Odessey and Oracle

Wow.  #100.  And it’s only taken me 3 3/4 years to get this far.  At this rate, I will finish this list in 2031.  Sweet.  I wonder how many editions of the list Rolling Stone will have published by then?  Oh well, whatever, nevermind.  So yeah, the Zombies.  This was the third album on the list that made me go hmmm (after Love’s Forever Changes and Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica).  I was pretty sure I had never heard of the Zombies or any of the songs on this album.  Then I listened to it, and I recognized “Time of the Season” from lite rock radio, but that was it.  And on my initial listen, I began to wonder if they called themselves the Zombies because they had no soul.  I mean there is absolutely no soul anywhere on this record.  Or put another way, perhaps the pale flesh associated with a zombie inspired them to make the whitest album ever.  Other than “Time of the Season” being a pale imitation of Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown” (with the accents on beats one and three, no less), this album is pretty much a Baroque dance party.  No blues scales, no blue notes, no bends, or slides.  Just pure Western harmonies straight outta “The Well-Tempered Clavier”.

All kidding aside, though, it’s a pretty good album.  It sort of reminds me of one of my favorite former-indie rock bands, The Decemberists, in as much as there are lots of story songs from the viewpoint of prison inmates, WWII soldiers, etc., as well as literary allusions to Edgar Allen Poe and William Faulkner.  The vocal harmonies are very Beatlesque, and the melodies are catchy and stick in my head.  I found myself listening to this album for about two weeks straight as I was driving to work, and somehow it always put me in a good mood.  It doesn’t seem like the Zombies made much of an impact on rock history as a whole, but this one album is definitely worth a listen.  I picked it up on Amazon for the bargain price of $2.97.

Other lists: nada

Ch-ch-changes: This album dropped 20 spots from its original position of #80 on the list.  Harsh!

My favourite track: “Hung Up on a Dream”

Honourable mention: “Time of the Season”

Quote: “They spoke with soft persuading words about a living creed of gentle love, and turned me on to sounds unheard and showed me strangest clouded sights above, which gently touched my aching mind and soothed the wonderings of my troubled brain.  Sometimes I think I’ll never find such purity and peace of mind again.”