Odessey and Oracle is the second studio album by English rock band the Zombies. It was originally released in the UK in April 1968 by CBS Records. The album was recorded primarily between June and August 1967. The sessions took place at Abbey Road Studios and Olympic Studios in London. The Zombies, having been dropped from Decca Records, financed these sessions independently. After signing with CBS, two singles and later the album itself were released to critical and commercial indifference, and the band quietly dissolved. A third single from the album, "Time of the Season", became a surprise hit in the United States in early 1969 after CBS staff producer Al Kooper recommended it be released on Date Records. The album gradually achieved critical praise and a cult following, and has since become one of the most acclaimed albums of the 1960s. It was ranked 100th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. When Rolling Stone revised their list in 2020, the album ranked 243rd.Wikipedia
One of the best 60s psych rock albums of all time
Despite the fact that I grew up listening to classic rock, I never listened to this album until about 5 years ago. I instantly fell in love with it. It's a shame that it was "received indifferently" on its release, and the Zombies didn't really do much after. They could have been one of the all-time greats for sure. But at least we have this classic. 5 stars.
Baroque pop perfection. The Zombies are criminally underrated!
Stop me if you've heard this one before: a british rock band recorded an album at Abbey Road in the 60s. No, not that british band. This one recorded their album two years before that band. It's kinda crazy how much this sounds like The Beatles, honestly. It makes me wonder what else was going on in the British music scene at the time. Whatever the case, this was a very enjoyable album. Everything I love about The Beatles is on display here. The songwriting isn't quite as good (unsurprisingly) but the vocals are better and the harmonies are all on point. I think the most interesting thing about this is how clearly one can hear the thumbprint of the studio itself. The recording is immaculate and the production is just SO good. It sounds like an Abbey Road joint. Almost gave this a 4 but the last track is Time of the Season which is just a monster of a single. Took it to a 5 easily.
Honestly this album is amazing. It was received indifferently when it was released, but has since become a cult favorite. I feel like there isn't a bad song on the album... its really, really good.
I love this album, Care of Cell 44 probably ranks among my favorite songs. Great from front to back!
College era cult favorite among friends. A thing of beauty. Up there with Pet Sounds. I consider this a perfect album.
Two thoughts before I even listened to this: 1) Since the 1001 App has hit us with so much Psychedelic, I get noxious when we are sent an album with a release date in the late 60s. 2) The choice of the band's name might not be the worst band name ever but second only to The Electric Prunes. Given the above, this album had to start the race 10 meters behind the starting line. The keyboards figure prominently. I don't think the organ works particularly well on songs like Butcher's Tale but the piano playing on some of the songs (e.g. Rise for Emily, This Will be our Year, et al.) makes some lovely ballads that are similar to what Bowie did a year or two later with Life on Mars. No accusations but, come to think of it, Zombies have a song named "Changes" and two years later Bowie releases a hit w the same name. Still no accusations. Now if his 1969 hit was called "Space Odeyssey" (sic), Bowie would need to do better than say that he went to the same grammar school that Argent and White went to. lol I find some of the songs tried to create too big of a sound. Care of Cell 44 is a fabulous song. It starts with vocals and keyboards but more sound keeps being added. First some very talented bass as well as drums which work well. They should have stopped there but it sounds like an orchestra is then added in the background. I expect this was Mellotron since that instrument was the bright new shiny object that everyone wanted to play around with at that time. Rather than helping the overall sound, it makes it cheesy. A lot of songs use harmonies extensively. The Zombies' harmonies are humble rather than being pretentious pursuits of perfection like CSNY's and the Beach Boys'. They end up wearing on me eventually but around half the time they are enjoyable the same way Queen's harmonies are. I didn’t remember that the song Time of the Season had the words "Who's your Daddy". The flavour of the song would have changed if it were released today. Given this line I figured it must be the sampling gift that keeps on giving to hoards of MCs. I couldn’t resist utilizing Google and the first hit from my search was Necro “The Sexorcist” I can’t make this stuff up. Check it out but probably not when there is anyone around who is too young, too old or too white. I have an unusual rating dilemma. I want to give a 4 for how the songs are written but a 3 for how they’re performed. If you don’t believe the songs are better written than they are performed you should track down Elliot Smith’s version of Care of Cell 44. wtf I’ll round up this time. Good news: While I'm not sure I'll smile, I’ll probably not grunt when the 1001 App sends us more hippy shit
Expected so much more from the band that gave us 'She's not There' and 'Time of the Season' - it's a listenable album but very forgettable
Happy, nice strings and vocal. Very good!
