24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2000
If you think you know The Zombies from 'She's Not There' then think again. Original songs from Rod Argent and Chris White, Colin Blunstone's breathless vocals, superb harmonies and tight arrangements make this an album well worth hearing. It's pop music but pop music with class. I loved this album when I was a teenager and my teenage sons, more into rock than pop, like it too. It was 'Time Of The Season' with its empty feel and brilliant organ breaks that first caught my attention but there are no weak tracks and 'Maybe After He's Gone' still sends shivers down my spine even after thirty years.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Until last year all I knew of The Zombies was 'Time of the Season' and 'She's Not There'. After reading the reviews on Amazon I decided to buy the CD in the vain hope that I haven't wasted £12 on rubbish. The version I bought featured 15 bonus tracks (mostly b-sides). Needless to say that I was blown away from the first track to the last (incidentally 'Time of the Season' is probably my least favourite). Why haven't I come across this before? Why weren't they as big as the Kinks? And how can a bunch of unattractive insurance salesmen make such incredibly beautiful music?. Maybe this is why they didn't get the recognition they so richly deserved.
If you are a fan of the mellower side of the Kinks and the genius Elliott Smith I would ignore any bad reviews of this album and buy it today. My only regret is that I didn't discover this band before. Truly essential.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2012
Odessey (sic) and Oracle: The CBS Years 1967-1969 is Repertoire's 2 CD expansion of The Zombies' second and final album, featuring their best-known hit single, "Time of the Season." The package contains the mono and stereo mixes of the album, plus "RIP: The Lost Album," a collection of unused tracks that might have formed a 3rd LP for the Zs had they not split in late '67 and gone in different career directions (e.g. Rod Argent to Argent, Colin Blunstone away from music, etc.). Repertoire has done a fine job remastering these recordings; the notes give a nicely detailed account of the Zs' last months as a functioning unit, good track-by-track information and other minutiae relating to the songs contained within. Prior to buying this and Begin Here, which covers the band's recordings for Decca (1964-67), I had not owned any Zombies material - now am very glad I made these purchases. Their complete recordings are captured in two very neat packages; kudos to Repertoire for their efforts. I highly recommend both.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2003
Why I've only just happened upon this album I do not know. It must be ranked alongside Love's Four Sail & The Flying Burrito Brothers's Gilded Palce Of Sin as one of the most criminally overlooked albums of the last 40 years. Sunshine, Beach boy harmonies knitted to jazz flavoured song structures astride unusual and emotive lyrics. If you love good music,make that GREAT music, buy this album and spread the word, music this good deserves to be heard.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2000
I was a teenager when this was released.Butcher's Tale was a minor hit and then Time of the Season topped the hit parade here in Canada. The whole LP shines with depth and great musicianship. "A Rose For Emily" is delicate and mesmerizing while "Care Of Cell 44" is certainly an unusual setting for a song. This LP ranks right up there with Sgt. Pepper and Beggar's Banquet and has moments that will stagger you. If you love the sixties you'll adore this LP and will never regret the purchase.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2008
After hearing glowing reports, I purchased this album and was rather pleased upon the first few hearings. Quality, catchy Sixties pop. The thing was that after a few more listens the songs began to get right into my mind and emotions, the album opened up and revealed itself to be a far more beautiful, pure and uplifting piece than it first appeared. Deeply indebted to the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" this may be, but for sheer quality of songwriting and production it deserves to be considered as an equal to that album. I can't recommend it highly enough, and no fan of late Sixties pop or psychedelia should be without it. Brilliant.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
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.
Colin Blunstone's vocals were well-suited to the music: a bit husky, quite pleasant and mellow. The music itself was generally based on guitar, gentle drums, pretty piano, and wavering Mellotron, with a bit of accordian coming in in one song. There's a rich interweaving of many instruments, in all sorts of pop music. Some is almost classical in tone, some is uptempo stuff that is perfect for the radio.
The Zombies were in peak form in "Odessey and Oracle," churning out some of the purest pop music ever. As sweet and exquisite as it was in the 1960s.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Judging by other reviews, this is an album that polarises opinion. For those who hate it, the problem is probably their expectation of it as a psychedelic job. I prefer to avoid the term as not everyone has the same idea of what that is. In any case, "Odessey and Oracle" is straightforward British pop dressed up in colourful, atmospheric harmonies, based largely around Rod Argent's various keyboards and Colin Blunstone's breathy vocals. Those who get their kicks solely from acid-fuelled trickery and the avant-garde won't find anything of interest here.
On the other hand, "A Rose For Emily" recalls Paul McCartney's more reserved moments at the piano, e.g. "For No One", while "Beechwood Park" is in the same area as "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" without being as memorable. There are also songs that sound like leftovers from the beat era. I love the melodies and textures right across this album however with the emotional "Hung Up On A Dream" and the U.S. hit "Time Of The Season" personal favourites.
I once owned a compilation of The Zombies' earlier singles and, "She's Not There" apart, thought it third-rate. It's ironic that they did this, the bulk of their best work, when they knew that they'd break up without promoting it.
on 12 July 2015
Looking like a bunch of Geography teachers The Zombies were one of the best groups to emerge during the British Invasion era.Perhaps most famous for their 1964 hit She's Not There they should also be remembered for this classic Pop album.From it's memorable Psychedelic cover this contains such gems as Care Of Cell 44,A Rose For Emily,Beechwood Park and of course Time Of The Season which was a hit Stateside but failed this side of the pond.A wonderful Pop album and if you like this(and you should) check out their sublime box set-Zombie Heaven which pretty much contains everything they did.Their lead singer was Colin Bluntstone who was blessed with one of the best voices in popular music and you should also check out his 1972 solo album Ennismore.
This album is the stuff of which legends are made. Largely ignored, it is now heralded as a classic album of the psychedelic era.
The Zombies are one of the best live bands around - still going decades after its release. Colin Blunstone's voice is as good and unusual as ever and Rod Argent is a stunning keyboard player.
Odessey (note the spelling) and Oracle has some stunning songs - some fine ballads and the whole thing does somehow evoke times gone by. A Rose for Emily and Beechwood Park are beautiful songs. Hung Up On a Dream is also wonderfully evocative. If you haven't heard this album just buy it. You won't be disappointed.