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Odin - 1972 - Same
Odin - 1972 (Same)
01. Life Is Only (10:55)
02. Tribute To Frank (1:58)
03. Turnpike Lane (3:44)
04. Be The Man You Are (2:45)
05. Gemini (8:54)
06. Eucalyptus (2:51)
07. Clown (8:50)
Jeff Beer - keyboards, vibraphone, percussion, vocals
Rob Terstall - guitar, vocals
Ray Brown - bass, vocals
Stuart Fordham - drums, percussion
LP Vertigo 6360 608 (Germany)
CD Repertoire REP 4230-WP (1991)
Krautrock book is not impressed and calls them admittedly rather ordinary, influenced by Deep Purple. Two English guys (bass, drum), two Germans
by Ben Miller @ Prog Archives
Odin, like NEKTAR was a British band residing in Germany. While NEKTAR received some success (especially the United States when Passport Records showed an interest in their music), ODIN simply released one album, disappeared, and has pretty much been ignored. The album was released on the swirl Vertigo label, and due to its obscurity, one of the more desired titles on the label. While NEKTAR sometimes flirted with Krautrock styles (often so far as being called Krautrock, even if they weren't German), ODIN mainly stuck to a heavy guitar/organ-dominated prog style that was typical of the British scene of the early '70s. The band consisted of Jeff Beer on keyboards, Ray Brown on bass, Stuart Fordham on drums, and Rob Terstall on guitar, all credited to vocal duties, aside from the drummer.
If you love the sound of the Hammond organ, this album is a total must, often Jeff Beer played his organ with fuzz tone, not unlike DEEP PURPLE's Jon Lord, or Peter Robinson's work with QUATERMASS (whose style was much closer to Lord's in that band than say, when he was in BRAND X, which was much more similar to Robin Lumley's). In fact the band so much as covers a QUATERMASS song as well!
The album starts off with Life Is Only, a totally killer piece stuffed with cool guitar and organ solos. There are some passages that bear more than a passing resemblance to ELP, in fact it's the only piece on the album to feature ELP-like passages. Tribute to Frank is a jazzy instrumental that brings to mind some of ZAPPA's instrumental works, so unsurprisingly the tribute would be to Frank ZAPPA. Turnpike Lane features a lot of wordless vocals, and at times almost reminding me of certain Italian prog bands. Of course, the guitar and organ solos are more typical of British bands. Be the Man You Are finds the band doing a nice, laid-back acoustic piece. Certainly the vocals are no CSNY, but still a nice piece. Then there's the cover of QUATERMASS' Gemini. If you know the original, you'll find they pretty much stick to the original, except they added on guitars (since of course ODIN featured a guitarist and QUATERMASS didn't), and an extended solo the original didn't have. Eucalyptus is a rather laid-back instrumental piece with some early string synth (presumably a Freeman, as it's too early for the Elka or Solina, and the Eminent, which was around in '72, didn't seem to get much use outside of Italy and France). Clown goes back to the heavy style that is most typical for this band.
The album was luckily reissued on CD, and given the kind of music this is, this album would be perfect for Repertoire Records out of Germany to reissue. Instead a small German label called Living in the Past got a hold of it, making it not as easy to get a hold of, but if you can find a copy, get it!
Certainly the music is dated, the heavy organ/guitar format of the music makes it obvious that this was the early '70s, but as long as the music is great, as this album demostrates, I don't care.
Truly an amazing and forgotten gem of British prog. If you like early '70s guitar/organ- driven prog, this album is a total must!
by Jo-Ann Greene
An international affair from the get-go, Honest Truth, boasting a British rhythm section and a Dutch guitarist, lit up German stages in the late '60s before calling it a day. Drummer Stuart Fordham and bassist Ray Brown promptly returned to their island home, but were coaxed back across the North Sea in 1971 by guitarist Rob Terstall and his new musical companion, German keyboardist Jeff Beer. Dubbing themselves Odin, the group's ferocious shows quickly caught the attention of the Vertigo label, which released the band's sole album, this 1972 self-titled set. From the opening track, the quartet's breathtaking musical skills are on display, with Terstall and the teenaged Beer trying to one-up each other's consummate solos. As diverse musically as they were nationally, the quartet incorporated an eclectic blend of styles into its set. The exhilarating Life Is Only, for example, swings from storming organ-led prog to guitar-driven, Hendrix-riven funk-rock. In contrast, Be the Man You Are shimmers in effervescent folky fashion, while the lush Eucalyptus mixes surfy R&B-flavored guitar with lavish orchestral organ. Intriguingly, their cover of Quatermass' Gemini sticks close to the original, but still features some of Beer's best work, as does the album closer, Clown. Both must have been absolutely lethal live, but it's the driving Turnpike Lane that probably brought the house down. With the album split between lengthy epic pieces and short sharp numbers, Odin offered a roller coaster ride across all that prog rock had to offer, and did it with amazing prowess and finesse. The band may have folded in frustration in 1975, but fans continued to search out this superb set. This reissue not only features the original sleeve's artwork, but also includes a poster to boot.
Release by PHS_BR