One of the best albums, musically, lyrically, and vocally, I've ever heard
Happy, upbeat, chill, easy listening Favourite track: Care of Cell 44
First song sounds like it could be a demo of a 2010s band. These songs sound pretty 60s. I see influence on Queen, and influences from the Beatles. This was *surprisingly* good. Also, doesn't sound like what I would imagine a band called "The Zombies" would ever sound like.
I have listened to this album before and I love it!
Classic - amazing to hear the artists they inspired listening to this album.
Vibes man. Very cool
Great sound. My fist experience knowing what I was listening to was music by the Zombies. I like it.
Una maravilla de principio a fin
Genieten met Time of the Season als leuke verrassing helemaal op het einde.
Never listened and loved it
I’d definitely listen again.
What a classic! Not a bad song on the album. Beautiful harmonies, groovy psychedelic music. Love it.
A chill, relaxing album with some really catchy songs. Overall, really nice.
very good imo
A genuine lost classic, they should have been huge. 1 perfect song after another. I particularly like the bit when you realise the girl in the first song is in prison
At least today, there's nothing groundbreaking or original about this album. Like The Beatles with more technical depth, like The Hollies with more psychedelia, like The Moody Blues with less organ. It seems like I've heard it all before, yet The Zombies combines these disparate parts perfectly to a great album that hits the right spots and which I'll gladly revisit. Standout song: Time of the Season.
Magnifique, du rock psychedelique qui fait penser a Forever Changes de Love. Premier coup de coeur du Challenge. Inattendu, vu le nom qui me faisait penser a du punk/metal. Je l'acheterai a la Fnac. Triste qu'ils n'aient jamais été reconnus.
#30 - the best album so far, and they had tough rivals - Deep Purple, Talking Heads, The Smiths, Elvis, Kraftwerk. Oh my God... What they did I never heard in my life. Every songs sounds both different and similar to the others. This is so good that you're afraid of listening to this album again.
A fabulous album through and through, one of my favourites. And props for one of the all-time most iconic songs of the 60's - Time of the Season. It so perfectly encapsulates the hippie counter-culture of that time.
A revelation. Amazing arrangements. Doesn’t go full on psychedelia, which is a good thing. Gorgeous melodies, great harmonies. Classic.
fuck yeah, I love The Zombies 9/10
I had forgotten how much I enjoy a lot of tracks on this album, used to listen to a lot of them while in college. Standout song for me is This Will Be Our Year - I hadn't heard it in a long time and it put a big nostalgic smile on my face. I think this is gonna be the first 5 star for me - I would do 4.5 if possible, but it definitely deserves more than just a 4. This definitely isn't everyone's style, so it's not something I'd recommend to just anyone. But if you can get into it, then it's a great listen.
One of the best pop albums of the 60s, certainly after the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Right up there with the Kinks best work for me. Fucking tragedy this band only made two albums.
The oft-forgotten British Invasion band, The Zombies, reach their height with this album. The usage of stereo mixing, the short catchy rhythms, and vocal harmonies layer together for a truly great listening experience. The group had many worthwhile albums and tracks, but this is clearly their most polished and impactful.
I only knew one song by The Zombies. Loved this album!
How in the world was this not the biggest album on the planet? I thought it was here because of the one single that everybody knows, but so many of the other tracks reached up and slapped me out of nowhere. Incredible. Best track: Time of the Season
Sick Album. Must have
Þessa uppgötvaði ég á Spotify fyrir nokkrum árum. Hún er geggjuð, mögulega besta barokkpoppið. Ekki mjög stórt genre, en oft mjög skemmtilegt svo þetta er mikið hrós.
Really enjoyed listening to this album. Has a very classical 1960's psychedelic and rock & roll feel. I could see myself listening to this album again. My favorite songs on the album were Care of Cell 44, I Want Her She Wants Me, and Time of the Season.
