Odyssey is originally a New York-based {now UK-based} band.[3] The group evolved from the Connecticut-born Lopez sisters: Lillian Lopez (Lillian Lopez Collazo Jackson) (16 November 1935 – 4 September 2012),[4] Louise Lopez (born 22 February 1933), and Carmen Lopez (born 12 July 1934), the latter having left the group before Odyssey, as the act would come to be known after her departure, was conceived. The group continues to perform and record, now led and fronted by Lillian's eldest son Steven Collazo

Career[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Filipino bassist and singer Tony Reynolds joined the group soon after, which is perhaps best known in the US for its 1977 hit "Native New Yorker". The anthemic classic reached #21 on theBillboard Hot 100, #5 in the UK Singles Chart and was later covered by Frankie Valli. A string of albums and singles followed and the group managed another R&B chart hit, "Inside Out", written by Jesse Raeproduced by Jimmy Douglass and featuring music performed by session musicians. Many believe it is Slave but it is not; it peaked on the US charts at #12 and in the UK went to #3 in 1982.[5] Reynolds, for unknown reasons, left after the first album and was replaced by FayettevilleNorth Carolina native William "Bill" McEachern, who remained with the group throughout the remainder of its RCA record label output. During that time, Brooklyn-born Steven Collazo joined the group as keyboardist, vocalist and musical director. Tony Reynolds died on February 2, 2010 in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

In the United Kingdom, the band, with its diverse musical style had more chart success, totalling five Top Ten hits between 1977 and 1982.[6] One of them, "Use It Up and Wear It Out", reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in 1980. The UK follow-up single, "If You're Looking For A Way Out" had Lillian Lopez on lead vocals; the single reaching #6 in 1980 and spending a total of fifteen weeks in the UK chart.[6] Odyssey thus became the third USact of the year (after Fern Kinney and M.A.S.H.) to reach number one in the UK despite not charting in their home country.[7] Their later hit "Going Back to My Roots" was written and originally recorded by Lamont Dozier.

Post RCA, Odyssey, composed of lead vocalist Lillian Lopez, Al Jackson and Steven Collazo, continued touring, performing, and making television appearances throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. Lillian Lopez and Jackson married in 2000, and retired from the music industry in 2003. Lillian died on September 4, 2012 of cancer.[8][4]

Legacy[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Odyssey's "If You're Looking For a Way Out" was covered by Tindersticks on their 1999 album, Simple Pleasure. Other covers of Odyssey's material include "Don't Tell Me Tell Her" by Phyllis Hyman and "Native New Yorker" by Esther Phillips among others. The band, now led by Steven Collazo, featured vocalist twins Annis and Anne Peters and released the album Legacy in June 2011 on ISM Records, making inroads into new, younger UK and international markets while maintaining popularity and ties with a well established, traditional fan base. The twins left the group in January 2013. In carrying on his mother's legacy, Steven continues in his role as the group's lead vocalist, Manager and Musical Director, ensuring the continued presence of the Odyssey "brand" on the international music scene.

Discography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Singles[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Year Song U.S. Hot 100[9] U.S. R&B[9] U.S. Dance UK Singles Chart[6]
1977 "Native New Yorker" 21 6 3 5
1977 "Weekend Lover" 57 37 - -
1980 "Don't Tell Me, Tell Her" - 44 6 -
1980 "Use It Up and Wear It Out" - - 6 1
1981 "Hang Together" - - 6 36
1980 "If You're Lookin' For a Way Out" - - - 6
1981 "Going Back to My Roots" - 68 55 4
1981 "It Will Be Alright" - - - 43
1982 "Inside Out" 104 12 25 3
1982 "Magic Touch" - - - 41
1985 "(Joy) I Know It" - - - 51

Albums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Year Title Billboard 200[10] U.S. R&B[10] UK Albums Chart[6]
1977 Odyssey 36 15 -
1978 Hollywood Party Tonight 123 72 -
1980 Hang Together 181 66 38
1981 I Got the Melody 175 62 29
1982 Happy Together - 23 21
1982 The Magic Touch of Odyssey - - 69
1985 Joy - - 69
2011 Legacy - - -
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