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Odessey and Oracle Original recording remastered, Import, Extra tracks

137 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Import, March 30, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2008 reissue of the '60s Pop-Rockers' final, and finest, album, released to coincide with the album's 40th anniversary. Featuring the worldwide smash hit 'Time of the Season', Odyssey & Oracle contains both the stereo and mono versions of the original album's 11 cuts and five bonus tracks: mono and stereo versions of 'This Will Be Our Year', plus 'A Rose for Emily' (Alternate Version 2), 'Time of the Season'(Alternate Mix) and 'Prison Song' AKA 'Care of Cell 44'(Backing Track), the last three of which are previously unreleased. 27 tracks total. Big Beat.


The Zombies were perhaps the most British-sounding of all British Invasion groups, and yet they never scored a hit record in their native U.K. The band released three great singles over here, including the wonderful "Time of the Season," which concludes this 1968 masterpiece, frequently called Britain's version of Pet Sounds. This 30th anniversary edition presents both the stereo and mono versions (and there are substantial differences) of the melancholic, keyboard-dominated pop that flowed from Rod Argent and bassist Chris White. The Zombies' main songwriters explored "psychedelic" themes from odd angles. Here songs address a letter to a girlfriend in jail ("Care of Cell 44") and war ("Butcher's Tale"). There's even a "flowers-in-their-hair" hippie anthem (the gorgeous "Hung Up on a Dream"). Totally of its time, and, nevertheless, a timeless classic. --Bill Holdship

1. Care Of Cell 44
2. A Rose For Emily
3. Maybe After He's Gone
4. Beechwood Park
5. Brief Candles
6. Hung Up On Dream
7. Changes
8. I Want Her She Wants Me
9. This Will Be Our Year
10. Butcher's Tale
11. Friends Of Mine
12. Time Of The Season
13. Care Of Cell 44
14. A Rose For Emily
15. Maybe After He's Gone
16. Beechwood Park
17. Brief Candles
18. Hung Up On A Dream
19. Changes
20. I Want Her She Wants Me
See all 27 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 30, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import, Extra tracks
  • Label: Big Beat UK
  • ASIN: B000005YZM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,081 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Michael Paulsen on February 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Another astounding late 60's album like Love's "Forever Changes" that always seems to get lost in the maelstrom of the Beatles/Stones/Who/Doors/Byrds oligopoly of musical greatness. You can also lump The Lovin' Spoonful's HUMS and The Mamas & the Papas' IF YOU CAN BELIEVE YOUR EYES AND EARS in this group of lost classics as well. ODESSEY & ORACLE (sic) was The Zombies final album, released in 1969 in the States, a full year after its release in the UK. The ubiquitous classic "Time of the Season" aside, this album easily ranks up there with SGT. PEPPER and the NOTORIOUS BYRD BROTHERS as a landmark psychedelic pop-rock album. Rod Argent's songwriting genius and Colin Blunstone's husky vocals place the Zombies miles from the more bubblegum lightweights like The Turtles or Herman's Hermits. If you haven't heard this album, I guarantee you songs like "Care of Cell 44", "Brief Candles", "Hung up on a Dream", "I Want Her She Wants Me" and "This Will Be Our Year" will be sheer ear candy. This album is incredibly, almost disturbingly, addictive. Sometimes I can't seem to pry it from my CD changer!
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88 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Sean M. Kelly on August 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I know I will face opposition from "Sgt. Pepper" fans on this point, but I have argued for a long time that the 2 most important pop lps of the 60's are the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds," and its most obvious cousin, the Zombies' "Odessey and Oracle."
There are many reasons for my stance on this, but the most important reason is the album itself. Unlike "Pepper," which even Lennon put down in his later years as being uneven, "Odessey and Oracle" is a beautifully constructed lp of majestic beauty that is years ahead of its time. It's somewhat unfair to call it a "psychedelic" lp for the same reasons that Love's "Forever Changes" isn't quite psychedelic. Both lps transcend categorization. For every "Hung Up On a Dream" (arguably Rod Argent's finest 3 minutes- I call it Rod's "Good Vibrations"- listen to the 2 tracks back to back..both 3 minutes...amazing similarities) there is a glorious "Beechwood Park" or "I Want Her She Wants Me."
Chris White (his songs the true beneficiary of the late 60's technological progession and more overtly influenced by psychedelia than Argent) and Rod Argent proved time and again on this lp that they were master songwriters and musicians of great majesty, with White's progression as a songwriter startling. As was true for the band throughout their brief tenure, they were willing to take great chances on their tracks. Their obvious understanding and tasteful, proper use of the mellotron, is the pre-cursor of the 70's Progressive sounds; the use of backwards tape loops makes White's harrowing "Butcher's Tale" all the spookier. And those harmonies! Colin, Rod, and Chris created among the finest 3 part harmonies ever made.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Eugene Bentley on September 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Having monumental hits in 'She's Not There' and 'Tell Her No' in 1965, the Zombies called it quits after four years due to dwindling bank accounts and nonexistent public interest. BUT not before they recorded the remarkable "Odessey And Oracle". First off, I think this album actually wavers between 4-stars and 5-stars. It's not a revolutionary album because the innovations prevalent here were already used on the Beatles' "Sgt Pepper" album and various Beatles singles throughout 1967. And yet, the songwriting and musicianship are first class.That leaves "Odessey And Oracle" to being reactionary--but reactionary in the best sense of the word. One could hardly blame the Zombies for that. After escaping artistic imprisonment in Manila, Rod, Chris, Colin, Paul and Hugh must have been in awe of the magical sounds coming over the airwaves and pressed in the grooves of vinyl when they got back to the Western world. "Odessey And Oracle" reflects this awe in that you hear influences of different artists. For instance, one could hear a bit of the Beatles (especially since the album was recorded directly after "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band")in 'Care Of Cell 44' and 'A Rose For Emily', a bit of Procol Harum in 'Beechwood Park', and a little bit of the Doors in 'Time Of the Season'. That said, NEVER does the Zombies' own identity get lost in being copycats. The songs all retain those ethereal and otherworldly qualities that make the Zombies' trademark sound. It was a new and improved Zombies. And yet, "Odessey And Oracle" was recorded under what many would consider dire circumstances.Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
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.

The extended anniversary edition has quite a few perks -- the liner notes have a detailed look at the band during the making of "Odessey and Oracle" and afterwards. There is also each song in both mono and stereo, although on computer I can't tell the difference.

Additionally, there are some previously unreleased tracks: an alternate version of "A Rose For Emily," which isn't too different from the original. Also a slightly different mix of "Time of the Season," which is a bit more uptempo, and an instrumental version of "Prison Song aka Care of Cell 44."

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,.
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