Uno de mis discos favoritos, tremendos muertos vivientes sedientos de sangre
Maybe after he's Gone and Care of cell 44 extremely expressive songs, since lyrics with hope are embedded in quite life-affirming music, but the situations described are extremely gloomy and lyrical
Wow, I absolutely loved this one. It's refreshing, fun, and the perfect mix of psych and pop. I also knew a lot more tunes from it than I expected. So good.
There isn't a bad track on this album. There are a couple of truly exquisitely good tracks on this album. Two thumbs freshly, even after more than fifty years.
a feel good listen! that sixties, happy pop is still a wonderful listening experience. most songs made me smile, but the zombies didn't restrict themselves on subject matter: "a rose for emily," a sort of gothic pop song, and "butcher's tale (western front 1914)," a song using only a harmonium with white's unsteady voice to depict a scene in world war i. major props for including a protest song despite the album's generally pleasant tone. i was so reminded of the beach boys, especially on "care of cell 44"--it's so reminiscent of "good vibrations" from the year before. the subject matter, however, is different from the beach boys' number, but honestly i'm in love with this song. the topic, combined with the tone, made it stand out! "time of the seasons" is a great classic, but my goodness this album is rounded out nicely! an album that deserves its spot on this list but also on my personal album rotation.
Wow. This is some Pet-Sounds-Sgt.-Pepper level psych rock! I can hear a lot of influences here from their peers. It's very '60s, might even be the most definitive '60s psychedelic rock album. I mean, just look at that cover
Pop psicodélico. Un megahit. Venga, vinilo.
Ikkje dumt. Eg e ein sucker for barokkpop
An absolute classic. One of my favorite albums of the 60s.
Awesome album, up there with the best in terms of classic 60s albums. Time Of The Season the obvious standout track, but a lot of amazing stuff on here.
Deceitful cover ahoy! This ain't no psychedelic headfuck, no tripping on the radical zephyrs of the Mother-Creator's minddrive. Of course, this album fits chummily into the late 60s hippy climate, and one can gesture towards the album's occasional suggestions of dreamscapes, but it's not a journey into the beyond. Rather, it's a genteel, mildly quizzical but bittersweet slab of baroque pop. Think Village Green Preservation Society instead of Tomorrow Never Knows. Actually, focus on that bittersweetness. Odessey and Oracle (the typo was an honest mistake by the cover artist, which the band tried to sell as deliberate). The album seems to have been dipped in the joyful pain of irrecoverable nostalgia. Fully the first side does not deviate from depicting the grief at the loss of potential, of the blueness at remembering when one could have been a contender. The first song, Care of Cell 44, has the convict wondering if his partner still loves him, A Rose for Emily concerns a woman who shall stay unloved her whole life, Maybe After He's Gone deals with a deluded suitor trying to persuade himself that she'll return to him, etcetry etcetry. And all that I found very effective. The songs themselves are exquisite, almost flimsy in their delicacy. But these multifaceted studies are great for a supine wallow. The second half turns more spritely and more positive, with some exception. Changes continues the melancholy of side 1, and Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914) is The Zombies' pacifist anthem, of a fear-ridden WW1 Tommy cursing the priest who encouraged him to enlist (set to an ironic church organ). But apart from those, side two is a lot more smoochy and romantic, ending with Time of the Season, that tribal hippy makeout perennial. You can guess that the second side coheres a little less than the first, but not that it alienates the listener at all; indeed, there will be plenty who prefer the songs about your current girlfriend to the ones about your ex. I was hesitant about awarding this 5 stars, but why not? One can ferret out flaws if one wants, but who wants to undertake such a miserable activity? I guess these five stars are partly akin to a Grade II listing, but I enjoy focusing on Odessey And Oracle's considerable charms much more than its scarce peccancies.
Based on my methodology which assigns 5 stars to anything that is 8 out of 10 or higher - it’s not perfect but then again what is!
A great album. Catchy tunes, and the harmonies were beautiful. There wasn't a bad song in the bunch, but the one that really stood out for me was A Rose for Emily.
