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Bee Gees


12" LP

Availability: In stock


Quick Overview

Reprise's reissue of the Bee Gees' legendary late 60s pop masterpiece
is an important milestone in the ongoing restoration of the group's
catalog. This deluxe vinyl edition of ODESSA authentically and painstakingly reproduces the original 1969 double-LP album release, complete with distinctive red-flocked cover, metallic gold lettering, and gatefold packaging. Introduced four decades ago, ODESSA marked an early creative peak for the Brothers Gibb, and drew comparisons to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in its depth and vision. Remastered from the original British stereo flat master tapes, the album's 17 selections ranging from simple acoustic songs to orchestral overtures sound brilliant on 180-gram audiophile vinyl, sequenced over the set's four LP sides.


The group members may disagree for personal reasons, but Odessa is easily the best and most enduring of the Bee Gees' albums of the 1960s. It was also their most improbable success, owing to the conflicts behind its making. The record started out as a concept album, to be called "Masterpeace" and then "The American Opera," but musical differences between Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb that would split the trio in two also forced the abandonment of the underlying concept. Instead, it became a double LP -- largely at the behest of their manager and the record labels; oddly enough, given that the group didn't plan on doing something that ambitious, Odessa is one of perhaps three double albums of the entire decade (the others being Blonde on Blonde and The Beatles) that don't seem stretched, and it also served as the group's most densely orchestrated album. Yet, amid the progressive rock sounds of the title track and ethereal ballads such as "Melody Fair" and "Lamplight" were country-flavored tunes like "Marlery Purt Drive" and the vaguely Dylanesque bluegrass number "Give Your Best," delicate pop ballads like "First of May" (which became the single off the album), and strange, offbeat rock numbers like "Edison" (whose introduction sounds like the Bee Gees parodying Cream's "White Room") and "Whisper Whisper" (the latter featuring a drum break, no less), interspersed with three heavily orchestrated instrumentals. Even the seeming "lesser" numbers such as "Suddenly" had catchy hooks and engaging acoustic guitar parts to carry them, all reminiscent of the Moody Blues' album cuts of the same era. Moreover, the title track, with its mix of acoustic guitar, solo cello, and full orchestra, was worthy of the Moody Blues at their boldest. The myriad sounds and textures made Odessa the most complex and challenging album in the group's history, and if one accepts the notion of the Bee Gees as successors to the Beatles, then Odessa was arguably their Sgt. Pepper album. The album was originally packaged in a red felt cover with gold lettering on front and back and an elaborate background painting for the gatefold interior, which made it a conversation piece just to look at. The CD reissue is surprisingly well-mastered and a bargain at mid-price. Ironically, the making of Odessa was to herald a split between the Gibb brothers that would leave the group sidelined for most of the next 18 months, and was the last to be heard from them as a trio for two years.

Additional Information

Artist Bee Gees
Track Listing 1 Odessa (City on the Black Sea) - 7:33 2 You'll Never See My Face Again - 4:17 3 Black Diamond - 3:29 4 Marley Purt Drive - 4:26 5 Edison - 3:06 6 Melody Fair - 3:50 7 Suddenly - 2:30 8 Whisper Whisper - 3:25 9 Lamplight - 4:47 10 Sound of Love - 3:29 11 Give Your Best - 3:28 12 Seven Seas Symphony - 4:10 13 With All Nations (International Anthem) - 1:47 14 I Laugh in Your Face - 4:10 15 Never Say Never Again - 3:29 16 First of May - 2:50 17 The British Opera - 3:16

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