Odessa

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/7/2009
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227988135
  • Catalog Number: 517011
  • Sales rank: 72,536

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bee Gees Primary Artist
Robin Gibb Vocals
Bill Shepherd Musical Direction
Barry Gibb Guitar, Vocals
Paul Buckmaster Cello
David Katz Violin
Maurice Gibb Vocals
Vince Melouney Guitar
Colin Petersen Drums
Eric Weissenberg Banjo
Technical Credits
Bee Gees Producer
Elliott Sharp Engineer
Robin Gibb Composer
Bill Shepherd Director
Barry Gibb Composer
Adrian Barber Engineer
Maurice Gibb Composer
Robert Stigwood Producer
Pete Wade Engineer
A. Barber Engineer
E. Sharp Engineer
P. Wade Engineer
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