This is one of the sounds of the 60s. Everything from the garish, psychadelic cover to the keyboards, the drum beat and harmonies. The production is crisp and clear- there's nothing to not like. I love it.
Very good, like it a lot
Back to the 60's, i haven't personally listened to too much material from this era but the influence of the Big Bang is definitely here in the opening track with a tinge of the psychedelic movement coming in. I'm digging the vibe here, lots of choral sections that lay pleasantly over the instrumental composition. Swelling music dropping to silence hits the emphasis on the and of songs or transition points and the song to song changes/progression is chosen well. The Zombies sound as a British rock band really come out in the vocals with some influence in the instruments, there's a Beatles-esque sound here and the bands careers did overlap. Closing out with Time of the Season had really good vocal recording, you can hear the echoes in the mastering and the crisp percussion. For me this was up there with Hung on a Dream and Changes, which as classically regarded as highlights of the album.
Album cover looks like it's going to be a psych album but a couple songs in it seems super poppy for the 60s. I really enjoyed this album. The harmonies are catchy and there is some darkness in the lyrics and instrumentation in contrast with the overall poppiness. Added 4-5 songs to Spotify and I'll be on the lookout for this album at vinyl places.
I listened to this album with low expectations. Ok, chien had 5 stars but there's not much predictive skill in that. But I listened, and once again, and once again. It's not incredibly long, that helps. The last song is of course a massive classic but it fits on the album as just one of the songs. Amazing record, very addictive. I had some associatian with Elliott Smith at some point. Google tells me he actually covered Care of cell 44. And the title is a typo. Only the greatest can afford that. All this leads inevitably to .. yes .. to 5 stars.
one of the best albums of the sixties
An incredible classic start to finish
Une sublime tranche de vie
How would it feel to realize “Odyssey” was misspelled on your new record cover? If your The Zombies, probably just fine because the music on this album is so great! I’ve always loved “Time of the Season”, but hearing the rest of this album released just weeks after I was born was a trippy, fantastic little journey. Two more really standout tracks I fell in instant love with were “Care of Cell 44” and “Brief Candles.”
Only familiar with Time of the Season, I did not expect The Zombies to feel so light and optimistic. I love almost every song on this album. Terrific!
Absolutely incredible album. It's amazing how all of the songs flow together and how "cool" it all sounds, especially Time of the Season. That song is the highlight of the album and it's a great way to close it off. But the entire album is a pleasant ride through psychadelica. Definitely worth checking out.
This is a wonderful album. It's short, breezy, and pleasant. And yet it manages to pack in so much creativity. Their vocal harmonies are consistently on-point, and their lead singer has a voice that's so easy to listen to. He doesn't even really stretch it until "This Will Be Our Year", but then just absolutely crushes that. Half the songs are super-catchy sing-alongs, but with a surprising amount of compositional sophistication. The modulation to the m3 / m6 mid-verse on "Care of Cell 44" is jarring but works perfectly, as are the similar chromatic lines to conclude the chorus of "Time of the Season" and the verses of "Beechwood Park". And I'm a total sucker for repeated themes, which they have both writ-small and writ-large - nowhere better than the section of "Changes" that re-quotes "Flowers for Emily". The production isn't perfect - it was 1968, which is a reasonable excuse, although in a somewhat unfair comparison, contemporary Beatles records had better sound quality and more lush instrumentation - but it's got a dreamy sound (leaning like a man with one leg on that Leslie organ) that works perfectly for the style.
So nice, very pleasant
Vraiment un super album auquel je ne m'attendais pas du tout avec le nom du band... the zombies oh mon dieu, on ne peut pas être plus loin du style que je m'attendais. C'Est un Album A1 du début jusqu'a la fin. Surtout avec la super Time of the season a la fin 5+
60s psychedelic pop is my jam
A Rose For Emily is one of my favourite songs of all time. And I'd forgotten how good Care of Cell 44 is too. Time of the Season is a full blown classic too. Whole album is ace tbf. Sometimes feels like the sort of British whimsy that Spinal Tap skewered so well, but when it's this infectious and fun you really can't complain. Absolutely brilliant from start to finish.
