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Odessa Import

39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Dec. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B000001FE0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,824 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Odessa [City On The Black Sea] 7:31£0.89  Buy MP3 
  2. You'll Never See My Face Again 4:15£0.89  Buy MP3 
  3. Black Diamond 3:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
  4. Marley Purt Drive 4:24£0.89  Buy MP3 
  5. Edison 3:04£0.89  Buy MP3 
  6. Melody Fair 3:48£0.89  Buy MP3 
  7. Suddenly 2:28£0.89  Buy MP3 
  8. Whisper Whisper 3:23£0.89  Buy MP3 
  9. Lamplight 4:45£0.89  Buy MP3 
10. Sound Of Love 3:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
11. Give Your Best 3:26£0.89  Buy MP3 
12. Seven Seas Symphony 4:08£0.89  Buy MP3 
13. With All Nations [International Anthem] 1:45£0.89  Buy MP3 
14. I Laugh In Your Face 4:08£0.89  Buy MP3 
15. Never Say Never Again 3:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
16. First Of May 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
17. The British Opera 3:16£0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Catalogue number 825 451-2 on the Polydor label with the following tracks: 1> Odessa (City On The Black Sea) [7:33], 2> You'll Never See My Face Again [4:16], 3> Black Diamond [3:27], 4> Marley Purt Drive [4:26], 5> Edison [3:07], 6> Melody Fair [3:48], 7> Suddenly [2:29], 8> Whisper Whisper [3:24], 9> Lamplight [4:47], 10> Sound Of Love [3:27], 11> Give Your Best [3:26], 12> Seven Seas Symphony [4:09], 13> I Laugh In Your Face [4:09], 14> Never Say Never Again [3:28], 15> First Of May [2:48], 16> The British Opera [3:17].

BBC Review

When Barry Gibb sings, ''How can you tell that humans are real?'' you know that we're not in Kansas anymore. We are in Odessa, the lavish 1969 double album that prompted Robin Gibb's temporary departure, and the one which pundits are often keen to promote as their baroque masterpiece.

In 1968, like many of their contemporaries, the Bee Gees felt the need to experiment as befitted serious songwriters. In this they were encouraged by manager Robert Stigwood to indulge their creative instincts to the max with a collection running to over an hour.

A single, First Of May, with Barry's achingly forlorn lead vocals, hit the Top Ten, as did the parent album, just like Bee Gees records were supposed to do. However, once the public opened up the expensively packaged velvet gatefold sleeve, the contents failed to find favour.

The poor showing for its 1970 follow-up, Cucumber Castle, suggests that punters were truly scared off by the cracked and kooky eclecticism which Odessa represents.

The presence of over-inflated, psuedo-cinematic arrangements, instrumental tracks, the opening narration of the title track, and ambiguous lyrics throughout (''You said Goodbye/I declared war on Spain'' from Never Say Never Again), all suggests a wavering, self-conscious grasp at some kind of proto-concept album.

Now reissued and given the Deluxe treatment, disc one has a airy stereo mix in which Bill Sheperd's opulent orchestrations dominate. What Disc Two's mono version lacks in supposed hi-fidelity, it compensates by pulling everything into more readily digestable foreground.

However, the most fascinating aspect of the reissue is disc three, Sketches for Odessa. Lasting over 70 minutes we hear demo tracks from the very first sessions cut in New York in between live dates in the USA, alternate mixes and two complete tracks that never made the final cut.

Absorbing the orchestral strains of Scott Walker's increasingly remote output, co-opting The Band's Music From Big Pink, or The Beatles' White Album, Odessa was a clearly a product of its times, whose sense of sprawling ambition was matched only by its failure to recognise its limitations.

Whilst there's some good writing on it, it's also true that this is spread perilously thinly. Falling somewhat short of the hyperbole that heralds any present-day discussion of the record, like nearly every double album ever released, there's probably a great single album lurking between the filler. --Sid Smith

