Golden Oldies: The Zombies

By Jack van Nostrand


The Zombies are often overlooked as an innovative British Invasion band in favour of their more popular contemporaries (the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, and the Kinks), but Odessey and Oracle proves that they should certainly be included in the pantheon of great sixties rock. This album has a subtlety to it that allows it to be played as catchy pop music, as well as possessing underlying themes that make it something more akin to the middle period of the Beatles (Rubber Soul, Revolver). This collection of songs has a great autumn-like quality to it, keeping a nice airy sound throughout the track selection. The ideas presented are also complex and interesting, from the love song to a convict Care of Cell 44, to the adaptation of the Faulkner short story A Rose for Emily, to the absolutely grim organ-laden Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914), to the steamy ode to the summer of love Time of the Season. The one weakness to this album is the prominence of filler. Beechwood Park and Hung Up On a Dream aren’t as prominent in my mind as Butcher’s Tale, despite sounding nice enough, and function as harmless fluff. Overall, even if every song won’t stick into your mind, the ones that won’t are worth a listen, and the ones that will are well worth giving this album your ear.