Having been taken by the band Argent and being aware of the hits of the Zombies I came by this album as it was bundled as a double with their greatest hits. What a bargain! The album soon became a mainstay on the turntable. It is simple a superb collection of varied songs. Yes its genesis of its time but it does appear to span the generations. Exemplified by their short, but stunning, tour of the album 40 years after its release.
Lovely in every way
A beautiful psychedelic baroque pop masterpiece. It's fun, goofy, and optimistic with a bombastic and dynamic range in harmonies; the vocals blend together to immerse you. The instrumentation has a bright and pleasant classical feel to them. It's spacious, providing room for the keyboards and other instruments to fill the atmosphere while the vocals come in to supplement emotion. Almost all the songs have catchy choruses and memorble melodies. We start with "Care of Cell 44" setting the themes and tricks that the album will convey to set it apart from pretty much any album that has come before or after. They really put all their strengths here, especially how they mix a capella with lush instrumentation. My favorite part is the psychedelic bridge that puts you into a temporary dreamscape before pulling you back into the next verse. Also really love that extended ending that just goes on: it's so satisfying and complete, exciting me for the rest of the album. "A Rose for Emily" is the exact opposite type of song: a simple ballad that shows the power and versatility of our vocalists. The attention to diverted to the lyrics as you learn to look out for it. "Maybe After He's Gone" picks up the tempo and emotion, very folk like but also the way it conveys so powerful and dark, it's almost gothic. My favorite part is the bridge, but again has a satisfying ending. "Beechwood Park" is a personal favorite, happy yet melancholic, with a loud chorus but otherwise a nostalgic and reflective melody. "Brief Candles" features very baroque verses (which I'm not too big of a fan of) and a fantastic energetic chorus. Love the angelic bridge. "Hung up on a Dream" features a trippy jangly guitar (reminds me of Byrds) and hazy angelic vocals, which is followed by another really psychedelic song "Changes" that sounds like a wild drum circle. "I Want Her She Wants Me" is a personal favorite, such a cheery and dreamy song. Fantastic hook to excite me immediately, with lyrics that feel like walking on a street on a good trip, and a dramatic and optimistic coda. I think "This Will Be Our Year" is a romantic ballad, and I like the chorus, but I don't like where it goes, probably one of my least favorites despite its acclaim and how many times it's been covered. "Butcher's Tale" is one of the eeriest tracks, sounding like a ghost ship pirate shanty. Really love the loud chorus."Friends of Mine" is a fun sunshine pop song, a bit chaotic (especially those cymbal crashes) but like exploding in happiness. Finally we end with the summer of love anthem "Time of the Season", groovy and catchy, I love everything about it, but from the echoey vocals to the loving lyrics to the gasps back vocals to the trippy solo. I seriously love this album and all its tracks. Although I have a few complaints, it's impressive how memorable and unique all 12 were, and how I could compliment several things about them all. Honestly, the only major complaint is the track ordering which could make it more cohesive. I feel "This Will be the year" would be an appropriate closer, but since I'm not too big of a fan, I do personally enjoy the bombastic end with the hit "Time of the season."
"Odessey and Oracle" is the second album by the English rock band The Zombies. It was recorded at EMI (Abbey Road) and Olympic Studios in 1967 and self-financed independently since they were dumped by their record label Decca Records. The album was eventually released in 1968 by CBS Records after the band had broken up. The album did not do well immediately after its released but began to gather a cult following which has resulted in numerous reunion performances. The music is classified as baroque pop, chamber pop, pyschedelic pop and pop-rock, all of which adequately fit. The music reminded me of The Beach Boys with the harmonies and early Pink Floyd. I hear their influences in The Stone Roses. All band members contributed to the vocals and consisted of Colin Blunstone (lead vocals, percussion), Rod Argent (keyboards), Paul Atkinson (guitar), Chris White (bass) and Hugh Grundy (drums). The album start with "Care of Cell 44" which is the happiest song about a prison that I've heard. Strings. Nice backing vocals. Writing to a person in prison awaiting their release. "Beechwood Oak" has a more pyschedelic, early Pink Floyd vibe. Guitar. Organ. Great backing vocals. Remembering a girl at Beechwood Park. "Hung Up on a Dream" has strings, piano and firmly in the baroque pop area. A pyschedelic dream. Hmmm...wonder if any drugs were done? Side two continues the baroque pop with "Changes." I really liked the Beach Boys harmonization in this one. The fourth single "Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)" is different lyrically than anything else. It's still in pyschedelic music area with the keyboards but the only song sung by Chris White and about a butcher who goes to war based on a sermon but now regrets it....not sure I'm on board with this one. The first single was "Friends of Me" and is straight-forward pop and another one with great harmonies. A happy sounding song but the guy singing sees all his friends have lovers but not him. And then the closer is their big one "Time of the Season." Who doesn't know that unique groove of the percussion, bass and the "Ahhh." A groovy organ jam. It seems obviously about free lovin.' Hey, they were near the Summer of Love. This is a really, really good album. Sounding sort of like other bands but still very much its own. I can see why it has its cult following. Anytime you can reference The Beach Boys, early Pink Floyd and The Stone Roses in an album is a good thing in my world.
