tallies yet but there are definitely votes for both and it seems to be fairly close…
      I’ll really be interested to see how this one shapes up.

      And LOL on Lee’s comment(s)! Ha!

      On another note: got your email and will respond soon. My brother and sister-in-law just arrived yesterday and we’re having a few beers right now … But will be in touch real soon. 🙂


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