The Zombies - 'Odessey & Oracle' (1968)

Discussion in 'Music' started by Pressed_Rat, May 9, 2004.

  1. Pressed_Rat

    Pressed_Rat Do you even lift, bruh?


    I have been becoming a bit tired of what I've been listening to as of lately, so today I decided to change things up a bit. I looked through my records and decided to put on something that I haven't listened to in years. So I came across the Zombies' 1968 album Odessey and Oracle. When I first heard this album - many years ago - I didn't care for it all that much. It was a bit too fluffy for my liking - too dated.

    So it's been about five years or so since I've given this album a thorough listen. When I listened to it tonight, it didn't sound much less dated from the first time I listened to it. But what I had failed to realize years ago was how incredibly melodic this album is. I would say that of all the pop music of the late 60's, the Zombies and the Beatles were at the top, melodically speaking.

    The material on this album is very strong for the most part, though it does sound a bit hippy-dippy at times. It's easily some of the best, most well-crafted pop music of the late 60's (and probably of all-time). And anyone who likes melodic psychedelic-pop from the 60's the should definitely check this album out.

    Tracks like 'Beechwood Park,' Hung Up on a Dream,' 'I Want Her, She Wants Me,' and the 1969 hit 'Time of the Season,' are particularly strong pieces of music - some featuring breathtaking mellotron passages and vocal harmonies. The production is also spectacular.

    Overall, the album is a masterpiece of its time-period and genre.
  2. sassure

    sassure Member

    Yes, the Zombies' music was quite melodic. Rod Argent brought some classical keyboard knowledge to the table, so he was able to create tunes that went far beyond what other bands were cranking out at the time.

    It's sad, though, that the band in its prime was dropped by Decca because it wasn't charting well enough in the band broke up before this excellent album was released.

    One interesting note: if you check out the Rod Argent Website, you will read the following:
    "Out of the Shadows is the acclaimed CD from Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent - the first time Colin has sung a collection of Rod's songs since Odessey & Oracle in 1968."
  3. Penny

    Penny Supermoderaginaire

    Oh, I really love that album... I discovered it with Nick a year and half ago, but I had always wanted to get it.

    It really is a masterpiece, the melodies are incredibly beautiful and I'd say that it could put almost on the same level as some of the Beatles' best work.
  4. wiufcaoltp

    wiufcaoltp Welcome To The Interzone

    Yes, this is a great album. I would say it's the most melodic pop album of 68, in the sense of true pop. The White Album is hardly a pop album, as far as I'm concerned.

    The only other pop album from the year that truly comes close in terms of great melodies is The Village Green Preservation.

    I was listening to this album all the time the winter before last (The Zombies one, that is). And Matt, while I agree that The Zombies and Beatles would be on top in terms of melodies in the late 60's, I would have to put the Moody Blues up there too.
  5. Penny

    Penny Supermoderaginaire

    I agree with you about The Village Green Preservation Society, it's one of the best pop albums of all time. In my top 3 favorites of the 60's, where I would be that one first, then Pet Sounds and then Odessey And Oracle.

    I also agree on the Moody Blues being on top in terms of melodies in the lates 60's.
  6. misterrain

    misterrain Banned

    I love this album. Obviously, it's influenced heavily by pre-Sgt. Pepper Beatles (music/lyrics) and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (vocals).

    I'd say it's a lot like what would have happened if the Beatles had attempted to mimic Pet Sounds instead of doing Sgt. Pepper-- songs like 'Hung Up On A Dream' and 'Care of Cell 44' are very much like the Beatles' Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane/Day In The Life material... the stuff that they were doing just before Paul's whole Sgt. Pepper concept materialized.

    O+O, along with Village Green Preservation Society (to some extent), were probably the most successful attempts at a British Pet Sounds. They have similar melancholy, yearning, and 'spirituality'. Each have extremely personalized sonic motifs as well... and unlike Sgt. Pepper's, these motifs serve a deeply personal spiritual state instead of a flimsy 'concept'... much like what singles like Strawberry Fields originally promised.

