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Odessey and Oracle (Mono) [VINYL]


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Music

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Photos

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Biography

Biography by Richie Unterberger

Aside from the Beatles and perhaps the Beach Boys, no mid-'60s rock group wrote melodies as gorgeous as those of the Zombies. Dominated by Colin Blunstone's breathy vocals, choral backup harmonies, and Rod Argent's shining jazz- and classical-influenced organ and piano, the band sounded utterly unique for their era. Indeed, their material -- ... Read more in Amazon's The Zombies Store

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Product details

  • Vinyl (24 Mar 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Repertoire Records
  • ASIN: B00E9AWCH6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,754 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Care Of Cell 44
2. A 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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By adaml@callnetuk.com on 30 May 2001
Format: Audio CD
The Zombies were not your standard, down-and-dirty, working-class rockers. They were a quintet of polite English schoolboys from the provincial town of St Albans, Hertfordshire, who turned professional aged 19.
Their crowning glory, recorded at the end of 1967, was Odessey and Oracle, probably the closest we have to a British 'Pet Sounds', the precision 3-part harmonies of lead singer Colin Blundstone and songwriters Rod Argent and Chris White forming the album's distinctive sound. Every track is an unforgetable gem - from the tweeness of 'Friends of Mine' to White's mournful vocal on the haunting 'Butchers Tale'; from the pure pop balladry of 'This Will Be Our Year' to the psychedlic period-piece 'Beechwood Park'. And, of course, we mustn't forget the monster hit single 'Time Of The Season'. No wall of sound or wailing guitar solos here - just crafted pop at its very very best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Admiral Bob on 17 Jan 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of those forgotten classics of the sixties, this was first released in 1968. Prior to buying it I knew of the album from frequent references as a "classic" but was only familiar with the first and last tracks (Care Of Cell 44 and Time Of The Season). It's a good album but very much of its time, reminiscent of contemporaries like the Moody Blues and the Small Faces' Ogden's Nut Gone Flake. Overall I found it well worth owning, but probably an album I'll be dusting off every year or two rather than playing through every couple of months.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Jun 2007
Format: Audio CD
Many bands (the Beatles, the Beach Boys) at least dabbled in psychedelica, but the Zombies are often overlooked. For the 30th anniversary of "Odessey and Oracles," the Zombies' best album was rereleased in a new form, proving that their enchanting psychedelic pop has aged exceeedingly well.

The Zombies were unusually good at taking perky, sweet, lush music and wrapping it around a more serious song, such as the upbeat "Care of Cell 44" (guy writing to his jailed girlfriend), or the lovely "A Rose For Emily," a poignant little song that tells of a lonely woman doomed to stay lonely. "And as the years go by/she will grow old and die/The roses in her garden fade away/Not one left for her grave..."

But the Zombies aren't all sadness wrapped in happy music. There are perky songs about being happy in love, losing a love and hoping she'll return, and reminiscing about "golden days and golden summer nights." The album ends on a reassuring note with the laid-back "Time of the Season," which sounds like the ultimate hippie anthem.

I have no memories of the 60s, since I was only born in the eighties. But "Odessey and Oracle" gives a rosy glow to that era,. Psychedelic flair minus the hazy, and every song is a gem. Though "Time of the Season" was the sleeper hit from the album, it's not the best or catchiest song on here -- it's just one of many excellent ones.

Rod Argent was definitely an outstanding songwriter. He was able to create atmospheric and beautiful songs with very simple writing ("Brief candles in her mind/bright and tiny gems of memory"). Perhaps his finest moment here is "I knew he when summer was her crown/and autumn sad/how brown her eyes," as a kick-off to a colorful look at a woman compared to all the seasons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Morten Vindberg on 24 Jun 2006
Format: Audio CD
The English 1960's band the Zombies seemed to have all what it took to be a success. Two unsually gifted songwiters in Rod Argent and Chris White and two outstanding singers, Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent (again). What they may have lacked was a little more "edge" to balance their melodic music and "nice school-boys" image.

They actually did have early success with their 1964 single "She's Not There". But in spite of several strong singles were recorded and released during 1965-66, they somehow were not able to follow-up their early success.

So in early 1967 the band had not had a hit-record for more than two years, and it seemed that their time was over. They decided to record a final "real" album before they'd split up. The result was the highly acclaimed "Odessey and Oracle" which they recorded during the second half of 1967.

Of course they had hoped that one of the two first singles taken from these recordings "Friends of Mine" and "Care of Cell 44" would bring them back into the charts. And since this did not happen they assumed their time was over, so they disbanded before the album was actually released in April 1968.

Another single was chosen to promote the album, and the succeeding big success of "Time of the Season" in America came as a complete surprise. The album itself also reached the lower parts of the charts in the States.

Their music has proving its viability over the years, and this album contains some of their finest moments, with great tunes from both Argent and White.

After their unexpected 1968 "comeback" effort were made to secure a Zombies re-union. But Rod Argent and Chris White were already deeply involved in gathering a new band, which eventually would become "Argent".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. J. Armitage on 15 April 2009
Format: Audio CD
I can't enthuse about this enough since buying it last month! Odyssey and Oracle is a quite literally a revelation and worthy of all the british Pet Sounds hype! I can see why Paul Weller rates it so highly - sort of psychedelic folk rock but so catchy and poppy and not a bad track in twelve! Blunstone's plangent vocals and Argent's swirling organ and White's bounding bass the whole thing's a summer joy tinged with autumnal melancholy. A rose for Emily is as good as Eleanor Rigby and as moving, Beechwood park and Brief candles are incredible hymns to memory and loss and Time of the Season as a vintage slice of sixties psychedelia. These guys are up there with The Beatles and The Beach Boys let alone The Kinks and Small Faces who never made an album as good as this! I've run out of hyperbole for this wonderful life enhancing record and they came from the Ancient Roman hub of Britain St Albans! Buy this expanded edition ( unbelievably the 16 extra tracks are good too! ) and go and see 'em at Hammersmith at the end of the month play it live for the last time. Then you'll be playing it for the rest of your life - I know I will.
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