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Martin A Hogan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Dec. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Yes, this was the Bee Gees 'white' album, only this doubled LP had a red velvet cover and a 'Titanic'-like illustration in the gatefold. Now available on a single CD, it marks the end of the sixties period for the Bee Gees.
The music? This was an important time for the Gibbs' who were maturing (at ages 19 and 21) and already millionaires. The music was conceptual and starting with the title track, it delivers with powerful orchestration and emotional, lyrical simplicity. It is a skewed look at a fabled seafarer lost at sea and emotionally destitute. At least, that's what the project started out to be.
Somewhere during the recordings, egos flared and tempers snapped, so what you ended up with is a collection of half Bee Gees conceptual songs and half individual Gibb contributions. It is still a remarkable recording!
Stand-out cuts are "Marley Purt Drive" that could have been recorded by "The Band" and "Melody Fair", a single in some countries and a well covered track.
Most of the other tracks deal with period issues like, drugs, sex, rock 'n roll, psychodelia and why not? Producer Stigwood unwittingly fueled the tensions by choosing "First Of May" as the A-Side single instead of B-Side "Lamplight", which was just as strong.
Regardless, the final outcome is a conceptual album filled with an orchestrally sweeping moodiness aligned with perfect harmonies and lyrics envied by everyone. This is one of the few albums of the period with orchestral solos with the Gibbs providing the chorus. It is monumental.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By coca-ebola on 25 Oct. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Despite or because of the creative tension between the brothers, this turned out to be, arguably, the one truly essential Bee Gees album and the only one that could convert a sceptic who previously sneered at them, dismissing them as a trivial pop act (I'm speaking from personal experience, of course). Basically it perfects the baroque-pop formula of the previous albums by taking it further out, varying the song-structures and adding more to the arrangements. And needless to say the vocals are exceptional.
The lyrics are still mixtures of the bland and the incomprehensible. And there's the little matter of the "you're only a woman" chorus of 'Melody Fair' - what DID they mean by that, bearing in mind that they've just told her to smarten herself up a bit? But elsewhere the lyrics are notable for being not irritating but actually thought-provoking. The odes to Thomas Edison and to a pet dog (`First Of May') and the Band-influenced tale of an orphanage manager (`Marley Purt Drive') manage to charm, and even born-sceptics will be intrigued to know what `Laugh In Your Face', `Whisper Whisper' (an odd tempo-shifting rocker) and `Black Diamond' are really about.
And the epic title track - the most powerful single song in the Gibb catalogue. Several songs on this album resemble early Genesis, but this one could be a `Trespass' outtake, dense with detail from its startling stereo-panning introduction through the main song body (letters never sent, from a shipwrecked sailor in danger of freezing to death) to its climactic spanish-guitar solo. It's almost worth the price of the album in its own right.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. F. J. Coop on 4 Aug. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having purchased all the previous Bee Gees' Rhino re-issues (with bonus tracks) I was eagerly awaiting this triple CD set....and on the whole it's a great collection, as with all the Series it's superbly remastered and has a wealth of Demos and unreleased tracks...

After Bee Gee's 1st, Idea and Horizontal - Odessa sees the Bee Gees' talent with song writing in the 60's at its creative peak - I would liken their run of 60's albums to the run of albums from The Beatles from an almost identical time period - Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and their creative peak: The Beatles (White Album)...

I mention this because as with the White Album, Odessa can be a little confusing and simplistic on first listen, with only the title track and several well known singles of initial interest....then, over time, the album as a whole grows to be a fully fledged musical classic with real depth and contrast....listen to it late at night with headphones and enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By keith warden on 20 July 2007
Format: Audio CD
well i loved it when it first came out (loved the velvet cover) and found it hasnt lost its charm. Thought at the time that "Lamplight" should have been the A side single release and listening again still think that.
Well wot=rth buying it again just to listen to the Bee Gees singing with decent voices.

keith warden
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Quiverbow TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Jan. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Originally released in February 1969, and criminally ignored when compilers and critics list their `must buy' albums from the decade, this double album foray into `concept' territory is the next instalment in the Brothers Gibb reissue campaign, expanded to cover three CDs. What, a double album on a trio of compact discs? How can that be? As with their first three albums, `Odessa' (it was going to be called 'Masterpeace' or 'The American Opera') includes both stereo and mono versions with the third disc comprising of no less than 20 previously unissued demos, outtakes, and alternate mixes, along with two songs left off the original release and not heard until now. This might be a long review, but I'm sure you'll want to know about all the tracks on this third CD.

`Odessa' has a spoken intro from Barry with a few lyrical changes and is missing the "ba ba black sheep" bit but isn't that different other in the delivery and the length. Missing the orchestra and double tracking, `You'll Never See My Face Again' certainly benefits from what was added later whilst 'Black Diamond' is a piano and cello led early run through without the wordless backing vocals. As for `Marley Purt Drive', only Bee Gees die-hards would notice the minor differences between this alternate mix and the original (it's in the coda). `Barbara Came to Stay' was reworked with a different title and lyrics morphing into `Edison', which gets an outing in an alternate mix, complete with a couple of dreadful edits at the start of Barry's "oh, oh" vocal. The `Melody Fair' demo is taken at a faster pace than the finished article and knowing it was going to be filled with something, the Gibbs simply chant the title for the last minute or so. The second appearance of this song doesn't have the strings.
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