Tuesday, March 22, 2011

30-Day Song Challenge, Day 19 - a song from your favorite album

I already put my favorite song by Love on Day 1; and that band's Forever Changes is (pretty much) my favorite album ever. So I'm gonna fudge and put down a song from one of my (other) favorite albums ever. On certain days, it is my favorite album ever.

The Zombies' Odessey and Oracle came out in 1968; and in one of those glorious ironies of fate, it became a sizeable hit over a year after the band broke up. It is, I think, a perfect album--full of faultlessly-realized songwriting, a production that's as layered as it is crystalline, and exquisite singing by Colin Blunstone, a man gifted with the most hauntingly-beautiful set of pipes ever granted to a pop singer. The big hit from the record was the dusky "Time of the Season." It's still one of the most headily sensual rock songs ever recorded, and it's lost none of its power despite over forty years and use in umpteen commercials. But the rest of the album glitters like a chest of jewels exposed to sunlight.

Odessey's two key songwriters, keyboardist Rod Argent and bassist Chris White, drew from a massive bag of wonders--classical music, jazz, traditional English folk, gothic cabaret--and created something magical. This gorgeous madrigal, "Changes," is as good a representation of that magic as anything, and it takes my breath away every time I hear it.

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