In honor of the 50th anniversary of their legendary 1968 album "Odessey And Oracle" the Zombies remaining for living original members undertook tours to perform the album in it's original running order. In conjunction with the tour they have published "The Odessey (sic)", which at a first glance appears to be about the famous 1968 album, but in reality contains a bit more. Read on.........
The Zombies famous second album has been well documented in other places so I'm not here to give you the history, the book does that in the words of the men who made the album (interspersed with some very tasty, previously unseen period photos, especially of them recording it in the EMI's Abbey Road studio). What most people have thus failed to notice whenever writing about the album it is that it gives a small glimpse of the band finally moving away from the tried and true (and almost hackneyed) "boy wants girl/boy loses girl" formula (in fact three or four tracks on the album still mine that vein). The Zombies began writing material that was part social observation ("A Rose For Emily") and part story telling , like a girl being released from prison in "Care Of Cell 44" or the horrors of World War I "Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)". It also marks the introduction of the Mellotron augmenting Rod Argent's usual electric piano/organ which finally takes the band into "contemporary" fields by breaking with their jazzy/mild r&b/beat roots (or route?) melded with the three part harmonies of Messers Blunstone, Argent and White on "Changes", "Hung Up On A Dream" and "Brief Candles" and giving a taste of what might have been had the band not chosen to chuck it in as the album was unleashed on the sadly ambivalent record buying public. This is mostly missed in the book but the gaps are filled in with rather in depth recollections of all of the album tracks inspiration and their recording/production with doodlings and hand written lyrics for each track.
|Hard at work at Abbey Road, 1967|
The book is largely in the words of the four remaining living members (Colin Blunstone, Rod Argent, Chris White and High Grundy) and was compiled by Scott B. Bomar and Cindy Da Silva with blurbs about the band from various other musicians (a third of whom I've never heard of). The most fitting is the intro by the late Tom Petty who channels the youthful enthusiasm of hearing them for the first time in 1964 into a perfect tribute.
The book is available here from Amazon.com