It's like part dreamy part epic which I guess describes psychedelica lol but it's not like woooOoooOoo 9 minute jam sessions (not that there's anything wrong with that) it's subtle. Nice harmonies, cool instrumentation
Really good psych album. I would say timeless. Hadn’t heard it but big fan.
Nytt, digget det!
Really liked this one.
Can't believe I've never listened to these guys before. I loved the vocals and vocal arrangements. Lots of cool chord voicings and things like that. I just love psychedelic chamber pop stuff like this.
Pop psicodélico. Un megahit. Venga, vinilo.
Great blend of cheesy 60s pop with psychadelia
Sgt who? Pet what? Peak psychedelic pop. Psychedelia achieved by reaching into music’s past - a time-traveling, genre bending pop explosion. Inventive melodies and chord changes you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. A beautiful work.
I've heard the name before and wasn't super familiar with the music. When the last song came up I'm like "oh I have heard them before". Overall very, very Beatles-esque and definitely a shame this group only had such a limited output and was met with indifference. This is some great 60s era music that has aged like fine wine.
ime of the Season is one of the best songs of the rock era. Incredible hook, gorgeous melody, sweet soulful singing, truly a modern classic. But how is te rest of the album? Well nothing quite so sublime as TotS but some really excellent psychedelic tinged rock songs. The whole album has a baroque feel that makes me think Belle and Sebastien ingested this album intravenously. All in all a beautiful album that is deserving of a 5 star rating.
Now this is an album that deserves to be here. We are on a good run. Discovered this only a few years back. Criminally overlooked it despite already loving She's not There. I honestly think I assumed Time of the Season was by The Bryds or something. Care of Cell 44 is wonderfully Brian Wilson-esque. That chorus just absolutely POPs out of the speaker. Brilliance. I believe it was A Rose for Emily being played at the end of every episode of the podcast series S-Town that finally dragged me to this album. Doubtless I'm not the only one, so I'm very grateful to that. There's plenty of Pet Sounds influences here (which is enough by itself to draw me in) but there's lots more to love besides. There's hints of Nick Drake's Bryter Layter here too in Hung up on a Dream (which of course was slightly layter). A glorious and faultless 60s psych-pop album. Definitely one of the best records ever made. Best - Care of Cell 44, Time of the Season, This Will Be Our Year, Hung Up on a Dream.
I really loved this album. Beautiful melodies, complex harmonies, great songwriting, clever lyrics. A real treat after a week of too much heavy metal.
1/21 If “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” was an album, it expands on that psychedelic journey vibe. Standout Tracks: Beechwood Park, Brief Candles, Time of the Season
7.5/10 F.t.: Time of the Season. Duh.
This was not bad. Makes for good background music while assembling Halloween goodie bags.
Pretty nice 60s vibes
Feels like listening to every other 60's BritPopRock. Solid album overall. No bad songs, and Time of the Season is the most recognizable classic song.
very good.. a few songs I knew (time of the season) highlight..my hands wont stop shaking! butchers tale
I'm having a hard time classifying the musical stylings of this album. Regardless, I kinda like it! Maybe it's resonating with the rainy April day outside, but I think I'd listen to it again even if it were sunny. 4 stars!