Odessey and Oracle - CBS 1968
They actually did have early success with their 1964 single "She's Not There". But in spite of several strong singles were recorded and released during 1965-66, they somehow were not able to follow-up their early success. So in early 1967 the band had not had a hit-record for more than two years, and it seemed that their time was over. They decided to record a final "real" album before they'd split up. The result was the highly acclaimed "Odessey and Oracle" which they recorded during the second half of 1967.
Of course they had hoped that one of the two first singles taken from these recordings "Friends of Mine" and "Care of Cell 44" would bring them back into the charts. And since this did not happen they assumed their time was over, so they disbanded before the album was actually released in April 1968. Another single was chosen to promote the album, and the succeeding big success of "Time of the Season" in America came as a complete surprise. The album itself also reached the lower parts of the charts in the States.
Their music has proving its viability over the years, and this album contains some of their finest moments, with great tunes from both Argent and White.
After their unexpected 1968 "comeback" effort were made to secure a Zombies re-union. But Rod Argent and Chris White were already deeply involved in gathering a new band, which eventually would become "Argent".
In this transition period Argent and White were persuaded to do a final "Zombies" album which was given the title "R.I.P." The album was supposed to consist of earlier out-takes and demos, ( with new overdubbings ) combined with new recordings. This 12-songs "new" album was for release some time in 1969 but the album which had been given the title "R.I.P." was never released until recent years and it's possible to the this lost gem in its whole.
This album, their second, from 1967 is usually considered their best recording moment; and it really is a great album. Both songwriters Rod Argent and Chris White contribute strong material. Except for "Butcher`s Tale" for which I never really cared, there are no fillers here.
Then to the extensive inclusion of great bonus tracks.
Chris White`s "I`ll Call You Mine" was the B-side of the "Time of the Season" single and as such a very logical choice. A great recording. The White/Argent collaboration single "Imagine the Swan" was the follow up to their world-wide hit; unfortunately it failed undeservedly. It was recorded after Colin Blunstone had left the band; in fact they did record an album`s worth of material which recently has been released in Japan titled "Rest in Peace" which was the origal working title for their never released follow-up album. Most of these recordings are featured here as bonus tracks. Most of these recordings are up to the same standards as "Odessey and Oracle".
Besides "I`ll Call You Mine" and "Imagine The Swan" songs like "Smokey Day" and "I Could Spend the Day" are all-time Zombies favourites of mine.