The Zombies’ Odessey & Oracle

Odessey Oracle Zombies


I don’t know how I managed this, but somehow it took me until a couple of weeks ago to hear Odessey & Oracle.
In the very early 1970s, the NME published a wallchart of the Hundred Greatest Albums ever and I think this is possibly the last of these that I’ve heard; and boy, have I listened to some crap on the back of that, must try and find it on the Internet somewhere.
Two people gave me a copy of the Anniversary Edition of O&A for my birthday, one of whom was kind enough to take it back and exchange it for two Taylor Swift albums, a different kind of greatness…but listening to O&A was a revelation and the best thing has been, I’ve listened to it at least once a day over the last few weeks. That’s actually listening, as opposed to waking up in the night blissed out to memories of these wonderful songs and productions…
What a record. Melodic, harmonic, but weird and edgy…for example, “Care of Cell 44′ – the singer is waiting on someone coming out of prison to rejoin him, whereupon they will “kiss and make up and it will be so nice.’ Wow. What did she/he do to the singer that caused them to be imprisoned? “A Rose for Emily” – poor Emily does not get a rose, not even one for her grave. And that’s just the first two tracks…
Donald Fagen must have been a fan of the organ solos on “Time of the Season” before he did it again, “Hung Up on a Dream” foreshadows Nick Drake but better…The Left Banke and loads of others must have listened to this album as much as I am.
I realise I am probably the second last person on the planet who hasn’t revered this record, but I need to go now and listen again, I am itchy under the skin and jonesing.

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