Odessey and Oracle – The Zombies (1968)

Album no. 131/1001

Yes, you read that correctly – that is an intentional misspelling and is the actual name of the album. Well done guys.

Aside from not being able to spell, The Zombies were a British group who released this, their second album, to little fanfare before falling apart – then suddenly becoming really successful with their single ‘Time of the Season’. Timing is clearly not their strong suit.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: I don’t know what these guys are about. The Zombies is a great name.

NK: I have heard of the Zombies! However I can’t name a single song they’ve ever done.

Standout track

CL: I can understand why ‘Time of the Season’ became such a smash hit – it’s great. It’s got everything good about the 60s – tight harmonies, just the right amount of sassy organ and a catchy melody.

NK: Goddamn the opener reminds me of another song but I CANNOT think what. This is going to drive me insane. Anyway, I think there are two really good songs on this; ‘Care of Cell 44’ and ‘Maybe After He’s Gone’. The rest is mainly fine with a few odd ones thrown in. ‘Changes’ veers wildly between hymn style harmonies and a spooky solo vocal over an organ with bongos in the background. Where did that come from? And then ‘Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914)’ sounds like an outtake from a Decemberists album. Not sure how a period piece got onto this.

CL: I do agree with you though, ‘Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914) is a really odd addition. In all fairness, this doesn’t sound like a particularly cohesive album to me – just a bunch of songs they cobbled together.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: After you’ve read this AMAZING story of how, in 1969 they suddenly got really famous in America but they were pretty much already broken up, so a record executive in the US decided to just grab a bunch of musicians and promote them as being ‘The Zombies’. You can thank me later.

NK: ‘Maybe after he’s gone’ is a great breakup song, hitting just the right notes of despair and optimism. “Maybe after he’s gone, she’ll come back, love me again”. Spoiler alert mate: SHE WON’T.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: I don’t know. I don’t think they’re doing anything that hasn’t already been done. There’s influences from a bunch of different people but I wouldn’t say they’re doing anything unique.

NK: I am not sure either! This sounds six years too late. The Beatles and the Beach Boys have already done their 60s pop albums and moved on, but the poor old Zombies are still doing it. Not that I blame them, some of this is pretty good. It’s just that 1968 seems already to have passed this by. There are still some really good melodies though.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: Nah. ‘Time of the Season’ absolutely. But the rest probably not.

NK: Maybe? I didn’t mind it, but I may not find time.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Odessey & Oracle on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s