    I'm really glad someone brought this up.
  7. This is one of the unluckiest band on earth ...the "polite" Zombies(what a paradox...this really dont seems to be the soundtracks of a Dario Argento movie)...unlucky? why? There s the Zombies story:

    ...This is the record company's fault who after their first album (realesed in jan.65 and who contain 2 world wide hits) decide to let them release since 1965 only singles more album for the Blunstone gang...and when i hear their singles from 66 and 67 ...that makes me want to break the balls of the president of the record seems that even zombies can t make grow his fear...this is probably a surhuman director...
    'cause of this guy one and even probably 2 Zombies lp's were lost forever in Blunstone & Argent Heads... uhmmm it's time for rage (ok guys were this director's livin' right now?).

    It s time to give some space to flowers in a beautiful garden were gentle people are eatin sunshines like s time to an odissey in the perfect pop world and in noble terms...
    the Zombies like the beatles from 67 (and Abbey Road) with the sadly forgotten magic pop trilogy of the Hollies (3 album in on year :from autumn 66 to autumn 67)...these are the records who define pop...the real few records who must be played in vinyl... in a french chateau (castle) with english Victorian people wearin ' from strange to grotesque disguise.....mmmmhh but who still with their english flair and very's a kind of strange "tableau"(picture) is n't it?
    the oddissey of the Zombies is the definition of this(good) pop imginary world...
    For those people in the chateau the trip start a bit badly with the sound of "Care of Cell 44" vision of prisonneers ...faar away from the french libertines a few century ago..."Care of Cell 44" is pure broken freedom...but those sad words sing by Blunstone with his romantic voice and poetic lyrics make this x-perience as rich as my inner soul is (god only knows)... the prison barrier disappear with "Rose for Emily" of our disguised people start to play the romantic and make a Victorian approach (delicate approach) and offer to "ses belles dames" the most beautiful rose...and the night comin' "brief candles" are clearin our minds 4 just a moment to make a statement nearly in the middle of the album...hummmm im a bit tired of this Victorian trip...zzzzzzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppppp....waaaaaa allright i came back in the 21 st century...seriously "Hung upon a dream" & "Changes" are ace ....Argent is specially great

    (I can wait to end this stomach is screamin more and more louder...)

    This album is in possession of every romantic lads out there in this world if u dont have it and u want to join the romantic run run to buy it

    ok i get back to the French chateau s time for the buffet sessions miam sllluuuuurrrppp

    bye and don't forget this is one of the 10 masterworks of 1968
  8. Sodastream

    Sodastream Member

  9. Lucifer Sam

    Lucifer Sam Vegetable Man

    I just listened to Odessey & Oracle last night; it's beautiful. I especially enjoy "Care of Cell 44" and "Beechwood Park."
  10. i tried really hard to like that album. but i just find it very boring.

    not as good as other 67 psych albums.
  11. Skelter

    Skelter Helter

    i love this album. it gets better with each listen.
  12. hiddendoor

    hiddendoor Member

    Odessey and Oracle is probably my favourite pop album of the 60's. Recorded immediately after and in the same studio as Sgt Pepper. Slightly off topic but in Spring 1967 when the Beatles were recording Sgt Pepper, members of The Pretty Things, in the process of recording SF Sorrow were sneaking in from the next studio to swap tips on sitar with George Harrison, and Pink Floyd were upstairs recording Piper At The Gates of Dawn. What a fuckin' great time and place for music I'd say ... to have been a fly on the wall
  13. Lucifer Sam

    Lucifer Sam Vegetable Man

    As I recall, didn't the Zombies ask that the recording equipment be left exactly the way that the Beatles left it?
  14. hiddendoor

    hiddendoor Member

    yeah much to the dismay of the Abbey Road staff engineers apparently, and it's testament to the genius of the band given that it was a self-produced album (Rod Argent and Chris White)

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