They might have split up in 1967, but this week I have been listening to ‘Odessey and Oracle‘ by The Zombies quite a lot. (Yes I know the title is mis-spelled, apparently a mistake by their art department).
If you like your pop psychedelic or baroque, this might well be your bag. Or if you like proper tunes like granny used to make,.
This is one of the late sixties ‘lost’ albums, like The Kinks’ ‘Village Green Preservation Society‘, that were almost lost, but endured because they are so damn good. This is not quite as good as the Kinks album, but there are some incredible songs on here. Some of the arrangements sound a little dated, but not like some of the 80’s stuff does now, and it’s easy to forget about how ‘now’ things sound if you really get into really listening to the music.
The songs have the (muso alert!) slightly different sound that songs have when they are written by the keyboard player – they seem to approach chord changes differently, and are not so scared of key changes.
They also sound very English – listen to Colin Blunstone sing ‘Laughter’ as ‘lah- fter’ – and I can’t really imagine an American band sounding quite like this (although you can tell where Elliott Smith got a lot of his melodic ideas from) but then US band wouldn’t have still been using 4-track recorders in 1967. (This was recorded at Abbey Road, probably using the same gear The Beatles used).
The track everyone knows from this is ‘Time of the season‘, although there a number of covers of ‘This will be our year‘ (The version by Nobody is worth checking out, as is his band Blank Blue).
This album is worth checking out, especially if you like Mellotrons.