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Odessey and Oracle: 40th Anniversary Edition Double CD
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This great collection of beautifully crafted songs has long been hailed as one of the best albums to emerge from the Sixties. And yet `Odessey & Oracle' was overlooked by both the media and public when it was first released back in 1967. It may have been because The Zombies had passed their peak in terms of chart success and were being overshadowed by the Beach Boys and The Beatles. Nevertheless their album - with its swirly psychedelic cover and misspelt title (it should have been `Odyssey'!) - began to attract more attention. Eventually, one of its stand-out songs, the soulful and funky `Time Of The Season' got to Number 3 in the US Billboard singles chart. Yet that was in 1969, two years after the group had split up, frustrated at their lack of recognition. The strident piano playing of Rod Argent and of Colin Blunstone's richly melodic vocals imbue these confident lively pop songs with a special quality that makes this special 40th anniversary CD package all the more satisfying and attractive. The 2 CD set, which includes both Mono and Stereo versions of the classic album, plus 6 bonus tracks, includes a detailed booklet, which includes an interview with leader Rod Argent, and reminiscences of 'Swinging London' and the live music scene in the golden era of 60s psychedelia.
· Special Slip-case edition.
· Includes 2 CDs plus illustrated full colour booklet.
· Complete Stereo & Mono versions of the classic album, plus 6 bonus singles tracks.
· Booklet with authoritative and extensive liner notes, including an exclusive interview with Rod Argent, leader of The Zombies - with reminiscences of the golden 60s era of the album and the group in its heyday - by respected author and journalist Chris Welch.
· Expertly remastered - superb sound.
Ask any scholar of mid-to-late '60s British pop to list the three top releases from the Summer Of Love: They'll undoubtedly give you Sgt Pepper and argue the toss between, say, Ogden's Nut Gone Flake and Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. But nine out of ten will also include the Zombies' Odessey And Oracle. To this day it remains a word-of mouth obscurity. But by those who know it's held in such regard that the remaining living members of the band are to perform it in its entirety this year, on the fortieth anniversary of its release.
To most, the Zombies can be summed-up by the two hits that book-ended their brief career. The 1964 hit, She's Not there, and the blue-eyed soul shuffle of Time Of The Season (which closes this album): both feature the exquisite breathy vocals of Colin Blunstone and serpentine keyboards of Rod Argent. Like many bands of their generation, the St Albans school chums started life as purveyors of r 'n' b and soul standards. Yet following one album, a film soundtrack and a busy touring schedule, by 1967 they were really coming into their own.
Odessey! was filled with songs that sidestepped normal subject matter - the return of incarcerated loved-ones (Care Of Cell 44); a local girls' school (Beechwood Park), the horrors of war (The Butcher's Tale); or just mates of the band who were in couples (Friends Of Mine). And on A Rose For Emily they proved to be every bit the equal of the Beatles in weaving tales of lost hope, subtly tinged with nostalgia. Partly recorded in Abbey Road (with all the flowery gadgets that were mandatory for those who worked there at the time), this is mellotron-assisted baroque pop of the highest order.
The irony was that, following the success of Time Of The Season in the US, the band were abandoned by their label and apathy tore them apart before the album ever saw the light of day. A stereo mix was funded solely by Blunstone and Argent's royalties from the single. Despite the critical praise it was too late, and the various members either retired or (again, in the case of Bluntstone and Argent) went on to other musical careers.
And before you write in, the album's title was mis-spelled by the designer of the cover (a friend of guitarist, Chris White's).
Despite the plethora of 'what-ifs' that surround this gem, it remains an album that should grace any record collection. Essential! --Chris Jones
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Top customer reviews
This reissue was a nice opportunity to get the album back in my collection. And it is nice to get the RIP album thrown in as well.
Odessey And Oracle is still an impressive album. I'm not into comparing mono and stereo mixes so I think I'll listen to both versions just to get an impression. Sometimes a mono album has a bit more 'punch'.
It's nice to have it back.
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Most recent customer reviews
and one of the very best from the sixties,makes me proud to be british
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