Saturday, 10 October 2015

Year by year: 1968

The Zombies - ODESSEY & ORACLE

Tell me Revolver is the greatest album of all time, and I will vehemently disagree. Tell me Odessey & Oracle is the most perfect pop album ever released, and I won’t say one word against. Seriously. You have to be a stone-hearted, tasteless, pretentious slob not to be converted by the first chorus of “Care Of Cell 44”.

Yet there’s something about this album manages to transcend the tragic fragility of “Rose For Emily”, the dizzying infectiousness of “Friends” and the subtle seduction of “Time Of The Season”. It’s the least likely song on Odessey & Oracle. It’s “Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914)”, this album’s brilliant juxtaposition. It features irresistible accordion background underneath the sort of harrowing, brutal lyrics that seem so surreal in the context of this album that you are left awe-struck and wonderfully bewitched. 

It ends up being the album’s highest point and the song that best accentuates the tuneful perfection of the whole record. And whatever bland, irrelevant albums The Zombies may be releasing these days (one is out just now, or so I hear), Odessey & Oracle remains the ultimate Pop Nirvana for the 60s and for whatever came after it.