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The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle (1968)

July 6, 2018

[Album 607/1001]

Sunday, July 1st, 2018 @ 1 p.m. – where were you?

If you live in Ontario, the answer is likely ‘somewhere with air conditioning,’ as it was a ridiculously hot Canada Day weekend this year!

I was in the basement, attempting to stay semi-cool, when 2 significant events happened almost simultaneously:

1. Through LeBrain’s facebook page, I learned that the Leafs had just signed John Tavares. Instantly, the Leafs became a Stanley Cup Favourite.

2. I heard the first few notes of Care of Cell 44. Instantly, I had the feeling I was listening to a new Favourite.

Better yet, after hearing the rest of Odessey and Oracle, I realized that this is a serious contender for my Favourite new-to-me album of the 1001 list.

I haven’t been this excited about an album in a while!

The When I’m 64-esque bassline on Care of Cell 44.Odessey_and_Oracle

The lovely piano-driven A Rose for Emily.

The big vocal harmonies on Maybe After He’s Gone.

The spooky guitar riff on Beechwood Park, also duly added to my world musical travel itinerary.

The dual-lead singer format on Brief Candles…and that’s not even the end of side one!

I’m likely 10 spins in (it’s pretty much been on repeat since Canada Day :D) and my enthusiasm for the record is only growing.

I may be 50 years late to The Zombies party but I’m thrilled to have finally arrived!


Verbalize the Positive 

Good job Toronto on signing Tavares, he’s fun to watch!

From → 1960s

  1. I love this one too – they peaked as high as heavyweights like Beatles and Beach Boys but only kept it up for one album.

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    This one’s a definite classic.

  3. That’s great! A brilliant album with, as you have discovered, enough creativity to reward repeated spins. Nice one!

    • Bruce, I often find with the 1001 list that most albums fit somewhere between “I see why people like this” and “yeah, it’s pretty good”
      So when something as wonderful as Odessey comes along, it’s marvelous!

  4. I’m a major fan of this one too. And as an added bonus, my spouse can’t get enough of it either (not something especially common ’round these parts). ‘Care of Cell 44’ and ‘A Rose for Emily’ are highlights among (as you say) an album full of highlights. We had the pleasure of seeing Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent (and band) during their Zombies tour in 2014 and they were fantastic. Colin in particular still sings like an angel. The 1001 list did you right this time for sure!

    • That’s great to hear Colin’s voice is still solid 5 decades later – and it’s even better when our wonderful spouses enjoy these records as much as we do!

  5. A great album, this one. I was late to The Zombies, too… it was the Big Blue Missile version of Time Of The Season. What a song. I can’t understand why they aren’t up there with The Beatles and The Kinks or what have you. Maybe cause they’d already wrapped up by the time this was released. Maybe.

    • A time of the season cover was my intro too – though I didn’t realize that The Nylons’ version I knew from decades ago was originally a Zombies tune!
      I agree that they belong in the same conversation as those other artists – I’ll be interested to see if their debut is anywhere near as strong as this sophmore effort!

  6. Glad that your trawl through the 1001 is still uncovering new favourites! I know of this one but I’ve never heard it.

  7. Intriguing. I have never heard a note of this.

  8. Just heard an awesome Zombies tune last night. Could not tell you the name…

  9. We saw Tavares play here in OS when he was with the Generals. You knew, even then, that he was something special, different. He just stood out. Hope the Leafs don’t muck this one up.

    Zombies! Yes! I haven’t heard the whole album proper but now I must if it ‘infected’ you in this way!

    • I think the Leafs will be solid next year – he’s one of those special players like Crosby that it doesn’t matter who the linemates are, he’s going to make them better.
      And it doesn’t get much better than this Zombies album!

  10. Will be seeing them live in a few weeks, opening for Uriah Heep!

    Note that “Odessey” is a mis-spelling, but the cover was already done so it couldn’t be corrected! Sort of like (Untitled) by the Byrds or No Answer by ELO. 🙂

    By the way, it took me years to notice the pun in “Electric Light Orchestra”. I did notice the pun in Zappa’s Sheik Yerbouti” a bit more quickly.

    Oh, yes, will be seeing ELO in September.

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