It’s amazing what you find on the Internet.
I’m a member of a music mailing list called Audities, and a recent message on it mentioned that Melbourne musician Ben Mason had recorded – single-handedly* – The Zombies‘ Odessey And Oracle. It’s available in its entirety over at Bandcamp, so I made a beeline for it. I love Odessey And Oracle, so I was interested in hearing what Ben had done to it.
I started listening, and my first reaction after hearing that Ben had done nothing new to it – it’s a straight reproduction of the original, right down to the vocal and intrument parts – was “Why?” I couldn’t quite understand why anyone would want to make a carbon copy of an entire album.
But then I thought Ben may have deconstructed it then reconstructed it to understand what makes it tick. And then I thought that although it was a pet project for Ben, why inflict on anyone else something that didn’t need to be made? But then I thought it doesn’t matter. Ben’s facsimile of the album gave me an opportunity to hear it again. And again. (I love Odessey And Oracle.)
Ben mentioned on his Bandcamp page that he has a blog chronicling the making of the album.
I shimmied on over to his blog and found a lot of interesting information. One of the things there was a video of Ben recording the bass part for “I Want Her She Wants Me”. I find it fascinating because I’m a bass player, and to see the part being played as it would have originally been is, to me, enormously instructive:
(*So to speak. I’m sure he used both his hands when recording.)