Bee Gees

Odessa - Polydor 1969

Tracks: 1. Odessa / 2. You'll Never See My Face Again / 3. Black Diamond / 4. Marley Purt Drive / 5. Edison / 6. Melody Fair / 7. Suddenly / 8. Whisper Whisper / 9. Lamplight / 10. Sound Of Love / 11. Give Your Best / 12. Seven Seas Symphony / 13. With All Nations / 14. I Laugh in Your Face / 15. Never Say Never Again / 16. First of May / 17. The British Opera / 35. Odessa [Demo] / 36. You'll Never See My Face Again [Alt.] / 37. Black Diamond [Demo] / 38. Marley Purt Drive [Alt.] / 39. Barbara Came To Stay / 40. Edison [Alt.] / 41. Melody Fair [Demo] / 42. Melody Fair [Alt.] / 43. Suddenly [Alt.] / 44. Whisper Whisper - Part Two [Alt.] / 45. Lamplight [Demo] / 46. Lamplight [Alt.] / 47. Sound Of Love [Alt.] / 48. Give Your Best [Alt.] / 49. Seven Seas Symphony [Demo] / 50. With All Nations [Vocal Version] / 51. I Laugh In Your Face [Alt.] / 52. Never Say Never Again [Alt.] / 53. First Of May [Demo] / 54. First Of May [Alt.] / 55. Nobody's Someone / 56. Pity/ 57. Odessa Promotional Spot


Odessa was the Bee Gees' fourth internationally released album, and their first double album. It was by far their most ambitious release and was had a red-flocked cover and included a poster and sticker. At a certain point the title "Masterpeace" was considered.

The band was still a 5-piece band at the beginning of the recordings, but before the release of the album in 1969, guitarist Vince Melouney had left the group.

Though not a direct concept album there are themes about the ship Odessa that runs though the songs. Apart from some long, mostly instrumental orchestral pieces, the music is not really that different from the group's previous releases.

To be regarded as a real classic I find the album too uneven, with too many average songs. There are of course a lot songs, too, that ranks with the very best of their early works. I have always liked their music best without the big arrangements that often burdened good songs too much.

Simple songs with great melodies like, "Sudddenly", "You'll Never See My Face Again" and "I Laugh in Your Face" are still my favourites. I also used to like "Marley Purt Drive", but it seems the songs hasn't aged that well. Among the classic ballads "Lamplight" is outstanding, and "Melody Fair" and "First of May" are both great songs.

The 3 CD version contains both mono and stereo versions of the original album, and the third CD contains some very interesting alternate versions along with some previously unreleased songs. Many of these are almost as good as the well-known versions, and a few maybe even better; I especially like the alternate mix of "You'll Never See My Face Again". The song "Barbara Came to Stay", is the same tune as "Edison", with different lyrics, and also one of the great additions. Great reproduction of the original cover and a fine informative booklet too.

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