Thursday, October 26, 2006

131. The Zombies - Odessey and Oracle (1968)

Track Listing

1. Care Of Cell 44
2. Rose For Emily
3. Maybe After He's Gone
4. Beechwood Park
5. Brief Candles
6. Hung Up On A Dream
7. Changes
8. I Want Her She Wants Me
9. This Will Be Our Year
10. Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)
11. Friends Of Mine
12. Time Of The Season


Yes, that is really the album title... it's Odyssey and not Odessey, but the cover artist had a spelling malfunction.

It is only natural that this album has been a slow burner in music history, and that is because it sounds astonishingly modern. Just put the first track on and if that doesn't sound like some soft indie stuff off the soundtrack of The O. C. I don't know what does. Of course this is not necessarily a good thing, but The Zombies are never boring, and for their time it does sound different from most of the stuff we've been listening too.

Maybe it sounds so original because the band just didn't care about comercial success or even the future of the band, as this was recorded after they had already split up. They were disillusioned with their lack of success... and some years later the single and closing track of this album went on to sell 2 million copies... oh well... crap timing boys.

Of course many tracks on this album sound like the time in which they were produced, the use of typically Psych organs and instrumentation is a sign of this, as well as the ubiquitous harmonies, but there are moments here where you really can't tell they this is an almost 40 year old album, there is a freshness to it. This does not mean however that the album is perfect, Time Of The Season, although great, seems out of place, and some of the tracks are unremarkable. But it certainly deserves it's place on this list, more from the surprise of how fresh it sounds than anything else, but that is good enough for me. Buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Care Of Cell 44
2. Brief Candles
3. Time Of The Season
4. I Want Her She Wants Me

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The famous misspelling of "odyssey" in the title was the result of a mistake by the designer of the LP cover, Terry Quirk (who was the flatmate of bass player Chris White). The band, however, claims that the title was deliberate.

Odessey and Oracle was recorded in 1967 after the Zombies signed to the CBS label, and was only the second album they had released since 1965. As their first LP, Begin Here, was a collection of singles, Odessey can be regarded as the only true Zombies album.

The group began work on the album in June 1967. Some songs were recorded at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, where earlier in the year the Beatles had recorded Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. By the time the recording was finished, in late 1967, the Zombies were effectively disbanded, due to lack of financial success. Odessey and Oracle was released in the U.K. in April 1968 and in the United States in June. The single "Time of the Season" became a surprise hit in early 1969, and Columbia Records (in the United States) re-released Odessey in February, with a slightly different album cover.

Since its release the LP has come to be regarded as one of the greatest of all pop albums, with indelible melodies, complex harmonies, and an air of nostalgia and longing that makes it comparable to such albums as Love's Forever Changes and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds.

In 2002, Rolling Stone placed Odessey in 80th place on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The first song on the album, "Care of Cell 44" has been covered by such notable artists as Elliott Smith.

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