Hollywood Party Tonight [Expanded Edition]

by: Odyssey

Hollywood Party Tonight, the second album by Odyssey, found the New York trio unveiling a new lineup. Lillian and Louise Lopez remained, but Tony Reynolds had been replaced by Billy McEachern. However, Reynolds' departure didn't make much of a difference; Odyssey's soft, laid-back style of soul-pop (which had a subtle Caribbean flavor and occasional hints of jazz) was still distinctive and easily recognizable. Although not as strong or as consistent as Odyssey's self-titled debut album, Hollywood Party Tonight is a generally decent sophomore record. The 1978 LP, which went out of print after only a few years, didn't contain any hits; nonetheless, hardcore Odyssey fans who bought it found tracks like "Hey Bill (Last Night Was Really a Thrill)" and "Single Again" to be pleasant, if unremarkable. From a commercial standpoint, the problem with this album was a shortage of disco -- people associated Odyssey with the exuberant disco smash "Native New Yorker," and Hollywood Party Tonight doesn't contain anything as overtly dance-oriented. Not that Odyssey was under any obligation to record disco; most of the tunes on its promising debut album were for listening rather than dancing. And the same thing can be said about this uneven sophomore effort, which isn't a masterpiece but has more ups than downs. ~ Alex Henderson

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