Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Zombies: Odessey and Oracle 40th Anniversary Concert

The Zombies' album Odessey and Oracle was released in 1968 to critical indifference. When Time of the Season became a sleeper hit in America 18 months later, it was too late: the band had already split up.

Today it is regarded as one of the great albums of the Sixties and modern musicians queue up to pay tribute to it.

And then something wonderful happened. As Wikipedia tells it:
In March 2008, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the album's release, the four surviving members performed Odessey and Oracle in its entirety for three shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London. 
They were joined by Keith Airey, Darian Sahanaja and various friends. The Zombies were insistent on recreating the sound as authentically as possible, hence the extra singers, Sahanaja filling in keyboard and mellotron parts via use of a Memotron, and Argent himself playing an original mellotron on a couple of numbers. 
Argent also tracked down a Victorian pump organ dating from 1896 so they could recreate White's "Butcher's Tale", the original organ having long since been given away or sold by White.
Today I found a video of this concert and it is every bit as good as people said at the time. And you can sense the love coming from the audience too. Enjoy it as a midweek musical bonus.

Andrew Hickey reviewed the reunion concert in Manchester, and I saw the usual modern incarnation of the band in Harborough in 2011.

And this is what the band looked like in 1965.


Andrew Hickey said...

Just in case anyone wants a copy of that show to keep, the YouTube video is ripped from the live DVD that I mention in my review, and which has better picture quality.

(I'm going to see the current touring Zombies again in a couple of weeks -- I've seen them three times since that review, and every time has been great)

Jonathan Calder said...

In case the Zombies' lawyers are reading this, I had better make it clear that I have just ordered the DVD.

The sad news is that Market Harborough Leisure Centre is no longer on the superior Sixties nostalgia circuit that brought the Zombies, Spencer Davis and Georgie Fame here.