The members of The Zombiesbest known for the hits "She's Not There," "Tell Her No," and "Time Of The Season"usually get lumped in with Herman's Hermits and any number of British Invasion also-rans, but the 1968 album Odessey And Oracle is proof that the group deserves a better reputation. The band's final project, Odessey And Oracle, is the only album over which The Zombies had complete control. And while a little outside influence could have prevented the unfortunate misspelling in the titleand although The Zombies disbanded before it was releasedOdessey is the sound of a group at its creative peak, taking full advantage of its independence. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band may be The Beatles' answer to The Beach Boys' masterpiece Pet Sounds, but Odessey is closer to it in both spirit and sound. The vocals of songwriters Rod Argent and Chris White join lead singer Colin Blunstone in tight three-part harmonies, and the album is dominated by upbeat songs tinged with melancholy. Though "Time Of The Season" is the only legitimate hit, Odessey runs much deeper, featuring catchy, inventive melodies paired with lyrics concerning such unusual subjects as a lover's return from prison ("Care Of Cell 44") and the joy of seeing other people in love ("Friends Of Mine"). Only a couple of less-than-perfect tracks, most notably the dire anti-war dirge "Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)" and the overly wistful "A Rose For Emily"which shares little more than a title with the Faulkner storybreak the mood. Originally mixed and released both in mono and stereo, this edition combines both versions, along with some previously unreleased alternate takes. It's a classic album that deserves to be rediscovered; this nicely assembled reissue offers the perfect opportunity to do just that.