The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Odessey And Oracle

If you’re a fan of 60’s music, you’ll know the oh-so-familiar roll-call of the classic albums of the psychedelic era; The Beatle’s Revolver, The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, Pink Floyd’s Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Nothing by The Rolling Stones or The Who. Oh, and there’s Love’s Forever Changes, but that only has one decent song on it. Plus, at a push, The Pretty Things’ SF Sorrow, The Small Faces’ Ogden's Nutgone Flake and the Moody Blues’ Days of Future Past.

But there’s another one – an album as good as Revolver and Pet Sounds. An album which solves that perennial problem – you want to listen to an album like Revolver but you’re a little bit tired of listening to Revolver itself.

Well, you should seek out Odessey And Oracle by The Zombies, the classic psychedelic album that time forgot. It didn’t do very well at the time and has still never received the claim it deserves. Because, despite the spelling mistake in the title, it is seriously pukka.

It opens with Care Of Cell 44, a song which would’ve been a hit had it not been a love song about a girl writing to her convict boyfriend. A Rose For Emily has a beautiful, For No One-ish melody. Changes is I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Syd. This Will Be Our Year should be the most famous song of the 60’s – simply, catchy and touching. And there’s Time Of The Season, which was almost a hit thanks to having percussion which sounds like a table-tennis tournament. Plus seven other great pop songs. The only dud – the obligatory crap track that’s found on every classic album – is the Butcher’s Tale; I’m guessing, what with it being the 50th anniversary, The Great War was very zietgeisty around then.

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