The Zombies “Odessey and Oracle” [Reissue]

So I grew up in the Bay Area. I was programmed to love Bay Area sports. I’ve been an A’s fan since before I could talk. I’ve watched them struggle and dominate: One of my earliest memories is watching the “Battle of the Bay” world series in 1989. I was sitting on the couch crying with my mom at the end of the “moneyball” season, and have been doing the Bernie lean with my team for the past couple of years. In my mind, the A’s truly embody the everyman- their “do more with less” philosophy has been applied to a million different aspects of my life. I love them dearly for it. 

One of the things ingrained in me early on about the A’s is that I have to hate the Yankees. The Yankees are the Donald Trumps, the Tywin Lannisters, and the George W’s of baseball. If the A’s are “do more with less” the Yankees are “do more with more. If that doesn’t work, do even more with even more.” I hate them. We hate them. A lot.

I’d Imagine the Zombies felt the same way about the Beatles. There must have been this overwhelming “how are we ever going to keep up” blanket covering everything they were trying to accomplish. They were writing great songs (great songs) and they were recording them as well as they possibly could, but they never could keep up with the Beatles machine. There was nothing wrong with them, they just weren’t the fab four. 

Anyway, if the Zombies are the A’s and The Beatles are the Yankees, Odessey and Oracle is the moneyball season (2002 if you want to Google along). That record, against all odds, was perfect. It was brilliantly subtle while also almost perversely artistic- even though it was recorded at Abbey Road (Yankee Stadium? Is that a stretch?) and is richly orchestrated, it has the constantly relentless beating heart of “do more with less.”

It was also, ultimately, a commercial failure.

Though they had an incredible season, the A’s lost to the Yankees in the 2002 ALDS. That said, they surely didn’t make a movie about the 2002 Yankees. There is a reason for that.

 [Editor’s Note: Odessey and Oracle was released by Varese Vintage on Record Store Day as a limited pressing of 2,500. Mastered to vinyl by Steve Massie, the pressing is flat, quiet, and sounds great (and much better than The Zombies mono reissue also released on RSD, which sounds a bit muddy to our ears.]

Walter Sinkers lives in Seattle. He loves baseball and The Beach Boys. One time, Elton John touched his face.

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