This Three-Disc Deluxe Edition Features Original Stereo And Mono Mix, 20 Unreleased Demos, Alternate Takes, Plus Two Songs Not Included On Original Album
Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb achieved a breathtaking creative peak early in the Bee Gees legendary career with Odessa, the group's fourth album. Released in February 1969, the reissue marks the 40th anniversary of the double album, which offered lavish production and spectacular packaging that equaled the collection's boundless creativity.
Reprise returns to the Gibb brother's baroque pop masterwork with a three-disc Deluxe Edition that features the album's original stereo and mono mixes-mono mixes are available in the U.S. for the first time-along with a third disc of unreleased demos, sketches and alternate mixes that reveal the album's creative process.
The seeds of Odessa were planted in New York City in August 1968. Given a week of studio time amidst a brief but chaotic American tour, the band produced nearly a full album of new songs at the legendary Atlantic Recording Studios. Encouraged by their manager/mentor Robert Stigwood to pursue a more expansive work, further sessions in London resulted in the band's only double studio album.
The 17-song collection features a rich mix of styles that range from acoustic-based tracks such as "Marley Purt Drive" to Bill Shepherd's majestic orchestral arrangements on "First Of May." Among the album's other standout tracks are: "Black Diamond," "Melody Fair," and "Odessa (City On The Black Sea)," which is built around the interplay between Maurice's flamenco guitar and cello from Paul Buckmaster (who went on to find fame as Elton John's arranger).
The third disc of ODESSA: DELUXE EDITION contains 22 unreleased tracks, including demos or alternate takes for all but one song from the original album. The disc also features two songs from the Odessa sessions not included on the original album -- "Pity" and "Nobody's Someone" -- as well as a 30-second spot promoting the album. The unissued tracks present two versions of several songs, including a demo for "Melody Fair" with a completely different arrangement, as well an alternate take recorded a few days later that reveals some of Maurice's great Mellotron work obscured by strings in the final mix.
Perhaps the most revealing is the demo for "Odessa (City On The Sea)." During the album's sessions, the brothers experimented lyrically with elements of the song's mythology: changing the year from 1866 to 1899; and the name and nationality of the vessel from the Dutch ship Onstrauss to the British ship Veronica. Originally picked as the first single, it was dropped in favor of "First Of May."
ODESSA: DELUXE EDITION Track Listing
Disc 1 Stereo/Disc 2 Mono1. "Odessa (City On The Black Sea)"2. "You'll Never See My Face Again"3. "Black Diamond"4. "Marley Purt Drive"5. "Edison"6. "Melody Fair"7. "Suddenly"8. "Whisper Whisper"9. "Lamplight"10. "Sound Of Love"11. "Give Your Best"12. "Seven Seas Symphony"13. "With All Nations (International Anthem)"14. "I Laugh In Your Face"15. "Never Say Never Again"16. "First Of May"17. "The British Opera" Disc 3 "Sketches for Odessa" [All Tracks Previously Unissued]1. "Odessa" (Demo)2. "You'll Never See My Face Again" (Alternate Mix)3. "Black Diamond" (Demo)4. "Marley Purt Drive" (Alternate Mix)5. "Barbara Came To Stay"6. "Edison" (Alternate Mix)7. "Melody Fair" (Demo)8. "Melody Fair" (Alternate Mix)9. "Suddenly" (Alternate Mix)10. "Whisper Whisper -- Part Two" (Alternate Version)11. "Lamplight" (Demo)12. "Lamplight" (Alternate Version)13. "Sound Of Love" (Alternate Mix)14. "Give Your Best" (Alternate Mix)15. "Seven Seas Symphony" (Demo)16. "With All Nations (International Anthem)" (Vocal Version)17. "I Laugh In Your Face" (Alternate Mix)18. "Never Say Never Again" (Alternate Mix)19. "First Of May" (Demo)20. "First Of May" (Alternate Mix)21. "Nobody's Someone"22. "Pity"23. Odessa Promotional Spot (Rhino/Cinram)