UK, 1968, psychedelic pop / baroque pop
The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle: First of all, the name of the band: quite a juxtaposition from the sound, though perhaps not the lyrics, of their music. One thing I love about this album is how their lead singles are the first and last songs, arguably their most famous track being last, which means you have to sit through the whole album to get to it. I’m going to assume this was intentional, the band saying in 1968 that they weren’t just making an album with a couple of singles and a bunch of filler tracks. There is no filler here. Every song is brilliant and fits in the overall whole of the album, a document dominated by the dual perennial themes of vivacious love and inevitable death. Leaves fall, and the summer crown of your roses wither. Also, opening your album with a seemingly innocent love song about “baby you’re coming home” type feelings but actually having it be a letter sent to a jailbird who’s about to get release from prison is a wonderful twist on the romantic song trope. Scratch the surface and you will reveal a darker message here: we’ll kiss and make up… wait. Why is the person in jail?