Thursday, May 12, 2016

ODA - s/t - a.k.a. "the Black Album" 1973

Formed in San Francisco in 1970, ODA is named after the brothers Oda, namely Randy and Kevin (guitar and drums, accordingly) who, along with Art Pantoja (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), and Kyle Schnieder (bass) released this self titled album (also known as "The Black Album") in 1973.
The album was released on "Loud Phonograph Records" (Loud LD 80011), a small, independent/private label with a limited edition pressing of 1000 copies. Needless to say, the album has become somewhat pricey and sought after to collectors.

The band's biggest claim to fame was to win the local "Battle of the Bands", and later, a video contest for Billboard Magazine.
The degree to which this band has been long overlooked is, to me, surprising. The music is solid hard rock with some truly amazing guitar work and superior song structures. Th opening tune "Mable", sets the tone and there are plenty of high points. "Gabriel", "Give it Up", and "Chance" are just the first to pop into mind. This "first wave" of the band packed it up in 1975.

Randy Oda plays keys as well as guitar, and got a taste of mainstream success as part of Tom Fogerty's band in the late 70's. Oda released a second album: "Power of Love", also released on Loud Records ten years later in 1983 with a notable lineup change. The band folded for good in 1985.

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