Overlooked upon its original release, but now regarded as one of the finest English pop/psych albums of the era, Odessey & Oracle by The Zombies is a true cult classic. Earlier this year, it celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 2018 it’s still a great listen from a time when record buyers were spoilt for choice with incredible music. It has aged perfectly.
Recorded at Abbey Road and Olympic Studios between June and November 1967, by the time of the April ’68 release of Odessey & Oracle, with two singles – Care Of Cell 44 and Friends Of Mine – under-performing, The Zombies had effectively split up. This obviously hampered the LP’s commercial breakthrough and sales were low as a result.
Although the stereo edition of the album was subsequently re-pressed by CBS in the wake of the US success of the iconic Time Of The Season single, there was only one initial pressing of the mono version. While both issues have become collectors’ items over the years, the mono version remains a much-desired record among die-hard
enthusiasts, fetching as much as £1,500 for archive-condition copies.
As the years went on, Odessey & Oracle would increasingly garner the respect it deserves. It’s appeared on numerous ‘best of’ lists, with its tracks being covered by everyone from Foo Fighters to Elliott Smith, and sampled by ScHoolboy Q and Necro. If you ever needed a definition of a timeless record, this is it.